May 2012 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog
It’s three weeks or so till the summer solstice, but everyone knows Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. It’s time to put on your white jeans and accidentally squirt ketchup on them when preparing to eat a hot dog.It’s also time to check out our blog’s greatest hits from May, just in case you missed them the first time.
Your social calendar is filling up with barbecues and outdoor concerts, and it was a big month for social media in the news too. For once, the conversation revolved around Facebook, its IPO and subsequent fluctuating (dropping, mostly) stock price, and to a lesser degree Pinterest, rather than Google’s assorted machinations – not that Google didn’t put up a good fight.Here are the 10 posts that got the most eye-time this month:How Much Is ... > Read more
Branded PPC and SEO strategies pay tremendous dividends, but few companies cash in. On the PPC side, marketers often think it’s a waste of money to bid on branded keywords, to essentially pay for what they already own. On the SEO side, firms may not even realize branded strategies exist – let alone why they matter.
But branded PPC and SEO offer three benefits every company in the world loves: control, credibility and conversions. Let’s take a quick look at why branded strategies make these things happen.Gain Control with Branded PPCBy ceding the PPC turf to distributors, affiliates, generic merchandisers and competitors, brand owners suffer on two fronts:First, they don’t even compete for clicks they could probably win.Second, they open the door for a poor brand experience on ... > Read more
This is the sixth 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 ToolThe Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorThe Google AdWords Placement ToolThe Google AdWords Contextual Targeting ToolIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords ad preview and diagnostics tool.
What is the AdWords Ad Preview & Diagnostics Tool?The AdWords ad preview and diagnostics tool is a tool designed by Google to allow you to check the status of your ad and the way it’s being displayed to different searchers in ... > Read more
Last week, when we released data revealing Facebook’s shortcomings as an advertising platform, we didn’t know how timely it would be. Then GM announced it was pulling its $10 million Facebook campaign, claiming the ads weren’t working. Coming right before the IPO, the news was a shock – but we were able to step in with an explanation for GM’s move.
For example, despite its incredible reach, Facebook delivers lackluster results – the average Facebook ad has a click-through rate (CTR) of about 0.05%, which is half the average CTR for banner ads across the Internet, and just 1/10 as high as the average ad on the Google Display Network.Because our research provided some answers, it led to some great opportunities to speak about the findings in the media. In the course of a fe... > Read more
This is the sixth 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 ToolThe Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorThe Google AdWords Placement ToolIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords Contextual Targeting Tool.
What Is the Contextual Targeting Tool?In much the same way that the placement tool allows you to find websites that would be good targeting candidates for your display campaigns, the contextual targeting tool allows you to identify good groups of keywords to target within your disp... > Read more
We recently had an interesting question from a reader:Can I run an AdWords campaign for my products listed on eBay? If yes can I link it directly to eBay?The answer to this is a little bit tricky: eBay sellers are no longer able to submit products via their own merchant feed to Google product listings.
eBay sellers have to rely on the eBay product feed to have their products pushed to the Google merchant feed. The same goes for Etsy and similar marketplaces. Assuming your products are showing within the marketplace in question’s merchant account, you can submit those products via AdWords product listing ads (PLA).The way this works is that each marketplace is required by Google to have a multi-client account and create sub-accounts for sellers (more information on Google’s polici... > Read more
This is the sixth 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 ToolThe Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords Placement Tool.
What is the Google AdWords Placement Tool?The placement tool is very similar to the search-focused AdWords keyword tool with the major exception that it’s focused on helping you locate placements to target on Google’s Display Network.How to Use the Google AdWords Placement ToolTo leverage the AdWords placement tool, you ... > 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
Last week, I shared the story of a guy who convinced the Internet that Abe Lincoln invented Facebook – pretty impressive linkbait, but not exactly heart-warming. But those of you with cold hearts need not fear – I’ve got a doozy for you this week. (As Woody Allen would say, there’s nothing like hot cockles.
)This story starts with poetry. Several years ago I became acquainted with a poet named Patricia Lockwood, affectionately known as Tricia. Tricia had a blog, but she was less likely to post about poetry per se than the strange things her mother says ("There were very bad storms here all week, you know. Later on, maybe tomorrow, I'll take you out and we can go see all the devastation") or the disturbing illustrations on the covers of young adult books (see here and here).What beco... > 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
Yesterday the news broke that General Motors (GM) is pulling its Facebook campaign, to the tune of $10 million, claiming the ads don't work. As Pamela Parker at Marketing Land said, "It couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Facebook, which has its initial public offering of stock later this week.
" According to the Guardian, this move, coming "days before stock market sale" is "seen as an embarrassment by analysts."The infographic we launched yesterday comparing the value of Facebook advertising to the Google Display Network goes some way toward explaining GM's move. We found that average click-through rates on Facebook were just half the industry average for banner ads, at 0.051%. Average CTR on the Google Display Network, on the other hand, is 0.4% (almost 10 times higher!). Accord... > 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
On the heels of Google’s sunsetting of ad rotation in AdWords I had some additional questions about how, exactly, the “new ad rotation” would work, so I connected with our Google AdWords rep to get answers to my questions.Here’s what Google had to say about the change:AdWords currently offers three ad rotation settings: optimize for clicks, optimize for conversions, and rotate evenly.
Using the “rotate” setting for ad rotation is helpful for testing new creatives, but when run indefinitely can inhibit advertiser performance and deliver less relevant ads to our users.Starting next week, the “rotate” setting for ad rotation will change. Instead of rotating creatives for an indefinite period of time, this setting will only rotate for a period of 30 days. After that... > Read more
Did y’all hear about Abraham Lincoln inventing the internet (or something like that)? It was the meme of the week, an owl in a box for our time – Nate St. Pierre, a blogger and consultant, told the (long-winded) story of his recent trip to Springfield, Illinois, and how he discovered a patent application filed by Abraham Lincoln in 1845 – for a product that looks and sounds a lot like an early version of Facebook:Lincoln was requesting a patent for “The Gazette,” a system to “keep People aware of Others in the Town.
” He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing that each town build a centrally located co... > Read more
Generally speaking there are three kinds of website traffic: direct traffic, search engine traffic, and referral traffic. All are valuable and serve different purposes, but this post focuses on the third kind, referral traffic.Referral traffic is valuable in online marketing because it sends interested readers and qualified potential customers to your site from new domains.
It also provides added SEO benefits, since by definition referral traffic is driven either by an inbound link or social activity, both of which send positive signals to the search engines about your site.Need some of that sweet ol’ referral traffic? We’ve got you covered with five simple referral traffic strategies to help.Guest PostsGuest posts are a great way to build up referral traffic. Especially in light of th... > Read more
Remarketing is an interesting online advertising technique that involves tracking and displaying ads to users after they have left your site.This can be an effective way to get more conversions out of your web visitors – but if you go too far, it can also be incredibly creepy.Part of why remarketing is successful is that many people don’t really know what it is.
The average internet user is completely unaware that they are being digitally stalked across the web-a-verse.Did They Forget About You or Do They Just Not Like You?In a video advocating remarketing and explaining how it works, Google claims that remarketing is useful because people get distracted easily (what do you expect with twenty open tabs?) and when something unexpected comes up, they might leave your site and forget... > Read more
I have to assume that by now you know what Pinterest is. If you don't, I have only one question for you: How long have you been living under that giant rock? Because Pinterest is one of the fastest growing sites and trends on the web, with people going crazy over it.Where once the major addiction was Twitter and Facebook, now there are users constantly pinning images to their Pinterest board and sharing pictures with friends.
Pinterest has been announced as the #1 traffic referral for many image-friendly sites. While being an effective buzz marketing tool, it's yet that effectively tracked. Feel free to skip ahead to a tool of your interest.Pinterest Analytics Tools:Google ReaderCyfeGoogle AnalyticsPinerly1. Google ReaderMore than for just subscribing to blogs and site updates, Google Reade... > Read more
Color me not surprised at all: I get back from vacation to find that Google has announced yet another change that seems designed to increase profits in Mountain View, not improve results for advertisers.Ad Rotation Wears Out its WelcomeOn Tuesday, Google announced that the ad rotation setting will only be available for 30 days.
As Larry wrote earlier this week:Using the "rotate" setting for Ad Rotation is helpful for A/B testing of ads – especially because the automated "optimize for clicks" and "optimize for conversions" ad delivery options have a tendency to declare a winner rather early, particularly for small and medium sized advertisers … As usual, Google claims that the change is to improve the system for both advertisers and users.Once again it seems that Google is trying to enf... > Read more
Across the planet, over 300 billion emails are sent every day. That's over 2.8 million emails every second, and 90 trillion over the course of a year. No wonder the U.S. Postal Service can't keep up with the competition.And neither can we. Corporate workers send and receive an average of 225 messages per day.
If we gave each email coming through our inbox our full attention, we'd be hard-pressed to get any other work done.Most of us have adapted to the deluge with a "first cut" strategy. Before even opening an email, we glance at the sender and subject line and determine if it's worthy of our time. If it's a sender that often sends us marketing material we haven't found especially useful, it becomes instinctual to click delete before ever looking at these messages.Although our personal pro... > Read more
The potential marketing advantages of Pinterest have been well documented recently, as the fledgling social sharing site boosts traffic and sales for niche retailers like Etsy.Regardless of your personal feelings for Pinterest (huge time waster or glorious godsend?), it’s impossible to deny the marketing opportunities ripe for the picking! Read on to find out why.
Why Developing a Pinterest Marketing Plan is Worth Your TimePinterest has shown remarkable marketing potential as some sites begin to receive more referral traffic from Pinterest than social media heavyweight Twitter.Some quick Pinterest marketing statistics and facts as we get started:Pinterest is dominated by women, with 90% of users being female21% of users have purchased something they found on a PinboardThe most popular cat... > Read more