On Tuesday, Miranda Miller of Search Engine Watch published a story called “Google, Bing & Yahoo in Partnership to Sell Top Organic Local Listings?” The article outlined a new service offered through Bruce Clay Inc. – a venerable search agency – in partnership with Universal Business Listings (UBL) called Local Paid Inclusion.
Local Paid Inclusion, according to its own website (which has since been taken down, but can still be viewed in archive form; you can also view screenshots at Search News Central), was billed as a way to get your website to the top of the local listings – for a fee (emphases mine):In January of 2012 we were approached to participate in a new and exciting program: Local Paid Inclusion (LPI). We’re offering it directly to local businesses, to chai... > Read more
This is the first post in a series on the Google AdWords audience tab. In this post, we’ll focus on the topic of how Google defines an “audience” as it pertains to AdWords display campaigns, and some of the strategic ways you can make use of audiences within your display campaigns.What Constitutes an AdWords Audience?An audience within AdWords is a means of segmenting or targeting your display campaigns.
With audiences you can do either of two options:Target all audiences and adjust bids for different audience typesTarget only specific audiences and exclude others (using audiences as a targeting mechanism in the same way you would placements, keywords, or other means of targeting specific visitors or searchers)What Types of Audience Can We Target?The actual “audiences” or segment... > Read more
Recently we’ve been running a series of in-depth guides to various parts of the AdWords interface. So far, we've covered:AdWords Ad ExtensionsAdWords Reporting via the Dimensions TabAdWords Campaign SettingsCreating & Analyzing AdWords AdsIn the coming days here on the blog we’ll be continuing with this series, focusing next on the Google AdWords Audience tab.
Display ads are now an over $5 billion dollar business for Google and growing rapidly, and understanding how to leverage tools like audiences within your AdWords display campaigns can be a powerful means of driving large amounts of targeted traffic. For that reason, we’ll walk through the audience tab and cover:What is an “AdWords audience”?How can you leverage the reporting data in the audience tab to help optimize your... > Read more
Take a look at the two ads below. If you lived in Baltimore and you wanted to start training in mixed martial arts (MMA), which ad do you think you'd click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The titles are completely different. The body copy is mostly different (the phrase "Professional Facility" is the same in both of them).
And the URL is the same in both ads. Which one do you think outperformed the other?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "wordisborn," and it increased CTR by 70%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.7 clicks, which is a significant improvement.So why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad is fairly good. The title "Mixed Martial Arts" is straightforward and mi... > Read more
So how is 2012 treating everyone so far? Are you sticking to your resolutions? Or crying on the couch eating potato chips out of the jumbo-size bag with both hands?That’s what I thought. Sound like you could use a distraction. How about reading or re-reading our blog’s greatest hits from January?Here are the top 10 most popular posts from last month:What Industries Contributed to Google's $37.
9 Billion in 2011 Revenues? – In this post, Larry summarized the findings of our recent research into which industries spend the most on Google AdWords, and drew some interesting conclusions about what the data says about the state of our economy.SOPA and PIPA: Why They're Bad for Business – Meg breaks down the problems with SOPA and PIPA, proposed actions to put an end to piracy.AdWords Exper... > Read more
SEO, when done right, never interferes with web design, but sometimes redesigning a site can unknowingly interfere with search engine optimization. This is why teamwork among SEOs, designers, marketers and developers is critical during a blog redesign process.Here are 5 common web design mistakes that kill search engine optimization:1.
High-traffic pages are removed or deletedThe blog redesign process often identifies site content that is no longer a priority, but pages should never be deleted. Older blog posts often bring in a high volume of traffic, and those aged URLs create domain authority and page authority for organic search traffic. Instead of removing pages, protect your SEO and visitor experience by using 301 permanent redirects to ensure visitors via organic search and referral ... > Read more
The downside is, anyone with a Google account will be treated as “a single user across all our products” – that means you won’t be able to have a Gmail account and leave it at that. As long as you are logged in, Google will attempt to integrate your experience across its products – for example, pulling content from your Google Docs or Picasa albums into your search results:Our recently launched personal search feature is a good example of the cool things Google c... > Read more
All right, this post isn’t so much a defense of piracy; it’s about why pirates aren’t the real problem.I know we’ve talked a lot recently about piracy and maybe you’re sick of it all, but the way I see it, all this discussion about SOPA and PIPA really boils down to many industries’ unwillingness to adapt.
Piracy is the result of the entertainment industry’s inability to change. Rather than think innovatively and try new solutions to better mesh with an increasingly online-oriented world, they dig their heels in the mud and try to pass laws that won’t force them to change their marketing strategy.What Sets Online Marketers Apart Great online marketers understand why it’s important to adapt to change. The world of online marketing is continuously shifting on the churning ti... > Read more
Thanks to everyone who helped us get the news out about our infographic: What Industries Contribute to Google's Revenues. A special thank you to John Abell at Wired, Jennifer Booton at Fox Business, and John Letzing at the Wall Street Journal, Noam Cohen at the New York Times, Eric Mack at CNET, Jeff Haden at Inc, as well as the guys at Black Hat PPC! In this post, I’d like to address a few of the questions that came up in the comment sections of our blog and other sites that covered the news.
Here it is again (click to enlarge), in case you missed it!And now for some Q&A’s about our Google Advertiser Infographic:Where Is the Legal Industry? (i.e., Where Are My “Mesothelioma” Keywords?)Here are the top 20 industries that spent the most on Google advertising last year.Finance &a... > Read more
On Monday, we published a new infographic based on original research into the industries that spent the most money on Google advertising last year, contributing to Google’s 2011 revenues of $37.9 billion, 96% of which came from advertising. (Larry answered some follow-up questions about the research here.
)Following up on those results, we wanted to share some advice for new or hopeful AdWords advertisers – namely, what kinds of businesses are finding great success with AdWords and other pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms? What types of characteristics could make your business a good match for PPC?Below are five traits of businesses that usually see great results and strong ROI from paid search marketing. If any of these apply to your company and you’re not yet engaging in PPC,... > Read more
This is the fifth and final post in our series on creating and analyzing Google AdWords ads. In the previous four installments we’ve covered:Creating a Google AdWords Text AdCreating a Google AdWords Image AdUsing the Google AdWords Display Ad BuilderCreating Google AdWords Video Ads & Mobile AdsThis post will focus on analyzing the AdWords ads you’ve created.
How to Analyze Your Ads within the Google AdWords InterfaceIf you’re looking to evaluate the performance of your ads, an obvious first step is to take a look within the AdWords interface to see how ads are performing. Here you can do things like customize date ranges, look at cost, click, impression, and conversion data, and quickly make changes to your ads:This is a very useful view and interface if you’re optim... > Read more
The Industries that Spent the Most on AdWords and What It Tells Us About the State of the US EconomyOn the heels of Google’s “disappointing” earnings announcement last Thursday – they generated a whopping $37.9 billion in revenues in 2011 – we conducted our own analysis to determine the top 10 industries that spent the most money on Google advertising last year.
The results are summarized in our Google revenues infographic, also shown below (click the image to enlarge).Google AdWords Revenue:Top 10 SpendersRevenue DataRevenue SourcesGrow Your Business With PPCWe think that the results of our analysis reveal some surprising insights into the current state of the US economy – read on for more commentary.The Top 10 Industries that Spent Big on Google AdWords in 2011Finance & I... > Read more
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