April 2012 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog

WordStream's Best of the Month: April's Greatest Hits

 Hello from New Mexico!I’m on vacation today, probably somewhere between Taos and Santa Fe at the moment. Technically, I’m speaking to you from the past. I’m like light from a dead star. How’s your Monday going? Probably not as relaxing as mine.Why not take a break from the Mondays and catch up on our blog’s most popular posts of the month?RIP Exact Match & Phrase Match: Google AdWords Announces Big Changes to Keyword Match Type Options – Exact match, now less exact! Larry reviews Google’s recent decision to change the way the phrase and “exact” match type options work.

10 SEO Reasons to Add Facebook to Your Content Strategy – This guest post from our friends at gShift Labs explains why Facebook matters for SEO.Earth Day 2012: Memes Are Destroying the Planet! ... > Read more

April 30, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

It's My 3-Year Anniversary at WordStream: Look How Far We've Come!

My first day at WordStream was three years ago today. A lot has changed since I started this job. For example, this is how our PPC software looked in 2009:Check out the column headings in that “Keyword Group Segmenter”:“%v”!“%k”!“!”!I’d tell you what they mean, but I don’t remember I don’t think I knew what they meant in the first place.

o_OLuckily, at some point we figured out that prospects and customers wouldn’t understand that stuff either. We have completely overhauled our UI in the past year or so, and here’s what the software looks like now:Much, much better, right? It helps that we have a (stellar) user experience designer on our team! When I started, the design of the product was up to our engineers. We wouldn’t be here without our great engineers (some... > Read more

April 27, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 19

Announcing the WordStream Internet Marketing 150: The Top Internet Marketing Software/SaaS Providers 2012

The Internet marketing industry is a vast sea of companies of different types and sizes, operating in areas from email marketing to crowdsourcing to SEO.It’s virtually impossible to operate a business in 2012 without engaging in Internet marketing, and it’s very easy to get lost in this sea of providers.

So we’ve created a map to guide you on your journey through the Internet marketing landscape.The WordStream Internet Marketing 150 compiles the top software and SaaS providers currently doing business in 10 major business categories, including content marketing and blogging, conversion rate optimization, crowdsourcing, email marketing, marketing automation, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, search engine optimization, social media management, video hosting and management, and web analyt... > Read more

April 25, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Infographics   |   Comments: 22

Should You Raise Bids on Keywords with High Quality Scores?

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

April 24, 2012     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Quick Guide to Google AdWords Traffic Estimator: How to Estimate Traffic With Google

This is the fifth post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. Previous posts have focused on:The Google AdWords change history toolThe AdWords conversion tabGoogle Analytics Reporting within the AdWords InterfaceGoogle Website OptimizerThe Google AdWords Keyword ToolIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords Traffic Estimator.

What is the AdWords Traffic Estimator?Not unlike the Google keyword tool, the AdWords Traffic Estimator is a tool designed by Google to give advertisers keyword traffic data on specific keywords before they create an AdWords campaign. Unlike the Google tool, the traffic estimator is giving more specific data points focused around not only expected traffic, but a... > Read more

April 23, 2012     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

What Is Negative SEO? The Rise of Competitive Google Bombing

Negative SEO – have you heard this term before? To be perfectly frank, it’s new to me as of this week. “Google bombing” has been around for years, a kind of hack using links and anchor text to manipulate the search results as a prank – the famous example being a biography of George W. Bush returned as the first result for the query “miserable failure.

”But negative SEO is a slightly different animal. It’s the practice of trying to destroy your competitors’ rankings in the SERPs – for example by purchasing large amounts of spammy links to the site, damaging their link profile. (You may recall that some people suspected JCPenney was the victim of just such a scam.)Is this possible? Are nefarious SEO tricksters pulling it off? Yes, according to a case study featured in the ... > Read more

April 20, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 16

Earth Day 2012 Infographic: Memes Are Destroying the Planet!

This Sunday is Earth Day 2012, when us earthlings devote the entire day to planting trees and recycling plastic water bottles in retribution for the havoc we’ve been inflicting on the planet for centuries.(Almost) everyone knows how pollution has affected the Earth and the disastrous consequences of relying too heavily on fossil fuels rather than migrating to renewable, alternative energy sources (I’m looking at you big oil).

You probably already know that it’s important to buy local rather than encourage supermarkets to ship exotic out-of-season fruits across the country in refrigerated units, resulting in huge carbon emissions. Maybe you even ride your bike across town to get to work, recycle every slice of unwanted paper, unplug all electrical units at night, and scoff at factory f... > Read more

April 19, 2012     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 5

How to Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool in Your PPC Campaigns

This is the fifth post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. Previous posts have focused on:The change history toolThe AdWords conversion tabGoogle Analytics Reporting within the AdWords InterfaceGoogle Website OptimizerIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google Keyword Tool within your AdWords campaigns.

What Is the Google Keyword Tool?Google’s keyword tool is designed to give advertisers information about which keywords they can add to their campaigns. The Google Keyword Tool has some important advantages and disadvantages to understand before acting on the data.ProsIt Leverages Google’s Own Data – One of the big advantages to using Google’s keyword tool is you have access to Googl... > Read more

April 19, 2012     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 6

RIP Exact Match & Phrase Match: Google AdWords Announces Big Changes to Keyword Match Type Options

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

April 18, 2012     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 18

AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 15

This is the latest 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 8AdWords E... > Read more

April 17, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Google Website Optimizer: How to Use the Website Optimizer Tool in AdWords

This is the fourth post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. Previous posts have focused on:The Google AdWords change history toolThe AdWords conversion tabGoogle Analytics Reporting within the AdWords InterfaceAnd in this post we’ll be walking through how to leverage Google Website Optimizer within your AdWords account.

How You Can Use Website Optimizer within Your AdWords AccountWebsite Optimizer allows you to set up split tests and multivariate tests to measure the impact of different landing page designs within your AdWords campaigns. Implementing Website Optimizer requires adding some code to the pages you’re including in your test.The first (and most important) step in making use of the tool is, of cours... > Read more

April 16, 2012     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Split Testing Ideas for PPC Advertising [Infographic]

We're often on about the importance of AB testing multiple versions of your ads as a means of seeing what messaging really works with your audience and thereby maximizing your clicks and conversions. It's one thing to acknowledge the importance of testing, but it's another to implement that strategy if you're not sure what to test.

The folks at AdChop have put together an infographic with a bunch of ideas for things to test in your ads, including text ads and image ads (these principles also apply to landing pages, your home page and anywhere else you're looking to drive conversions and engagement). Check it out!AdChop – More Profitable Ad Campaigns... > Read more

April 13, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion … But Why?

Last week, waaay at the bottom of my post on the ethics of search, I included a couple of links to articles about Instagram culture. The photo-sharing app had just been made available on Android OS, which had a lot of Android users cheering and a lot of iPhone users jeering (as in, “Hey, WTF? Our exclusive little club just got a lot less exclusive…”)That was pretty minor news compared to what happened to Instagram this week, though – it was purchased by Facebook for a whopping, unbelievable $1 Billion!Instagram, both the company and the app, are very simple – beautifully simple, I’m sure some would say.

They have a handful of employees and the app “does one thing well” – take a photo with your phone, add some fun filters to make it look cute and retro (like a Polaroid, sa... > Read more

April 12, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 9

AdWords Webinar - The 20 Minute PPC Work Week!

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

April 11, 2012     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Attention to Detail Pays Off

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking to buy a mini HDMI cable, which ad do you think you'd click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 These ads are nearly identical, which makes it a bit harder to spot the winner. But in this case, the small details make a big difference.Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one.

It was written by BoostCTR writer "jblankley," and it increased CTR by 84%. Where the original ad was producing 1 click, the new ad is producing 1.84 clicks.So why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad is already a strong ad. While they want to increase clicks on their ad, they also want only qualified visitors. This is why they've put "Buy" in the title copy and included the price in the ad.Claude Hopkins once observed that a... > Read more

April 11, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 1

How Do Google Alerts Work? Why Are They Not Working?

Are your Google Alerts not working? Maybe you've set it up wrong. But before we walk you through how to correctly set up a Google Alert for yourself, let's revisit how does Google Alerts work.Google Alerts are a way to monitor the search results for a given query. In theory, setting up a Google Alert is a great time-saver, because you get an email from Google whenever your specified query shows up on the web.

These web alerts are useful for a number of reasons:Brand monitoring – Keep track of mentions of your brand and products.Reputation management – Respond in a timely fashion to negative mentions and reviews.Link building – Push social traffic to positive reviews of your brand, or ask webmasters to turn citations into links.Journalism/Blogging – Follow media coverage of a topic ... > Read more

April 10, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 45

7 Simple Things You Might Be Overlooking in Your AdWords Account

In recent months we’ve put together a series of posts to help provide small to mid-sized AdWords advertisers with easy-to-implement, impactful tweaks they can make to their campaigns, even if they have limited experience managing accounts and limited time to make these updates. These include:Google AdWords Quick Wins Volume 1Google AdWords Quick Wins Volume 2The Overworked Advertiser’s Guide to AdWords Bid ManagementThe Overworked Advertiser’s Guide to Google AdWords Bid Management: Volume 2Google AdWords Basics: 5 Things to Get Right FirstIn this post we’ll offer seven quick, simple things to keep in mind in optimizing your accounts.

These are common mistakes that new and smaller AdWords advertisers frequently overlook that can help transform underperforming AdWords accounts.1. Ma... > Read more

April 09, 2012     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Ethics of Search: The White Lies, Gray Zones, and Black Hats of SEO

 Two weeks ago, I wrote about Google’s warnings that it is planning to issue an “over-optimization penalty,” AKA the OOPS penalty. Similar to the Panda update, an algorithm change intended to punish spammy sites with “thin content,” the so-called OOPS penalty is supposed to prevent sites that are over-optimized from ranking.

But where is the line between regular optimization and over-optimization? Nobody really knows. Google’s own answers have been vague at best – some of the techniques they’re now calling spammy, they advocated themselves in the past.Good Cop, Bad CopWhen Google seems to be criminalizing SEO, it’s not surprising that the search community has ethics on the brain. Last week, Joe Hall wrote a post that declared “SEO outing is immoral.” “SEO outin... > Read more

April 06, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4

Quick Guide to Google Analytics Reporting in Google AdWords

This is the third post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. The first post focused on the Google AdWords change history tool, in the second post we walked through the AdWords conversion tab, and in this post we’ll be looking at Google Analytics reporting within the AdWords interface:Using Google Analytics Within the AdWords InterfaceWhile Google AdWords has some robust reporting features, you can gain some additional insights by leveraging Google Analytics reporting within the AdWords interface.

There are a few main areas where you can get access to information within the analytics that you can’t get within AdWords analytics alone. Before you start, make sure your AdWords is linked to Analytics.Engagemen... > Read more

April 05, 2012     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Top 10 Google Update Codenames

Yesterday Google announced another big round of “search quality highlights,” i.e., changes to the algorithm that serves up your search results. These lists – which Google has been publishing on the Inside Search blog since December 2011, supposedly in an effort to “push the envelope when it comes to transparency” – have just gotten more unwieldy and impenetrable over the last several months.

The first list included 10 “algorithmic and visible feature changes.” Yesterday’s announcement listed 50 changes.That’s too many updates for this little soldier, and I tweeted so:Apparently I’m not the only one who finds these lists semi-unreadable:According to Google, “we make roughly 500 improvements in a given year,” and it would seem that almost all of them have a cutesy c... > Read more

April 04, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

10 SEO Reasons to Add Facebook to Your Content Strategy

Over a year ago now, both Google and Bing announced that they factor social signals from social media into their organic search algorithms. As the lines between social media and search engine optimization continue to thin, social media will gain importance for SEO. As Google described it, social media is about relationships and relationships prove relevance.

Relevance is at the core of organic search.It’s well known that Facebook has 845 million active users and 50% log in daily. These numbers are astounding! I guarantee you that your customers and prospects are included in those numbers. They are on Facebook and they’re likely trying to engage with your brand.If you don’t yet have a Facebook Page for your organization, you really ought to consider optimizing your content marketing s... > Read more

April 03, 2012     |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 12

Google AdWords Conversions Tab: AdWords Conversion Tracking & Reporting

This is the second post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. The first post focused on the Google AdWords change history tool, and in this post we’ll be walking through the AdWords conversion tab.What Can You Do in the AdWords Conversions Tab?Within the conversions tab you can perform a number of tasks:Google AdWords Reporting – This isn’t really the most robust place for conversion reporting, as you can get better information either in the main campaign tab or in the AdWords conversion report within the dimensions tab, but you can get a quick look at the number of multi-click conversions within AdWords from this view.

You can drill down to the Web page level as well to see which website conversions are rep... > Read more

April 02, 2012     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0
 
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