In light of Wednesday's tremendously successful SOPA blackout, I thought we'd take some time to recap and document the day the web went dark. The stop SOPA and stop PITA blackouts were really powerful because with online champions like Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit teaming up, the blackouts most certainly raised awareness and affected people who had no clue about these ridiculous bills until yesterday.
Petitions were signed, calls were made to state representatives, and the word got out.If you're looking to understand why SOPA and PIPA are bad bills and how they will hurt your business, check out our previous blog post explaining them and their disastrous affects.So what did the SOPA and PIPA blackout protests achieve?18 Senators changed their position on PIPA after witnessing the massive ... > Read more
Well knock us over with a feather -- we're surprised and honored to be on Website Magazine's list of the 50 top software solutions to explore in 2012!Funny story: One of my coworkers actually printed out this list to use as a reference, but didn't notice until I told her that we were #13 on the list!According to Website Magazine, here's the methodology that determined the list:Website Magazine’s Top 50 rankings are a measure of a website’s popularity.
Ranks are calculated using a proprietary method that focuses on average daily unique visitors and page views over a specified period of time, as reported by multiple data sources. The website with the highest combination of factors is ranked in the first position.Thank you to Website Magazine for including us among so many great software ... > Read more
This is the fourth post in a series on creating and analyzing Google AdWords ads. Previously in the series we’ve covered a variety of topics related to AdWords ads:How to Create a Google AdWords Text AdHow to Create a Google AdWords Image AdHow to Use the Google AdWords Display Ad BuilderIn today’s post, we’ll be focusing on how to create video ads and mobile ads via Google AdWords.
Creating Video Ads with Google AdWordsThe first step to creating a video or mobile ad is very similar to the way you would create an image or text ad. Go to the Ads tab and select “Video ad” or “WAP mobile ad” from the “New ad” dropdown menu:We’ll start with video ads. The first choice you’re presented with is selecting a video ad template:The templates include:YouTube Promoted Video Templa... > Read more
SOPA and PIPA: You’ve certainly heard about these two, but maybe you’re still not quite sure exactly what they mean or why they’ll be bad for your business—and make no mistake, they will certainly have a negative effect for small and medium sized businesses.What Are SOPA and PIPA? SOPA is the acronym for the House of Representatives' Stop Online Piracy Act.
Partnered with SOPA is the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA). If these bills pass, together they will unleash chaos and destruction that will obliterate the internet as we know it.Am I exaggerating? I don’t even know if I am. Because these bills really are serious bad news.Why SOPA and PIPA are BadSOPA and PIPA were created in hopes of cracking down on pirates and rogue websites posting copyright infringing content. The bill’... > Read more
If you’re relatively new to the world of search marketing, you may have heard the term “SEO content” being thrown around in marketing meetings. This beginner’s guide is designed to answer three questions:What is “SEO content”?What types of SEO content are there?What is my SEO content strategy?If you have any questions about SEO content creation that I don’t answer here, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer them here or in a future blog post.
Let’s get started!What Is SEO Content?To understand what marketers mean by SEO content, it’s helpful to break down the phrase into its component parts:“SEO” refers to search engine optimization, or the process of optimizing a website so that people can easily find it via search engines like Google.By “content,” we mean... > Read more
This is the third post in our series on creating and analyzing Google AdWords ads. In the first two posts we walked through creating an AdWords text ad and creating an AdWords image ad. Today’s post will focus on an alternate means of creating AdWords image ads: using the Google AdWords display ad builder.
Using the Google AdWords Display Ad BuilderThe display ad builder has a lot of different features and options, so we’ll walk through some of the different things you can leverage the tool for in your AdWords campaigns. First you navigate to the tool and start to create a new ad with it:The first decision you’re faced with is the type of “template” you want to leverage in your campaign. In the left navigation of the display ad builder product you have a lot of options:As you can ... > Read more
At first, I thought it was just a hokey blog post title. But it appears that Google has actually launched a feature called “Search plus Your World” – and with this feature, they claim, “a beautiful journey begins.” (Gag me, right?)And what is this feature, you ask? Oh, you hadn’t heard? Perhaps “feature” downplays the import.
It’s really the next iteration of search – another step towards integrating social data into the results. According to Google, the changes encompass:Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediatel... > Read more
This is the second post in a series on Google AdWords ads. In the first post we covered how to create and optimize text ads, and in this post we’ll focus on how to create image ads for your Google AdWords campaigns.How to Set Up Your Google AdWords Image AdsFirst we’ll walk through the actual mechanics of creating an AdWords image ad.
Go to the Ads tab in AdWords, then select “Image ad” from the “New ad” drop-down menu:Then you can associate your ad with an ad group, upload your image (more on that below), and fill out a few additional fields:You’re able to upload your image (note the 50k max limit, as you may need to compress some image files) and then you designate:Image Name – This is mainly for your own housekeeping, so choose something logical that would be helpful for... > Read more
Take a look at the two ads below. If you were an avid collector of luxury watches, which ad do you think you'd click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The ads are fairly unique. The URLs are the same, but everything else is different. Which ad do you think generated more than three times as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one.
It was written by BoostCTR writer "brescia33," and it increased CTR by 225%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 3.25 clicks, more than TRIPLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad win? And why did it win by so much? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad is somewhat vague. After reading it, I'm not really sure why I should click the ad or what's going to happen when I do.If the only ben... > Read more
Part 2: Optimizing YouTube VideosYesterday we posted Part 1 of this guide, which discussed:How YouTube Can Help Your BusinessStep 1: Creating Video ContentStep 2: Recording Video ContentToday we cover Part 2of the 5-Step Guide For Creating & Optimizing Video Content that Ranks on Google, in which we continue with:Step 3: SEO For Your VideosStep 4: VSEO On Your SiteStep 5: Getting Your Video NoticedWhile Part One of the guide deals primarily with video content creation ideas and recording your video content, Part Two covers how to upload and optimize your videos on YouTube so that they rank as high as possible on search engines.
Step 3: VSEO: SEO for VideosGoogle normally "scans" the text of a page to figure out what a piece of content is about. But Googlebots can’t actually watch vide... > Read more
Part 1: Creating and Recording Video Content for Your BusinessThis guide on creating and optimizing high-ranking YouTube video content for your business, which can appear on Google, the YouTube site, and the YouTube for mobile app, is divided into two parts. Today, we will be posting part one, which covers:How YouTube Can Help Your BusinessStep 1: Creating Video ContentStep 2: Recording Video ContentIn Part 2, we'll cover uploading videos to YouTube and how to optimize your video content with VSEO.
How YouTube Can Help Your Business: Why Video Content Is Great for SEOHaving a hard time getting your business to show up on Google's first page? You might be surprised at just how much a YouTube video could help.In an aim to give searchers the best set of results possible, Google has continued t... > Read more
This is the first post in a series on creating ads within the Google AdWords interface. The focus of this post will be creating text-ads within AdWords.Creating a new text ad is pretty straightforward. From within the Ads tab, click “Text ad” in the “New ad’ dropdown menu:Here you'll be able to insert the text of your new ad.
Once you’ve created an ad within the Ads tab, you can easily customize the text and preview your ad:The components of the ad are well-known to most AdWords advertisers:The Headline – The headline, as you can see from the preview, is highlighted and is your primary opportunity to capture attention.Description Lines – This is your opportunity to better describe your offering and compel the searcher to the action you want them to take next.Display URL – T... > Read more
Ever the hypocrisy cop, Aaron Wall earlier this week exposed some seemingly devious behavior on Google’s part – namely, a series of sponsored blog posts promoting the Google Chrome browser along with a product video.Wall writes:When K-Mart paid some small business bloggers to do sponsored posts Matt Cutts wrote a post about how he torched those small bloggers (while doing nothing to K-Mart) & equated that exercise to selling links that promote bogus brain cancer solutions.
The posts were about how great Chrome is and its many benefits for small businesses. Wall compares the practice to “BP buying ads about doing tourism in the gulf.”Danny Sullivan quickly picked up the story and expanded on it at Search Engine Land, calling the campaign “jaw-dropping.” He points out that thi... > Read more
Over the course of the past few months we’ve created a series of series focusing on various aspects of the Google AdWords interface. Thus far we’ve covered:Google AdWords Ad ExtensionsThe Google AdWords Dimensions Tab & AdWords ReportingGoogle AdWords Campaign Settings & the AdWords Settings TabWhile Google offers their own help sections, the materials there tend to be pretty dry and of course are more geared towards the mechanics of using the interface in the way that Google wants you to use, rather than being centered around best practices for the advertiser.
And, as many of you have realized, the AdWords interface and managing AdWords campaigns has become really complex and too difficult for many busy AdWords advertisers.As a result, we’re continuing with our collection of... > Read more
Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you've got a job interview lined up. Maybe it's the first job interview you've had in years. You want to brush up on your skills -- maybe even get a "sneak peek" of the questions you'll be asked. So you start looking for job interview questions and answers. Which ad do you click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The ads are fairly unique.
The URLs are the same, but everything else is different. Which ad do you think generated more than twice as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "WordWizard," and it increased CTR by 164%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.6 clicks, more than DOUBLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad win? And why did it wi... > Read more
If you’ve ever worked with small to medium-sized businesses on search marketing campaigns, you know that there are a lot of smart, busy people running their own AdWords campaigns. Often times these campaigns are driving lots of qualified traffic, but the people managing the campaigns don’t have much time to dedicate to making optimizations within the campaigns.
For that reason “quick wins” within an AdWords account can be very valuable to these types of advertisers, so we wanted to show you two quick reports that you can use within your campaigns that will frequently unearth some campaign inefficiencies that you didn’t realize were there.Quick Win #1: Are Search Partners Generating Quality Traffic?Each of these reports will show you a dimension of your campaigns that you might not... > Read more
This is the final installment in our series on Google AdWords Campaign Settings. Previously we’ve covered:Naming and organizing your Google AdWords campaignsLocations and language settings within the AdWords settings tabGoogle AdWords bidding and budget settingsNetworks and device settings in Google AdWordsAnd in this post we’ll walk through the “advanced settings” section within AdWords campaign settiings to explain how they work and how you can best use them.
What’s Available in Google AdWords Advanced SettingsWithin the settings tab are a number of different options surrounding how your ads are displayed, targeted, and served:SchedulingAd DeliveryDemographic BiddingSocial SettingsAutomatic Campaign OptimizationAdWords Campaign ExperimentsIn this post we’ll walk through each a... > Read more
Ring in 2012 with these 20 AdWords vouchers to help your small business marketing efforts. Please find below 20 adwords promotional vouchers worth $100 each - for a total of $2,000 in AdWords vouchers! These adwords voucher codes are totally free and you can use them to: If you're an advertiser, you can start a new AdWords PPC Account to get more customers If you're a PPC Agency, Give these AdWords vouchers to your new customers and apply the AdWords credit on their behalf Reduce sales objections: A $100 adwords voucher can help bing on new customers on AdWords without the risk!.
New to Google AdWords? Check out Our Most Popular AdWords Articles! To maximize the value of your free google adwords voucher, read some of our most popular Pay Per Click Marketing tutorials: PPC Budgeting B... > Read more
Top 10 of the month? Pshaw! It wouldn’t be December without year-end lists, and here’s our very own best of 2011 – the posts from the WordStream blog that racked up the most page views all year long. It’s not too late to get your own eyeful:The Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWords – Larry’s write-up of our infographic revealing the 20 keyword categories with the highest CPCs was our most popular blog post of the year, with good reason – I’ve often speculated on which keywords cost the most, but until we dug into our own keyword data, I had never found a satisfactory answer to the question that went beyond “mesothelioma” speculation.
A Dead-Simple Google AdWords Certification Guide: Costs, Tips & Tricks for Google Certification – It would appear that a wh... > Read more
This is the latest installment in a series on Google AdWords campaign settings. In the first post in the series, we talked about how to name and organize your Google AdWords campaigns, in the second post we focused on locations and languages settings within the AdWords settings tab, and in the third post in the series we offered best practices around Google AdWords bidding and budget settings.
In this post we’ll walk through the networks and devices settings within the AdWords campaign settings options.Google AdWords Network TargetingThe first set of options for AdWords advertisers lies within the AdWords network targeting menu. Your first option is to target “All available sites” or “Let me choose”:As you can see Google is “recommending” targeting all available sites fo... > Read more
Last year I realized that my weekly Friday round-ups, taken as a whole, constitute a yearly round-up. So last December I reviewed some of the search marketing highlights from 2010, and I’ve decided to make it an annual tradition, right up there with watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol on 12/24.Here’s some of the wild, wonderful and wiggity-wack stuff that went down this year in the world of Internet marketing, in chronological order.
(Notice how many of these headings begin with “Google” – like it or not, the Mountain View giant is still ruling the roost in search.)Debate Rages (Sort of) Over Search NeutralitySome people think search engines, like ISPs, should be “neutral” – but how exactly would that work? Since search engines by definition rank some results over others, t... > Read more
I've touched on the subject of how to use PPC for link building a few times before but after Panda, I've been forced to think about it even more. While I hate paying for just about anything, I'd be remiss not to understand how important paid advertising is to an online marketing campaign. Whether or not you actually participate in PPC isn't of concern with this, either.
..you just need to at the very least be aware of how to use online marketing tools and data in order to finetune what you want to do elsewhere. For our purposes, I'll be explaining how to use PPC for three main areas of link marketing:Keyword data for anchor textBoost traffic when there's a dipUse with social media promotion to help build linksKeyword Data(Since Wordstream are kind enough to let me guest post here, I do sugg... > Read more
If you’re a small business that hasn’t given much thought to how you can benefit from local search, you’re missing out. Optimizing for local search is a fanatic way to reach consumers and get traffic to your site. Phone books are good for little more than testing your strength these days as people turn to search engines in order to be introduced to local businesses that can meet their needs.
Optimizing for local search requires the same rigorous SEO work required for any page, but there are some additional things you can do to boost your appearance for local searches.Here are SEO 11 tips to make sure you are getting the most out of local:Claim your spot on Google Places – Set up a Google Places account if you haven’t already, and be sure to spend some time filling out all your inf... > Read more
There are so many wonderful things about the digital age in which we live, and we’re lucky to have an ever-growing abundance of information at our fingertips.The job of sharing news and valuable information no longer resides solely with professional journalists; more and more self-promoted bloggers are taking to the web-a-verse to share their opinions and insights.
Power to the people! While this shift of power away from traditional media outlets opens a lot of doors for bloggers, it has also resulted in a glut of online content. That’s a problem if you are trying to get your content noticed. But there are things you can do to make sure your content gets the attention it deserves.Here are nine tips to get your content to stand out from the crowd:Keep Your Ideal Audience in Mind – Alwa... > Read more
If you’re continuing to have some growing pains with Google +’s Pages which were newly released last month, you may get some peace of mind to know that Google is listening to your grumbling—yesterday Google announced their release of new Google + Pages features based on feedback from users.Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:So what is Google doing to make your life on Google+ a bit less hectic?Multiple Administrators for Google+ Pages (Up to 50)Finally, more than one person can be in charge of making changes to your business’s Google+ page.
You can now add up to 50 managers who have the ability to login and manage your +Page by publishing posts, responding to comments, adding photos, etc.With Google being so forthright about the growing influence of social influence on s... > Read more
This is the latest in a series of posts on Google AdWords campaign settings. In the first installment, we talked about how to name and organize your Google AdWords campaigns and in the second post we focused on locations and languages settings within the AdWords settings tab. The topic for this post is bidding and budget settings for AdWords campaigns.
Google AdWords Bidding SettingsAdWords' bidding options offer advertisers a variety of ways to manage bids:Focus on ClicksThis bidding option allows you to manage your bids at the cost per click (CPC) level. When focusing on clocks you can make use of a few different options.Manually setting bids for clicks means you can control your bids at the keyword level and set the maximum cost you’re willing to pay for clicks.You can also cede c... > Read more