April 2013 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog
Guess what happened this weekend? My four-year hiring anniversary quietly passed. Yes, it’s true, as of April 27, I’ve been working at WordStream for four years. I know, right?! Happy anniversary to me.Nobody baked me a cake, so I had to draw one. (Don't feel bad, I'm actually allergic to cake. Wine's A-OK though.
#sendwine)Who else has been at WordStream four years or longer? Just three people:Larry Kim, of course! (Employee #1)Then Peter Swanston (hired on 10/23/2008) and Phil Stefou (2/24/2009) in engineering.This photo of Peter is from an event we had back in 2009! We made a Mexican feast with help from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. We also had beer, that's why he looks so happy.And here’s Phil at our recent winter event with ex-WordStreamer Cathleen Ellis. (If Cathleen ... > Read more
AdWords has just rolled out AdWords Keyword Planner, a new tool that combines two of the most popular existing AdWords tools, the Google Keyword Tool and the AdWords Traffic Estimator, and adds to it a wizard-like integrated workflow to guide users through the process of finding keywords for creating new Ad Groups and/or Campaigns.
I’m guessing that at some point in the future, the AdWords Keyword Planner may replace the Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator – tools which have been in service for over 10 years and are widely used for both PPC and SEO. So if you’ve used either tool in the past, take note here – your process is probably about to change!Getting Started With AdWords Keyword PlannerThe AdWords Keyword Planner supports three key use cases:Search for keyword an... > Read more
Measuring the success of various campaigns is a core aspect of a marketer’s job. It’s essential to see how your marketing efforts are contributing to the business’s bottom line. Yet according to Social Media Today, 70% of online businesses that utilize social media don’t bother to measure ROI.
It’s pretty shocking to discover that the majority of online businesses are conducting their social media marketing completely in the dark, with no clues as to how social media contributes to the success of their businesses. To be fair, it’s not entirely their fault – social media ROI is a difficult beast to tame, the bane of marketers around the world.Why is Measuring Social Media ROI Difficult?Some say that measuring the ROI of social media simply can’t be done! Like traditional bill... > Read more
What big brands are able to do with their enormous marketing budgets is inspiring – though sometimes it mostly inspires jealousy. The typical small business can’t sponsor the Olympics or get an ad spot during the Super Bowl. You have to tinker around with more accessible campaigns that cost less but typically have smaller reach as well.
PPC is an example of an incredibly accessible marketing channel – it’s being exploited by tiny one-man shops and huge multinational corporations alike. But how much better is a big-brand PPC ad than an SMB ad – if at all? Is it like comparing the latest Pepsi commercial to what your local furniture store puts together?Let’s look at five big-brand AdWords ads and see what they do well and what they could do better.(More: Dear eBay, Your Ads Don't ... > Read more
In the past, Erin covered how celebrity-related keywords can screw up your traffic: Help, My Search Query Report Has Bieber Fever! Now I would like to talk about new queries which can appear instantly because of new viral content and interfere with your existing PPC campaigns.Last year, a Denham Springs woman set up a “middle finger” made of Christmas lights on her roof to upset neighbors.
(NSFW?!) Of course the media attention as well as the offensive Christmas lights disappointed some residents in Denham Springs, but companies who sell Christmas lights and run PPC campaigns on Google and Bing were furious about unrelated queries popping up during the busiest time of the year.Those advertisers who worked hard on their negative keywords weren’t able to predict a query like “middle ... > Read more
On the Q1 2013 earnings call last week, Larry Page spent a lot of his time taking about the future – a future that will not be social, as Page might have had us believe in the past. He didn’t mention Google+ once on the call, and social media only came up insofar as YouTube is social. That’s a switch!So what does define the future of Google? The unifying theme just might be laziness.
Almost every Google venture that Page spent time talking about is designed to cater to our increasing laziness and impatience as a society.The web used to be a playground for tech nerds, but now it's for everybody, including people who know nothing about technology. As tech gets easier and more accessible, 5% of people mourn the loss of the control, but the rest of us lazy bums love it.Talking Is Easier ... > Read more
Last week was a tragic week. And Friday was an exciting day, in that it's not every day that the entire city gets shut down and there's a massive manhunt going on in your own backyard!On Friday morning the FBI found out that the bombers lived on Norfolk street in Cambridge, which is just 3 blocks from my place, so I walked outside and snapped a few pictures.
Here's what it looked like:These bad-ass FBI agents were planning a "controlled explosion." I counted over 50 agents.There were about 20 news trucks parked outside, pretty much every news network!Cambridge Police and the FBI asked residents to evacuate and closed off the street.Bomb sniffing dogs checking out the getaway-car.I usually watch the runners at the finish line on Boylston Street but this year I was stuck at Beth Israel... > Read more
During Google’s first quarter earnings call for 2013, Patrick Pichette – Google’s Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer – seemed to reveal the real reason behind Google Fiber, Google’s attempt to provide connection speeds “100 times faster than today’s broadband.”Google Fiber, currently active in Kansas City and coming soon to Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas, is a newer venture outside of Google’s core product stack, and the kind of “speculative product” that Larry Page said is vital to growing and surviving as a technology company.
“Companies tend to get comfortable doing what they’ve always done,” Page said on the call, but “incremental improvements are guaranteed to be obsolete over time, especially in technology.” This is why they’ve taken leaps into ne... > Read more
Guess what WordStream readers?Our own Larry Kim is scheduled to speak at the upcoming 2013 Interactivity Digital Conference in South Beach, Florida! Larry’s session, “Reeling Customers in with Remarketing,” will cover the advantages of remarketing and top techniques for conducting a stellar remarking campaign.
(Check out the full agenda here.)The Interactivity Digital Conference 2013 runs through May 15 & 16, hosted at The James Royal Palm luxury hotel in downtown South Beach, Florida. The conference features 14 sessions with over 25 industry-leading speakers covering a range of marketing topics, such as SEO, analytics, PPC, email marketing, social media, and more.Tickets are on sale now, and for a limited time, WordStream readers get a special discount – just use Discount Code... > Read more
Creating Quality PPC Landing PagesYou can have an SEM account with hundreds of thousands of keywords that each have fantastic click-through rates (CTR) but without quality landing pages, you will never fully optimize your CPA and never reach your true money-making potential.Landing Page Layout via UnbounceI have put together some guidelines to help you create the best PPC landing pages for your AdWords account.
1. Establish your goals.The first step in creating quality landing pages is to establish your marketing goals to decide what you are trying to accomplish. Do you want sales, form fills, mailing list registrations, sign ups, etc.?Once you have established what you are trying to accomplish with your campaigns and ad-groups, do some competitive research. Check out your competitors’ la... > Read more
Facebook continues to be the reigning champ of social media sites, as the #1 spot where friends connect and share online. More than just a meeting place for friends, Facebook has grown into a venue for businesses to market themselves through interaction with customers and self-promotion.In this post we will be looking at seven ways you can use Facebook for marketing.
Whether you’re a big corporation or a small local biz, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool – it’s a great space to keep customers informed, develop brand identity, and broaden your reach.1. Making the Most of Your Facebook Business PageA Facebook page is a great free marketing tool for businesses. These pages let businesses identify themselves – not just through listing product offerings and services, but also by shar... > Read more
Earlier this week Google announced some upcoming changes to Enhanced Campaigns. Soon, advertisers will be able to set mobile bid adjustments at the ad group level:To provide more control and precision over bids in an enhanced campaign, advertisers will soon be able to set a mobile bid adjustment at the ad group level.
This functionality will be available to all advertisers in mid-May. We think this may be useful if you’ve been operating large scale campaigns and found that your optimal bids for some keywords would require significantly different mobile bid adjustments within an enhanced campaign.When Google originally announced the shift to Enhanced Campaigns, mobile bid adjustments were only available at the campaign level, a detail that AdWords power users were especially unhappy about... > Read more
Over 10 years ago I fell in love with PPC because it was the most measurable and optimizable marketing channel.If a keyword wasn’t working out, no problem! I could change the ad, or optimize the bids, or chose entirely different keywords. I could measure and optimize anything and everything, which enabled me to create very sophisticated and profitable paid search campaigns.
Yet as PPC has become more and powerful and thus more optimizable, sadly, the average AdWords account manager is optimizing less stuff in their account – to the point where I believe that today, most AdWords accounts are dying of neglect.Very low PPC account optimization activity means that many advertisers are missing out on what I believe to be the best part of PPC. Should you be concerned?Exhibit A: Self-Reported ... > Read more
#1 Is the Best Ad Position! … Or Is It?A common assumption about paid search is that position #1 is the ultimate goal. Advertisers clamber over each other to ensure their ads make it into the top position, because they think that’s what’s necessary to be successful for their campaigns.However, I’d like to go on the record and make a bold statement: Position #1 isn’t always going to be the best ad position for your business.
Yes, while position #1 certainly can’t hurt from an impression/visibility standpoint, it might not be the optimal position from a conversion/ROI standpoint. Google’s bid auction ensures that the higher you bid, the more likely you are to appear in a higher position. (Notice I said more likely, not guaranteed – the Quality Score system offers discounts fo... > Read more
Google’s Enhanced Campaigns are here, and with them came new bid adjustments. While they may seem straightforward at first, bid adjustments can get a bit tricky when they are applied together. For example let’s say you have three bid adjustments set at -60%, +20%, +30%. Google combines those to reach an overall adjustment of -38%.
What’s the math behind how Google comes up with that final adjustment? Is it a miracle?Google does provide a calculator that allows you to select your adjustments from a drop-down menu to see how they are applied together, as shown below (click the image to enlarge):But being a PPC nerd, I wanted to understand the math myself. Let’s break it down.One Bid AdjustmentWhen one bid adjustment is set, that’s the amount the bid will be adjusted when the condit... > Read more
In a bid to capitalize on widespread discontent and outrage in the SEM community over Google AdWords enhanced campaigns, Bing today reiterated their view that EC’s are essentially a bad move and indicated that they will not be following Google’s lead as far as their product development efforts are concerned.
Bing Champions “Advertiser Choice,” Implies that Google Doesn’t CareWhile Bing’s announcement itself is pretty straightforward, they used a 1200-word blog post to indict Google of not providing “advertiser choice.”The blog post enumerates a litany of complaints that have been leveled against Google in recent months, including the notion that:Bundling of tablet and desktop advertising as a single target is worrisome given that there is research that shows tablets convert ... > Read more
There’s a brilliant Twitter feed called @AvoidComments whose sole purpose is to remind us not to read comments on the Internet:This is excellent advice when it comes to newsy sites like Salon, which seems to be where repressed rage goes to die seethe indefinitely. And even Justin Bieber knows not to read the comments on YouTube: “I don't read YouTube comments because those can get you sad.
”Seriously though. I have a love-hate relationship with comment streams. The quality can vary so widely and it usually depends on what kind of atmosphere and community the blog owners cultivate. I love sites with upvoting systems that allow the best comments to rise to the top and which encourage regular commenting and conversation – see SEOmoz, Reddit, and XOJane, where I’ve lost hours of my li... > Read more
As new digital ad formats surface in the industry, advertisers must adapt to the trends and evaluate new media channels to work into their budgets. The biggest issue with this is, what if there is no increase in budget quarter over quarter, year over year? Is there a way to still capture profitable traffic without breaking the bank?Mobile ads already have a handful of ad formats that can be tested out, but can they be optimized? How will mobile search ads perform over mobile display ads? Mobile in-app ad inventory is widely available, but will they work for your audience? How will an offer wall perform compared to an in-app banner ad?With so many mobile ad options to choose from, this blog post will focus on which mobile ad formats are best used for limited ad budgets.
All ad campaigns, in... > Read more
Google’s new dynamic remarketing feature – currently in beta – is hands down the best release from Google I’ve seen in a long time. As far as I’m concerned, this will be a MUST DO for all e-commerce websites that are advertising with Google.I’ve recently had the opportunity to try out the new dynamic remarketing ads, and in this post, I’ll explain how they work, why they’re better than traditional remarketing, and why you should care.
Google Remarketing: The Old WayFor any e-commerce website, it is becoming more and more important to have a Google Merchant Account set up. Merchant accounts are becoming extremely valuable within AdWords, as they feed your PLAs (Product Listing Ads), Product Extensions, and now your remarketing efforts. As most of you know, remarketing is impo... > Read more