Toward a Linkless SEO: The SEO Link Is Dying. Here's What Might Replace It

Whether they saw it coming or not, and whether they believe it or not, everyone in SEO sat up and noticed when Matt Cutts declared that guest blogging is dead. We’d all like to believe that we only guest-blog to share our knowledge, but the truth is, most of us have guest-blogged and gladly taken the links that came along with it.

And the conversation has really been about links all week: Can guest-blogging survive without links? How do we get links if we don't guest-blog anymore?But aren’t we just treading water here? Guest blogging was just one tactic as part of a larger link-building strategy. Google is slowly chipping away at all our link-building tactics. Rather than replacing guest blogging with another kind of link building, maybe it’s time to think about a system that isn’t... > Read more

January 24, 2014     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 52

A User's Guide to the YouTube Keyword Tool

What is the YouTube Keyword Tool?The YouTube keyword research tool, also known as the YouTube keyword suggestion tool, is a barebones tool used to generate and discover new keywords for YouTube videos. It looks like this:How to Use the YouTube Keyword ToolThe YouTube keyword tool is pretty straightforward – simply choose your language and tailored countries, insert a keyword or phrase, and click “Get keyword ideas.

”Some of those keyword suggestions (heck, maybe a lot of them) will make no sense whatsoever. But, buried in that strange, bizarre rubble of YouTube culture, you may find some gold nuggets than can really help you out when it comes to content strategy.While these keyword results aren’t very long-tail in the literal since of having lots of words, they can certainly be cons... > Read more

January 23, 2014     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 4

All About AdChoices: What Is AdChoices? How Does it Affect Advertisers & Consumers?

A few years ago, during Thanksgiving supper, one of my relatives asked me to explain what my job entails. Before I could launch into my SEM elevator pitch, one of my aunts jumped in and said something to the effect of “She taps into people’s privacy and harasses them with ads online.” Sure, she made the comment in jest, but I think many people share this misconception.

If you work in the search marketing industry, you’ve probably had a similar experience at one point or another. So it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with the privacy issues in online advertising. This post will provide a deep dive into AdChoices, a program designed to protect internet users’ privacy and give them control over their internet usage data.Use this table of contents to skip ahead:How to... > Read more

January 22, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Search Engine Marketing   |   Comments: 0

3 Reasons Guest Blogging Isn't as Dead as Matt Cutts Says It Is

Matt Cutts just declared guest blogging dead:Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

Well, I’m convinced.Just kidding! Guest blogging may be on Google's radar, but I wouldn't close the coffin lid just yet. Here’s why.All SEO Gets Spammier. SEO Still Isn’t Dead.You could substitute almost any SEO technique into this sentence, and it would be true:Over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of keyword targeting then you’re hanging out with really bad company.Over time it’s become a more and more spammy pr... > Read more

January 20, 2014     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 47

How Your AdWords Daily Budget Works With Ad Scheduling

AKA, How to Keep Google from Turning Your $500 Budget into $600 in SpendTake a look around any Google help forum and you’ll likely see questions about how AdWords budgeting works. They usually come from advertisers who’ve run over their monthly ad budgets for lack of understanding of this topic. I have to admit, I was one of those advertisers.

I would have felt a lot of embarrassment about my past mistakes if not for the fact the Google help experts had to do some double-checking of their own on it—that’s how (intentionally?) confusing this topic is.Most, if not all, advertisers use monthly budgets. Of course, AdWords runs on daily budgets. The way you work within this environment depends on whether or not your campaign runs every day of the month.With full confidence intact, let’... > Read more

January 20, 2014     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 8

How to Get New Clients: Top 6 Tips from Successful PPC Agencies

For up-and-coming digital marketing agencies, finding new customers can be a challenge. In fact, this seems to be an ongoing struggle for many of the smaller agencies that I work with. These businesses walk a fine line when it comes to prospecting clients; not only do they need to find advertisers who want to work with them, they also need to verify that these accounts are a good fit for their PPC managers—not an easy feat!I have a soft spot for up-and-coming agencies, so I made it my mission to find the top ways that successful PPC agencies get new clients.

To develop this list, I turned to a seasoned group of experts, many of whom work for, own, or consult to SEM agencies. Participants included Aaron Levy, Andrew Lolk, Andy Groller, Anisha Dattani, Bethany Bey, David Szetela, Ginny Marv... > Read more

January 16, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 25

Live Webinar: Totally Insane Techniques Guaranteed to 3X Your CTR

This might hurt a little – apologies, but I promise it will feel better in the long run. Coming to terms with this important realization is the first step in your PPC recovery. Are you ready for it?You’re doing PPC wrong.I know that’s frustrating to hear; if you’re like most SMB marketers, you think you’re already doing everything you can to better manage your paid search campaigns.

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re following conventional wisdom and managing your account in the same way you and every one of your competitors has been for the last several years, you’re throwing money out the door.In an upcoming webinar, I’m going to show you how to break free of the mold the vast majority of PPC marketers have trapped themselves into.You’re throwing out your 1% CTR a... > Read more

January 15, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

YouTube Remarketing: Why & How to Try Remarketing with YouTube Videos

Why just market … when you can remarket?!We recently shared The Complete Guide to AdWords Remarketing Best Practices – but it wasn’t 100% complete because it didn’t cover remarketing with YouTube videos.Using YouTube videos is the next step in the evolution of remarketing. As Google continues to try and make searching (and advertising) a more visual and interactive experience, video ads are primed to fill this void.

Remarketing with YouTube videos will allow you to:Grab your potential customer’s attention and explain to them why your product is beneficial.Step outside of the 70-character limit of conventional text ads and push beyond the dull, static nature of image ads.Connect more directly with customers by explaining and demonstrating your product or service in a 30-second cli... > Read more

January 15, 2014     |   Written by: Chris Panetta   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

What Google Knows About You (& How to Use It to Your Marketing Advantage)

Yes, Google tracks what you do. Yes, Google knows a lot about you. Yes, Google reads your email. Yes, it’s 2014, and no one cares.Privacy concerns were a hot topic in 2013 (e.g. Edward Snowden), but I suspect even more information will be gathered about all of us in 2014. Oh well. Each day, we hand over more information to Facebook, Amazon, Google and any other successful online brand.

Personally, I like when Amazon recommends products I might like, when Facebook shows me updates from my closest friends, and when Google tailors their search results just for me.Clearly, there are some boundaries when it comes to personal privacy, but I think more and more we are opting in to sharing our information, rather than worrying about our information being used inappropriately. Microsoft launched ... > Read more

January 13, 2014     |   Written by: Tony Testaverde   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 5

How to Choose a PPC Advertising Network in AdWords & Bing

Choosing a Network: AdWords and BingWhen planning your AdWords and Bing advertising campaigns, you will need to identify and select the specific “networks,” or combination of networks, that your paid ads will be shown in.Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads have a couple networks to choose from, each offering its own unique marketing opportunities, advantages and disadvantages.

In this post, I’ll define each PPC advertising network that is available to you when using Google AdWords and Bing Ads.Google AdWords PPC Advertising NetworksGoogle allows you to advertise on two types of paid-advertising networks that they have labelled as the “Google Search Network” and the “Google Display Network.” As an AdWords advertiser, you have the option to run PPC campaigns in one of these networ... > Read more

January 10, 2014     |   Written by: Jeff Stevens   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

6 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Drastically Improve Your Efforts in 2014

Did you know social media is the number one daily activity among Americans, topping time spent on email and Google?According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business.Social media is BIG and only getting bigger. If you are not marketing on it, you are likely missing a large chunk of your target consumers.

As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting!... > Read more

January 09, 2014     |   Written by: Margot da Cunha   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 57

Bid Optimization: Getting Started with Bid Optimization in AdWords

Bid optimization can require quite a bit of time and attention, but it is a critical process for any successful AdWords account. In terms of how to start monitoring performance and analyzing data to manage your bids, it’s tough to know where to begin. In this post, I’ll break down the essentials of PPC bid optimization into digestible little pieces for you.

We’re here to help you start taking the baby steps that are key to managing your bids easily and effectively!Getting Started: PPC Budgeting and First-Time BidsBreaking it Down: Identifying Budget and ScaleBefore you even think about bidding, you’ll want to figure out how much money you’d like to spend. Your daily/monthly/annual budget is a critical part of your PPC strategy so take the time to start on the right foot.When you... > Read more

January 08, 2014     |   Written by: Zina Kayyali   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Need a PPC Audit? Get a Fast, Free PPC Audit with AdWords Grader Plus

January is the traditional time to take stock of your life, assess what’s missing, and set new goals. Chances are, your PPC account could use the January treatment. The holidays are over, you’re back from vacation, and your AdWords account is probably as messy as your kitchen, or as bloated as … never mind.

The point is, it’s time for a PPC audit – you need to benchmark where you’re at so you know where to focus your efforts in the new year.Two years ago, we created the AdWords Performance Grader to help advertisers audit and analyze their Google AdWords accounts. It’s basically the fastest, easiest, and by far the cheapest (you can’t get cheaper than free) way to audit your PPC account. You link the tool up to your AdWords account through a 100% secure OAuth connection (on... > Read more

January 07, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Guide: How to Use Google AdWords for Apartment Marketing

As the marketing director for Rentping Media, a marketing agency that focuses exclusively on the apartment industry, I have had the unique opportunity to optimize our PPC strategy across hundreds of apartment communities in over 20 states for the last couple of years. Through a lot of trial and a lot of error, our agency has honed a very precise strategy for apartment marketing that takes into account the unique challenges of apartment marketing.

In this article, I wanted to provide background insight into why marketing for apartments on AdWords has its own set of idiosyncrasies, as well as the top five performance tweaks to make your apartment campaigns extremely effective.The Unique Challenges of Apartment MarketingWhen your product is an apartment, you inherently have different challenge... > Read more

January 06, 2014     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Gmail Advertising Showdown: Gmail Sponsored Promotions vs. Managed Placements

The Gmail platform has been evolving, and Gmail advertising options are no exception. The ongoing Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) beta was rolled out in early 2013, introducing new targeting and display options for advertisers. Previously, search marketers could target an audience on Gmail through managed placements.

With GSP, Gmail advertising targeting became much more advanced. Aside from your normal display targeting options via the AdWords interface (age, demographic, keywords), you can now target by more options including email address, subject line, job title and product category. The catch? A very high spend requirement, without guaranteed results.The promos are also managed through an interface separate from Google AdWords, which can only be opened in the Chrome browser. Here’s... > Read more

January 03, 2014     |   Written by: Jaclyn Jordan   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Google Engagement Ads – Should Small Businesses Use Them?

What Are Google Engagement Ads?Earlier this year Google released an exciting new feature that they call engagement ads. These engagement ads run on the Google Display Network (GDN) and use the same flexible targeting options as normal display campaigns. Google has also announced additional self-service ad formats, including Cross Device ads, a YouTube Masthead Lightbox to aid in consistent branding across ad formats, and a Shopping Catalog Lightbox, which allows users to display multiple products from a merchant center account.

These campaigns are only available on a cost-per-engagement basis, which allows advertisers to bid and pay only if a user has engaged with their ads. Google defines “engagement” as a user mousing over the ad for more than two seconds. This delay eliminates accide... > Read more

January 02, 2014     |   Written by: Ben Cohen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Deduping Keywords: How to Identify & Remove Duplicate Keywords from Your PPC Account

Around this time last year, I had a pretty ambitious list of New Year’s resolutions cued up for 2013. I’m ashamed to report that I did not successfully complete a single item during the course of the year. In retrospect, my problem was that I set the bar far too high—I mean really, who loses 20 pounds and masters the Spanish language in only 365 days?—and as a result, I gave up pretty quickly.

When it comes to managing PPC accounts, I face a similar problem. I tend to bite off more than I can chew and then get too discouraged to complete it.This year, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m setting more manageable goals and am determined to complete them. The first item on my checklist is to identify and remove duplicate keywords, so I can start the New Year with a nice, clean account.Why ... > Read more

December 31, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 18

WordStream Year in Review: Our Top 25 Posts of 2013

You’ve read our picks for the best articles, guides, and case studies on PPC from around the web in 2013. But what about WordStream? We wrote plenty about pay-per-click marketing, Google AdWords in particular, this year, but some of our most popular posts were about Twitter, Facebook, and social media management.

Could it be that small businesses find social media marketing less intimidating than SEO and PPC?In any case, both Twitter and Facebook are coming into their own in terms of their advertising offerings. They have a long way to go before they catch up with Google, but it should be very interesting to see how the big two in social media step up their ad options in 2014.Other hot topics this year: Enhanced Campaigns (by far the biggest change Google has made to AdWords in years) an... > Read more

December 30, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 2

The Small Business Guide to the DMCA and Copyright Law

Deciding how to handle copyright law in a time where 3D printers are on the rise and online media sharing is the norm is troublesome at best. Many critics admonish movie studios and record labels for their desperate attempts to retain the status quo, rather than embrace and adapt to cultural shifts. This stalwart stubbornness is reflected in the big media industries’ use of the DMCA to levy absurd fines against online copyright infringers.

That being said, it’d be unfair to suggest that copyright holders or intellectual property owners should have no rights when it comes to the wild west of the Internet. It all comes to a problem of balance and fairness. While we’re likely many years away from finding a suitable balancing point for properly protecting the rights of owners while being ... > Read more

December 26, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 6

Best of PPC: The Hottest Guides, Case Studies & Articles of the Year!

Over the last year, I’ve spent about 3 hours per day reading about online marketing, and paid search in particular. It’s worked out to somewhere in the neighborhood of 780 hours of staying up to date on the latest case studies, tips, detailed how-to guides, and original research – we’re talking thousands of articles here! On the off chance you haven’t been keeping up to this extent every day, I wanted to share my picks for the best, most informative, absolute must-read PPC articles of 2013.

Some I had bookmarked, others were filed away in my mind, and others still were contributed by industry peeps including Robert Brady, Melissa Mackey, Danny Goodwin, Sam Owen at PPC Hero, Michelle Morehouse at Clix, and AJ Kohn – thank you all! (See more awesome contributions in this Twit... > Read more

December 23, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 4

Twitter Introduces Broad Match Keyword Option

This past week, Twitter took a page out of Google’s book and introduced broad match keyword targeting. For AdWords veterans, this concept is nothing new. Twitter’s new match type will extend the reach of promoted tweets to capture an audience that uses terms similar or related to the target keyword.

According to Twitter, a broad keyword “matches on tweets containing keywords in any order, including other words in between … related terms, stem variations, synonyms, misspellings and slang.” For example, if the keyword is “love cats,” promoted tweets could appear for people who are tweeting or interacting with tweets that contain “adore cats” or “luv my kittens” etc.Image via TwitterThis broad match format may sound familiar to AdWords advertisers, but there is one key di... > Read more

December 18, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Twitter   |   Comments: 9

Quick Guide to Google Grants: Google AdWords for Nonprofits

In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know about the Google Grant Program, Google’s AdWords program for nonprofit organizations, from how to qualify to ad guidelines.What Is Google Ad Grants?The Google Ad Grants Program gives nonprofits the chance to advertise on Google AdWords at no cost to the nonprofit.

This program gives qualified organizations $10,000 per month in AdWords spend to be used to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com. To qualify, companies must go through the application process, and to keep the grant they must follow the program details.If you work at a non-profit, you like the sound of this. Before you apply, check to ensure your nonprofile is eligible. Here are the qualifications: To be eligible for Google Grants an organization must:Hold c... > Read more

December 18, 2013     |   Written by: Kelsey Halloran   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

17 Surprising Facts About B2B Content Marketing

Content marketing continues to dominate as a core component of a successful B2B marketing strategy – and we’ve got the facts to prove it. Get your flabbergasted face on, it’s time for some seriously surprising stats and facts about B2B content marketing!Note: Most of this data is taken from the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B 2014 Report.

Exceptions to this are marked.   Fact #1: 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing. Yep – almost all of them.Fact #2: 42% of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing. (Only 36% felt this way last year. Way to go, that’s a big improvement!)Fact #3: 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy (the question is – do you?).Fact #4: B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are much more likely... > Read more

December 17, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 20

PPC Hero's Ad Automator Ad Testing Tool: Pros & Cons

Let’s be honest, ad copy testing=tedious. Those of you who have conducted A/B testing on your ads are completely aware of how painfully time-consuming this task can be. Creating testing Excel sheets to set up, sort, and analyze how one’s ads are performing against one another can suck up hours upon hours of your time.

But, on the other hand, making small tweaks to your ad text can drastically increase traffic to your site! This is why testing is incredibly important, and can lead to glorious outcomes if done properly. Who doesn’t want a higher click-through-rate (CTR) that leads to more conversions, an improved quality score, and lower costs? You can achieve this through testing, testing, testing!As I explain this to a client, they inevitably groan back, “But I don’t have time to ... > Read more

December 12, 2013     |   Written by: Margot da Cunha   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 6

How to Compete in AdWords: Improve Results Without Just Raising Bids

Google AdWords takes the word “competitive” to new heights. This fluid auction, fired off whenever someone performs a Google search, provides a platform for advertisers to compete for attention, clicks, traffic, and conversions – in short, for customers.  Too often, however, PPC managers see the need to be competitive as a kneejerk cue to raise bids.

Though a top rank can be helpful, and you might have to raise your bids to get there, it doesn’t guarantee clicks, let alone that those clicks will convert – and conversions are what matter most.This guide will show you how to stand out in this competitive space without reverting solely to bid-pumping tactics. We’ll examine the digital real estate you’re competing for, what prompts your ads to show there, and specific steps ... > Read more

December 11, 2013     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 25

ClickZ Live, Not Just a Search Conference Anymore: An Interview with Mike Grehan

If you’ve been a marketer for more than a year you’ve surely heard that SEO is changing (or, alternately, dead, dying, evolving, etc.). It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Today, SEO doesn’t mean what it used to.I recently spoke with Mike Grehan, publisher of ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, about the changing SEO landscape, why SEOs need to be generalist marketers, and his predictions for Internet marketing in 2014 and beyond.

We also talked about why these changes need to be reflected in ClickZ live, the conference formerly known as SES, which has always been a must-attend conference for marketers. Read his fascinating insights below, and register for ClickZ Live in New York this coming spring!What is the thinking behind the recent rebranding of the SES Conference & Expo as Click... > Read more

December 10, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

How to Survive the Google AdWords Advanced Search Exam

So you just passed the Google AdWords Fundamentals Exam with flying colors, and all you want to do is pop some champagne and break into an embarrassing celebratory dance …NOT SO FAST! You are only half way to becoming fully Google AdWords certified.If you’re reading this article you likely already know the value of becoming Google AdWords certified, but, as a quick refresher, this certification is truly valuable for those in the PPC consulting industry to help legitimize their skills when working with clients, find new PPC gigs, and gain a high level of knowledge on one of the most powerful platforms in online marketing today.

As someone who recently went through the certification process, I was a bit intimidated when searching through the wide scope of preparation material provided by ... > Read more

December 06, 2013     |   Written by: Margot da Cunha   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 15

Twitter Retargeting: Now On Twitter, Ads Follow You

Twitter will reportedly make just made a big announcement confirming the expansion of the ad retargeting program they began testing this summer. The new offering, dubbed Tailored Audiences, is a logical next step for a network that went public just months ago and now has a lot to prove to investors.

But how will Twitter Tailored Audiences work for advertisers?TechCrunch earlier this morning cited anonymous “sources” confirming the launch, but say the details were hazy. Here’s what we did know:Twitter advertisers will now have access to external data for ad targeting.It’s almost guaranteed that Promoted Tweets will be open to retargeting; whether or not Promoted Accounts are is unknown.Twitter began experimenting with retargeting in July and made it clear users were able t... > Read more

December 05, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Twitter   |   Comments: 5

RIP Google AdWords Editor??

A new feature that allows marketers to undo changes in Google AdWords is welcome and probably long overdue, though it begs the question: is the AdWords Editor dead?Right now, the AdWords “Undo” button seems to be a limited test, available only in select accounts. What it does, however, is gives advertisers the ability revert to the way their campaign was before changes, or to download a fresh version of account or campaign specifics.

This should make testing much easier.With all of this functionality in the web interface, are we now hearing the death knell for the Google AdWords Editor, desktop version?Why I Used to Use AdWords EditorBack in the day, AdWords Editor had a ton of advantages, including:Offline editing, which was a real issue in and around 2005. Now, however, we have wi-fi... > Read more

December 04, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 34

The Complete Guide to AdWords Remarketing Best Practices

Since AdWords remarketing launched back in 2010, it has gone from strength to strength with new features and functionalities, from building lists with Google Analytics to Dynamic Remarketing. These ever-improving functionalities have made it even more important for advertisers to be creating and optimizing remarketing campaigns with best practices in mind.

This post a complete list of best practices and tips to help you get the most out of your AdWords remarketing campaigns.Before you get started with remarketing…Consider these tips before you actually start creating your remarketing lists and campaigns.Manage client expectations by setting clear remarketing objectivesAs with all digital marketing projects, you must be sure of your objectives before you dive into remarketing. This will h... > Read more

December 04, 2013     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 8
 
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