November 2011 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog

Win of the Week: Simple Tweaks Boost CTR by Triple Digits

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine your once-fast PC has become painfully slow. You keep getting warnings that say your virtual memory is low. So you go to Google and type in "increase virtual memory." Which ad do you click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Notice that the ads have much in common.

The only differences are in the title text and the first line of body copy. Yet one of these ads outperformed the other by a large margin. Which ad do you think generated more than twice as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "wordisborn," and it increased CTR by 150%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.5 clicks, more than DOUBLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad win? And why did ... > Read more

November 30, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Best of the Month: WordStream's Top 10 of November

 Holy moly, guys. Another year, come and gone. I mean December basically doesn’t count; it’s basically already over, Christmas happened, and you’re all making hungover resolutions. Am I right?This time next month, I’ll be bringing you our best of 2011. But for now we’ll stick to the past 30 days.

Here are our top ten slammingest blog posts of the month:How Does the AdWords Auction Work? – Our latest infographic, a visual explanation of Google AdWords, was a big hit. If it you missed it the first time around, check it out.Small Business Saturday 2011: Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of November 26th – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but Meg’s marketing tips for SMBs are worthwhile year-round.Our Top SEO Link Building Posts of ... > Read more

November 30, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 9

This is the ninth in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 5AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 6AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 7AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 8This week... > Read more

November 29, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Free Clicks? The Google AdWords Free Clicks Report in the Dimensions Tab

This is the latest post in a series on Google AdWords reporting from the dimensions tab. In previous posts we’ve covered:Google AdWords Dayparting – The AdWords Dimensions Time Tab ReportGoogle AdWords Conversion Reporting via the Dimensions TabGoogle AdWords Destination URL ReportGoogle AdWords Demographic ReportingGoogle AdWords Geographic ReportGoogle AdWords Search Term ReportIn this post, we’ll be walking through the free click report in the AdWords dimensions tab.

What Are “Free Clicks” According to AdWords?First we need to determine what Google is defining as “free clicks.” The free clicks report provides you with data about how people interact with different components of your ad, and about actions they take. It's important to note that these "free clicks" aren't all c... > Read more

November 28, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Using Excel for Google PPC: Fun Stuff and Hard Stuff

If you own a small company and use or are considering using Google pay-per-click (AdWords) for your goods and services, this article is meant for you. I’m including two practical Excel techniques in this article: How to write Google PPC ads using Excel.How to estimate profit/loss for a Google PPC campaign.

Fun Stuff – Writing Google PPC Ads with ExcelFirst the fun stuff. Seven years ago when I ran my one and only Google PPC campaign (a profitable one), I really didn’t enjoy writing Google pay-per-click ads. I hated counting the letters in the ads to meet Google’s criteria.Ad line #1: 25 characters.Ad line #2: 35 characters.Ad line #3: 35 characters.I wrote the ads on scraps of paper when I had creative flashes. Naturally I lost some of the slips of paper and started using ... > Read more

November 23, 2011     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 8

This is the eighth in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 5AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 6AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 7This week’s AdWords expert interview is with Antonia Matthews, Online... > Read more

November 22, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Automatic Placement Report: How to Report on Automatic Placements in the AdWords Dimensions Tab

This is the latest post in an ongoing series on AdWords reporting in the AdWords dimensions tab. In previous installments of the series we’ve covered:Google AdWords Dayparting – The AdWords Dimensions Time Tab ReportGoogle AdWords Conversion Reporting via the Dimensions TabGoogle AdWords Destination URL ReportGoogle AdWords Demographic ReportingGoogle AdWords Geographic ReportGoogle AdWords Search Term ReportAnd in this, the seventh post in the series, we’ll be focusing on the automatic placement report in the AdWords dimensions tab:What Is the Automatic Placement Report and Why Is It Important?The placement report is similar to the search query report in that placements are the targeting lever you use on the content network to determine where your ads will show.

This report is also ... > Read more

November 21, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

What Do Adult Sexual Services Have to Do with AdWords?

A couple of days ago our fearless head of marketing, Laura, noticed an odd result in the Google SERPs – the sponsored results for the query “adwords services” were pretty run of the mill, but the first organic result was a bit shocking:I tried the same search on my own machine and got the same result.

What the hell?At first when you see “Adult sexual services” you think someone has successfully spammed the results with white text on a white background or some such old-school black-hattery. But this result is from the official AdWords domain! The page is from the Legal section of the AdWords Policy Center (“Requirements for advertising with Google AdWords”). “Adult sexual services” is from a list of “Restricted Products and Services” that also includes abortion, endang... > Read more

November 18, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

The AdWords Search Query Report: How to Get the Most Out of the Search Term Report

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been walking through the Google AdWords dimensions tab with a series of posts highlighting each of the reports you can find within the still relatively new AdWords dimensions reporting suite. The first five posts in the series covered:Google AdWords Dayparting – The AdWords Dimensions Time Tab ReportGoogle AdWords Conversion Reporting via the Dimensions TabGoogle AdWords Destination URL ReportGoogle AdWords Demographic ReportingGoogle AdWords Geographic ReportIn this installment, we’ll be focusing on the search terms report in the dimensions tab:What Is the Search Terms Report? Why Is It Important?The search terms report is similar to the search query reports you used to find in the AdWords reporting center in the old Google AdWords interface.

Sear... > Read more

November 17, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Win of the Week: Keywords vs. Mental Imagery, Science vs. Emotion

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you're a middle-aged man or woman who's interested in sharpening your memory and increasing your brain power. You go to Google and type in "brain games." Which ad do you click on?PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2Of course, the ad YOU click on may not be the same ad the majority of people click on.

So perhaps a better question is: Which ad do you think would generate almost twice as many clicks?And THAT is not an easy question to answer. On the one hand, you've got a matter-of-fact keyword-rich ad. On the other, you've got an ad using mental imagery and emotion. Two distinctly different approaches.Alright, made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "Cult Classic," and it increased CTR by 95%. Where the original ad was get... > Read more

November 17, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

How Does the AdWords Auction Work? [Infographic]

If you work in the search marketing industry, you may have found yourself having a conversation somewhat like this one (the same conversation I have every time I tell a "regular person" what I do):Regular Person: So, what do you do?Me: I work as a writer for a software startup.Regular Person: What kind of software?Me: Um, search marketing software?Regular Person: So .

.. like Google?Me: Well, yeah, sort of. We make software that helps people advertise on Google.If this regular person is curious enough to know more (rare), I usually find it helpful to explain that Google advertising functions similarly to an auction. In the off chance that they tell me advertising on Google does not work, I tell them that our whole company exists because it does work.How Does Google AdWords Work?Since there ... > Read more

November 16, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 33

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 7

This is the seventh in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 5AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 6This week’s interview is with Danny Wood of Canada’s Web Shop, an online marketing company that offers pay-per-click advertising... > Read more

November 15, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Our Top SEO Link Building Posts of All Time!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from looking at our analytics over the years since we launched this blog, it’s that People. Love. Link building. Articles about link building consistently drive the most traffic over time. Why? It’s not the only thing that matters for SEO – you also need great title tags, strong information architecture, etc.

, etc. Those posts do pretty well too, but there’s not as much to say about them.My theory is that link building is more like a game, and I bet a lot of SEOs grew up as gamers. SEO link building isn’t just a matter of learning a few basic best practices and applying them. There will always be new ways to score links, and getting a great link is a triumph for an SEO. It’s like a new top score on Donkey Kong.Are you the King of Kong?Since... > Read more

November 14, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 22

It's Friday: Nothin' But Roundup

 This weird owl turned up when I searched Flickr for "Friday." Let's just go with it.Google and Other Forms of Corporate EvilEric Schmidt Is Right: Google’s Glory Days Are Numbered – At TechCrunch, Dan Kaplan quotes from Eric Schmidt’s letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights (“History shows that popular technology is often supplanted by entirely new models”) and explains why Google is headed for a downfall.

Google Freshness Update: The Real Winners & Losers – Google recently announced a new update that delivers “fresher” results for about 35% of queries. Patrick Altolft thinks will be bad for brands, whose own properties will get pushed below random news and reviews.Google May Penalize Your Site for Having Too Man... > Read more

November 11, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

Microsoft adCenter Platform Conforms to AdWords ‘Industry Standard’

If you are managing PPC campaigns in both Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter, then allow me to be the bearer of some good news. The good folks over at Microsoft are finally making changes to the adCenter platform to make it more familiar to AdWords users.In fact, as this Media Post article describes, Microsoft has conceded that because Google owns the majority of the market share it has become the unofficial industry standard.

While this may be a tough pill for Microsoft to swallow, it’s good news for advertisers who are constantly struggling to save time while optimizing campaigns on both networks.Let’s take a look at some of the things that are changing in adCenter – changes that will make it easier to navigate for people who are currently advertising on Google AdWords:Easier ac... > Read more

November 10, 2011     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Businesses Can Now Create Google+ Pages

 Monday, Google+ finally opened its doors to businesses with Google+ Pages.That’s right, businesses now have the option of creating a brand page on Google+. You aren’t limited to one page either—if you have several popular products, you might want to consider making different pages for your business, products, and even events.

Google+ also lets you choose from a few different types of pages that break down into many sub-categories. For example, putting yourself in the “local business” category gives you the option of listing an address and phone number. What You Can Do With Your Google+ PageThere’s a lot you can do on your Google+ page. There’s the obvious, such as uploading and sharing photos, videos, links, and viewing all your +1s. But there’s plenty more you ca... > Read more

November 09, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 5

Win of the Week: Are You Accidentally Targeting the Wrong Person?

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you are a business owner who is looking for signs that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You know you've got to buy ADA signs to comply with the law. You're not deciding whether or not to get these signs – only who to buy them from.With that in mind, which ad would you click on? Which one would be more likely to earn your business? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 This is not an easy contest to call.

The ad that lost was the control ad for months. It beat quite a few challenger ads. Even though it lost badly in this contest, it's a REALLY good ad.Surprisingly, there is no difference in the title or URL. The only differences are in the body copy of the ad. It's unusual to see such a large difference in CTR between ads that have th... > Read more

November 09, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Small Business Saturday 2011: Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of November 26th

 Now that Halloween is past us, it’s time to look forward to the holidays. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and retailers know that there’s more to this holiday than turkeys, football, and disagreeable in-laws.Black Friday and Cyber Monday are holy days for major businesses and online retailers, but small businesses often get left in the dust.

Well, small businesses, don’t despair—you have a day of your very own! Smack between Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Small Business Saturday on November 26.This week is starting to get crowded.Small Business Saturday began in 2010, and despite being a holiday created and promoted by American Express, there is some real social media momentum with this, and you’ll be smart to grab on to some of the trajectory.Why Supporting Lo... > Read more

November 09, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 0

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 6

This is the sixth in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 5This week’s interview is with Jason White.

Jason is the Marketing Director for Stadri Emblems, a company that designs and produces custom embroidered patches. Like other millennial marketers, he... > Read more

November 08, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Google AdWords Geographic Performance Report: How to Report on AdWords Geographic Targeting

This is the fifth post in our series on Google AdWords reporting within the AdWords dimensions tab. In the previous installments, we’ve covered:Google AdWords Dayparting – The AdWords Dimensions Time Tab ReportGoogle AdWords Conversion Reporting via the Dimensions TabGoogle AdWords Destination URL ReportGoogle AdWords Demographic ReportingThe focus of this post will be the AdWords geographic reporting options available in the AdWords dimensions tab (also available in WordStream for PPC!):What Is AdWords Geographic Reporting & Targeting?The geographic reporting available in the AdWords dimensions tab offers you a look at how your campaigns are performing in different geographic regions:As with any of the reports in the dimensions tab, you can look at different data points by customi... > Read more

November 07, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Occupy Google Analytics? An Update on "(Not Provided)"

Two weeks ago, I blogged about Google’s announcement that it would stop providing keyword referral information for a portion of organic searches. At the time, people were kicking around numbers between 1 and 7% – Google claimed this wouldn’t have a big effect on marketers, and some people thought it was no big deal.

(For example, both Frank Reed and Alan Bleiweiss called SEOs “myopic” for overreacting to the news.)However, in just two weeks’ time, the situation has gotten worse, just as many of us feared. Rachael Gerson at SEER Interactive has “proof that Google’s secure search now affects more users”:Comparing yesterday (10/31) to the previous Monday, 27 of the sites had over 100% increase in ”(not provided)” traffic. We looked at the data in a second way, ... > Read more

November 04, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 3

Google Now Shows Ads at Bottom of SERPs

Yesterday Google announced a new ad placement, with ads now being displayed at the bottom of SERPs. This additional ad spot comes along with a number of other updates Google has been making as it cleans up Gmail and Google Reader (with mixed feedback), adds Dynamic Search Ads, and starts hiding some organic search query data, to name a few changes.

Google is pushing the PPC big time. Google notes that in testing, this new bottom placement performed better with CTR than side ads. Google attributes this to the fact that users tend to scan a page from top to bottom, with the news ads fitting better into the user’s “flow.” You can compare the performance of ads in top positions vs. other positions with the “Top vs. Side” segment, which will be appropriately re-named “Top vs. Other... > Read more

November 03, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 2

Google AdWords Demographic Reporting via the Dimensions Tab

This is the fourth installment in our guide to reporting via the Google AdWords dimensions tab. In the first three posts we covered:Google AdWords Dayparting – The AdWords Dimensions Time Tab ReportGoogle AdWords Conversion Reporting via the Dimensions TabGoogle AdWords Destination URL Report The focus of this post is AdWords demographic reporting functionality within the dimensions tab.

What Is AdWords Demographic Reporting?Demographic reporting in AdWords allows you to look at the demographics of the prospects you’re targeting on certain sites. One of the powerful things about Facebook advertising is that you’re able to build a demographic profile to target your ads to; AdWords offers similar insights into who your ads are being served to for certain sites that have this type o... > Read more

November 03, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Webinar Tomorrow! Things You Can Do NOW to Improve Your Paid Search

We're doing a joint webinar tomorrow with Search Marketing Now. Here are the details:WHAT: Things You Can Do NOW to Improve Your Paid SearchWHEN: Thursday, November 3, 2011 – 1 PM EDT (10 AM PDT)WHO: Alex Cohen, Director of Marketing, H. Bloom, and Larry Kim, Founder and CTO, WordStreamWHY: Every PPC campaign needs a regular checkup.

In this webcast, we’ll take a look at things you can do to evaluate, fine-tune and improve your paid search.Alex Cohen will cover things you can do immediately to audit your account to find hidden waste and to improve your ROI. Larry Kim from WordStream will discuss steps you can take to create and maintain a healthy PPC program while investing just 20 minutes per week.Attend this webcast and learn:How to find and eliminate wasted spendHow to identify and ... > Read more

November 02, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: Strong Offer + Verb = 89% Increase in CTR?

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking for CRM software ("CRM" stands for "Customer Relationship Management"), which ad would you click on? Which one jumps out to you? (If you've been following the Win of the Week column for very long, I'm willing to bet you can pick the winner.) PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 There is no difference in the URL.

The only differences are in the title and body copy of the ad. Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one. It was written by BoostCTR writer "kbc5019," and it increased CTR by 89%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.89 clicks.Why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...1. The phrase "On-Demand" in the original ad seems unnecessary. The question I ask myself is this: Isn't all software available to... > Read more

November 02, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 5

This is the fifth in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4This week’s AdWords expert interview is with Glendon Llewellyn Lloyd, the e-commerce director at Tszuji, an online home storage store specializing in shoe storage and clothes storage solutions for the home.

Glendon manages Tszuji's SEO and SEM, ensuring th... > Read more

November 01, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1
 
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