I’d be willing to wager that you sleep with your mobile device mere inches from your pillow. You likely check your phone upon waking up, waiting for the train, and while scarfing down your turkey sandwich during your lunch break. It’s OK to admit that we’re all addicted to our smartphones, but what does it mean for your search marketing strategy?Take a look at these stats showing how mobile and search tie together:According to a recent Google study, 74% of mobile consumers used a search engine as part of the research process.
93% of people who used mobile to research go on to make a purchase (source: Google).52% of mobile shoppers realize they buy more with cross-channel personalization (source: MyBuys).And mobile is only predicted to grow:Local mobile searches (85.9 billion) are expe... > Read more
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a webinar on lead generation strategies with the incredibly knowledgeable Tim Paige, Conversion Educator at LeadPages.LeadPages is a dynamic software company headquartered in Minneapolis – and they're growing fast. They just launched in 2012 and already have millions in revenue from over 30,000 customers.
LeadPages hit a $3.5 million run rate nine months after launching and are now growing at a rate of about 20% each month.Tim and I got together to share the lead generation strategies we've used to build our companies far quicker than most are able to achieve. My own company, WordStream, is now seven years old and has grown 677% in the last three years, to $6.6 million in annual revenue.So how do you DO that?Have a look at what LeadPages learned fro... > Read more
Here at WordStream, we occasionally do a “Make a Wish” exercise where everyone gets to make a few (work-related) wishes and we try our best to make them a reality. Recently, I wished to hire a data scientist for the content marketing team. And lo and behold, my wish has been granted! We’re planning to hire for a new data scientist role in early 2015.
I had a lot of questions about how data science works in conjunction with content marketing, so I turned to one of the best in the field: Peter Meyers at Moz, perhaps better known by his Twitter handle Dr. Pete. Pete was kind enough to answer all my questions about what a data scientist does, what data science tools he uses, the ethics of data science and more.Peter Meyers is a cognitive psychologist and resident Marketing Scientist at Mo... > Read more
Read to the end of this blog post to receive $1 million!Oh, if only that were true. I’d probably read through more than once. However, now that I have you thinking about the proper way to motivate someone, I’d like to share some tips on how to craft a clear and engaging call-to-action (CTA) for your marketing campaigns.
What Is a Call to Action in Marketing?Your call to action is the part of your advertisement that tells your target audience what they should be doing once they click on your PPC ad and hit your website or landing page. The simplest example of a call to action is "Buy now!" The more information you can provide your potential customers with your CTA, the better it will be for all parties involved. You can let your audience know what to expect when they click on your ad, an... > Read more
Since former NSA analyst Edward Snowden leaked evidence of the security agency’s covert surveillance of millions of Americans to journalist Glenn Greenwald last year, online privacy has become one of the tech sector’s most contentious issues.Few issues in tech are as polarizing as online privacy, but the topic goes far beyond opinions about the security of personal data or how it should be used.
In fact, online privacy (or the lack thereof) is shaping the future of search, whether you realize it or not.Advertisers are desperate to plumb the depths of people’s personal lives in search of more accurate targeting, while many users are balking at how the monoliths of the tech sector are gathering, storing, and using their information. But what does the future hold, and should you be worr... > Read more
Some of the most popular questions I hear from clients are “What are your recommendations for long-tail keywords?” and “How do I go about finding long-tail keywords?” It seems as though there is some notion leading people to believe there is a magical secret to long-tail keywords. Well, you’re in luck because I am here to tell you that there really is no secret, but rather just a few best practices you should know before beginning your search for long-tails keywords.
As you read on, I will dispel some common long-tail keyword myths and point you in the right direction for keyword research and discovery.Myth #1: The longer tailed the keyword, the betterI sense that the instinctual thought about long-tail keywords is that they need to be fairly long because that’s the only way th... > Read more
As marketers, we know all too well that not all clicks are created equal. Not every ad impression will truly leave an impression and not all visitors to our site will convert. That’s why it’s important to know your target market and understand how to cater to your key demographics.Advertisers on the Google Display Network have the ability to view their performance by a user’s gender, age range, or, starting recently, parental status.
And while this was great insight into whom we were reaching with our ads, we were limited to view our demographic performance by only one demographic at a time. Complex decisions, like deciding whether you wanted to cater your campaign to target younger mothers (with presumably younger children) or older bachelors, are difficult when you can only view on... > Read more
Kids are punks. For their first few months, they make their introduction to the world screaming like Britney Spears off auto-tune, and gobble Gerber like they’re sponsored by Nestle. Soon come supermarket tantrums, and increasing elaborate birthday themes met with mild response. Thank god we love them.
As they grow, their sneaky pranks evolve, and it’s ever more common for those to include technology.When it comes to the world of PPC, I bet you thought you were safe, didn’t you? If you’re like most advertisers, you didn’t even see it coming. If you’re running Display campaigns in your AdWords account without the proper settings, these little buggers (and other users as well) could be costing you a chunk of money! Let me show you how…Why Google Ads in Mobile Apps Are Dangerous... > Read more
There is an endless supply of data coming from AdWords; sometimes combing through all this data can be a little daunting. It can be easy to get lost in all of it and not really know what you should be focusing on:What is and isn’t working?Where is your money being wasted?Where can you step on the gas?Here are a few simple reports that you can run in AdWords that will help you weed through all the data and make some quick decisions.
AdWords Report #1: Top Vs. OtherWhere To Find ItYou can find it on the campaign, ad groups, keywords, and ads tabs in the “Segment” drop down.What It Shows The report will show you what your performance looks like at either the “Top” positions (usually positions 1 through 3) or the “Other” positions (usually to the left of or below the search ... > Read more
Groucho Marx famously joked that the English mnemonic that begins, ‘Thirty days hath September…” was his favorite poem because it actually tells us something. While it certainly didn’t feel as though September had thirty days this year (for me, anyway), September did indeed teach us a lot – especially about search, as evidenced by our most popular posts of the month.
Image © SixelaOtamaGrab a warm pumpkin-flavored beverage (yes, I’m going to continue milking the pumpkin beverage joke for the remainder of the fall), sit back, and check out WordStream’s most popular posts of September.1. Mandatory Google+ Gmail Integration Quietly Shelved: For the third consecutive month, Larry earned the top spot in our blog by breaking the news about Google’s decision to (very) quietly deco... > Read more
Don’t have many bucks to spend on your biz? No worries – there are plenty of marketing tactics you can make use of that won’t blow your budget. Let’s see how far you can stretch those dollars! Here are 20+ marketing ideas for small businesses working on a small budget.1. Publish Great Content.
I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently... > Read more
AdWords advertisers struggle constantly to keep pace in an ever-changing industry, where Google likes to switch things up with hundreds of changes to the platform each year.What if you could cut through all the noise, seriously reduce your learning curve, and cut straight to the heart of the most effective and impactful PPC marketing tactics?I recently led a webinar with Thue Madsen from KissMetrics and shared the 10 top PPC marketing hacks you need to optimize your pay-per-click strategy today.
You can keep tweaking copy and testing button placement forever, but those minor changes won't have near the impact as these.Here we go: these are my all-time top 10 PPC advertising hacks.AdWords Hack #1: Optimize Quality Score!Google wants you to think QS isn't all that important, but we know bett... > Read more
By now, Advertising Week’s 11th annual conference (AWXI) is in full swing across Manhattan’s most upscale venues. Delegates (or “Super Delegates,” depending on how much your company splashed out for your pass) have descended on the Big Apple to hear speakers such as Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Cosmopolitan’s Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, and even insufferable celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wax lyrical about the future of advertising.
However, what everyone really wants to hear about is Facebook’s new advertising platform, Atlas. Larry explained what this new system involves last week. Advertisers are practically salivating at the prospect of being able to target specific users with highly customized marketing messages, a practice that Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Atlas early adopter... > Read more
Have you ever heard the expression “less is more”? I find this to be extremely true when it comes to the keywords in your PPC account. Now, depending on who you ask, you’ll hear a different response for the age-old question: “How many keywords should I have in my AdWords account?” When it comes to ad groups, the typical answer is somewhere in the 20-25 keyword range, and definitely no more than 30 keywords per ad group.
Keep in mind that this is a loose guideline, and isn’t anything that is set in stone. The important thing at the end of the day is that the keywords in each ad group are closely related to one another, so that you can create super-specific ad copy.I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t serve you to bloat your PPC account with too many keywords. There is defini... > Read more
Growing up with a large stack of Martha Stewart magazines scattered around my family coffee table, and learning how to bake my first batch of homemade brownies alongside the crafting legend, I would’ve never thought I would someday be in the presence of such a successful and influential entrepreneur.
Not only did I watch with awe as Martha Stewart graced the stage of HubSpot’s annual Inbound conference last week, but I even enjoyed an organic breakfast with the household name. Martha opened up her keynote by making green juice on stage as shot-glass sized cups were passed along to the audience to sample.To me Martha is the queen of entertaining, crafting and building a brand centered around her identify. As she addressed the audience I felt a sense of familiarity, like we’ve known ea... > Read more
As much as we may hate to admit it, the rules are always different for small businesses.Most of our clients fit in the small-to-medium-sized bucket, and hey, we’re right there in that bucket with you. So it’s worthwhile to acknowledge when the best practices that work for big brands don’t really apply to us little guys.
Today I’ll be discussing some content marketing “rules” that it’s OK for small businesses to break.Supposed Best Practice #1: You Need a Content Marketing StrategyThis is the content marketing rule I hear over and over again, and it’s starting to grate on me as much as “content is king” and other hackneyed marketing clichés. (Apologies to my strategy wonk friends.)There are a few problems with the “you need a content strategy” refrain. First, it’s ... > Read more
Industry thought leaders in the search marketing space have long speculated about how Facebook can compete with Google in terms of its lucrative advertising business. Well, according to recent reports, Facebook could soon surpass Google in terms of its remarketing capabilities with the launch of its Atlas advertising platform.
Image via nettramarketing.comFacebook Putting Google Under PressureFacebook Ads certainly has come a long way in two years. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook will unveil the revamped Atlas system next week. Facebook originally acquired the Atlas Advertiser Suite from Microsoft last year, and the new platform promises to be a reengineered version of Microsoft’s former product.So what’s the big deal? For starters, Facebook’s Atlas system is capable of... > Read more
If you’ve experienced success with paid search, you may have given thought to social media advertising. Increasing numbers of small businesses are branching out into paid social, and the diversification of online advertising into social media channels can be seen everywhere.Image credit: KDDIHowever, if you run a small business, you might be wondering whether social media advertising is a good fit, especially if your current advertising budget is stretched thin.
What ad types will be most effective for your business? Which network has the greatest potential reach? Which platform has the most competitive CPA? These are all important questions for people who are thinking about social media advertising, so in this post, we’re going to dive deep into the data and examine the pros and cons ... > Read more
Are you working in a niche B2B industry attempting to generate leads (that hopefully convert) through your PPC efforts? In that case, I can assume that you are also on the verge of throwing a baseball at your computer. Am I right? PPC is challenging enough, but with the added long sales cycle, high competition, and niche market, getting leads from AdWords can make your sanity spin off the deep-end.
All too often I find this to be true with clients specifically in the software or SaaS industry. Gaining leads is a challenge in itself and definitely does not mean that a conversion is likely to follow. For example, searchers looking to purchase software don’t just hop online, search for their business need, and hit “Buy Now.” Software services typically a) are expensive and b) have longer... > Read more
When the classic strategies aren’t delivering, you send in the guerrillas. They’re the extra-special forces – the ones that implement killer strategies to turn the tide and defeat the enemy.Guerrilla marketing is a great alternative to traditional marketing. It thrives on original thinking and creativity, where imagination and ingenuity beat out big budgets.
Guerrilla marketing tends to be cheaper than traditional marketing, relying on smaller, more localized brick and mortar strategies like:Graffiti: Graffiti marketing uses city streets and alleyways as a giant canvas. While smaller, more covert operations will make their mark wherever they want, for most businesses it’s recommended to get permission from a property owner before going Monet on the walls of their establishmen... > Read more
Google has gone to valiant lengths to convince us that rumors of Google+’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, but Google is no longer forcing new Gmail users to connect their account to a Google+ profile – yet another move that could signal the end for Google’s troubled social network.Rumors of the decoupling of Google+ and Gmail first surfaced in the spring.
Google, unsurprisingly, hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to shout about the change from the rooftops, instead choosing to quietly shelve the mandatory integration which had previously been in place since 2012.Although the change means that new Gmail users will no longer be forced to sign up for Google+, they’ll still have the option to do so, as you can see in the image above.Gundotra’s sudden departure from Mountain ... > Read more
If you run a small business, maybe you have an idea of your target market. However, a vague idea is not enough to compete in today’s ruthless business environment. Without detailed knowledge of your target market, you could be losing business to your competitors or missing out on opportunities to increase sales.
Just don’t target your customers with a compound hunting bow.In today’s post, we’re going to look at what target markets are, how to identify them, examples of target markets, and how to refine and develop target markets by segmentation. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started.What Is a Target Market?Simply put, a target market is a specific group of people you have decided to target with your products or services. It could be a large market or a niche mar... > Read more
As the ambiguous “late-August” deadline to transition PLA campaigns to Shopping Campaigns has come and gone, online retailers are scrambling to adapt to the new campaign type. Leading up to the big switchover, the AdWords team went to great lengths to ensure account managers were aware of the impending changes.
We saw numerous posts on the AdWords Insights blog, emails, alert messages in the interface and regular webinars guiding users through the transition process. In fact, we even saw “AdWords” representatives calling users who were still running the old version of PLAs to warn them about the new campaign type and provide transition assistance.These efforts generated a big buzz around Shopping Campaigns. Now that e-commerce advertisers are hyper-focused on them, we expect this s... > Read more
It's an exciting week here in Boston, as HubSpot plays host to thousands of business leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs at their epic INBOUND 2014 conference.The conference kicked off yesterday and continues through Thursday, with more than 170 educational sessions for attendees to choose from. Martha Stewart's here, as are Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek and over 7,500 other leading marketing and sales professionals.
WordStream CEO Ralph Folz spoke this morning, alongside Altitude COO Kory Kolligian, on the essential elements of a winning organization and why company culture matters. If you've ever walked into an office with incredible company culture, you understand the huge benefits inherent to engaged employees with positive morale. The companies considered best to work ... > Read more
As you know, if you’re a customer or a regular reader of the WordStream blog, we’ve recently added call tracking features to our PPC management software. Call tracking is a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to accurate measurement of return on ad spend, since many prospects and customers choose to pick up the phone and call your business when they see your PPC ads, rather than visiting your landing page and filling out a form.
If you’re not using call tracking software, you won’t know to attribute those leads to your PPC campaigns, and you’ll underestimate your ROI. You also won’t know which keywords and ads are driving calls and which aren’t.I recently had the opportunity to interview Chen Zhao, an expert on call tracking data and analytics, and ask her some question... > Read more
Take it from My Little Pony – friendship is magic! And guess what? You can harness that magic and wield the mighty power of friendship on LinkedIn to become a social media socialite! You can become a unicorn in a sea of donkeys.Most people on LinkedIn tend to play it safe when it comes to adding connections.
While sites like Twitter openly advocate adding strangers, most LinkedIn users hesitate to add someone to their network that they haven’t at least met in some vague capacity.However, loosening up the definition of “friendship” can have some serious benefits, especially on LinkedIn. Today we’re discussing how connection-bingeing can greatly improve your LinkedIn street cred. So forget about stranger danger; go ahead add those randos! Advantages of Binge... > Read more
Good news for advertisers using Shopping Campaigns: Google is now allowing you to opt into displaying your Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on retail and e-commerce search partner sites.Displaying your shopping campaign ads across Google's search partners network helps you reach motivated consumers outside of the google.
com and Google Shopping environments.Where Will Your PLAs Appear?Google said the network includes "a small set of retail and commerce publishers." The example they used in their announcement was Walmart; in this case, an advertiser selling tailgate grills could have their ads trigger on the Walmart site when someone searches for a tailgating grill.It begs the obvious question: doesn't this potentially take sales away from the partner sites?Like any and everything Google does, thi... > Read more
Does this situation sound familiar?Your AdWords campaign is live, but it is as effective at driving sales as Kanye West is at letting people finish award acceptance speeches.Users type in your keywords and click the ads, but when they are taken to your landing page they don’t convert. It’s not a matter of having a product or service that people want – you have customers who have purchased offline and rave about your solution.
However, when you try to advertise your product or service via AdWords the orders dry up.Instead of the sales you imagined, you are now paying for users to view the landing page and leave. You have a poor conversion rate, an expensive cost per acquisition and your user’s time on site is minimal. You adjust your keywords, put new images on your landing page, an... > Read more
Most digital marketers agree that landing pages can make or break any campaign, be it PPC, social media, email, or display ads. Once you get people to click, the landing page has to convince your visitor to complete the conversion.To assist in the goal of landing page success, a number of software platforms exist to help marketers test landing page elements.
Visuals, calls-to-action (CTAs), layouts, offers, buttons, and many more elements can be tested. Software can help you conduct A/B tests and create new landing pages on the fly. Just a tweak with the placement of a key visual element might lead to a significant increase in landing page performance. Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual words on the landing page, marketers tend to rush the process, going with a combination of... > Read more
Do you want your content to be unforgettable? Do you want parents to pass on your blog posts to their children, and your white papers to their grandchildren? Of course you do! And the solution is simple – make your content hilariously, milk-exploding-from-nostrils funny. All right, maybe your creations won’t earn a place in the family hope chest, but a touch of comedy will greatly improve any content piece’s shelf life.
News bloggers can write as many as six articles a day, and while those articles may generate tons of views, they tend to go in one ear and out the other. Most readers won’t remember that article next week, never mind who wrote it.The truth is, if you want to be memorable, you need to be funny. You gotta make ‘em laugh! A Spoonful of Comedy Makes Dry Cont... > Read more