On the heels of Google's blow-out Q2 2011 earnings announcement last week, we wanted to find out the most expensive keywords - what keywords demand the highest costs per click and are most competitive in terms of high search volume. Since the vast majority of Google's profits come from AdWords advertising, these high CPC keyword categories are responsible for a large part of Google's profits.
The results of our research are illustrated in an infographic of the most expensive keywords. (Click the image to enlarge the google adwords keywords infographic.)Table of Contents:Google CPCExpensive KeywordsBidding TipsBid InfoThe 20 most expensive keywords categories with the highest search volume (i.e. the most used keywords) and highest costs per click, thereby netting Google the most money, are:... > Read more
An issue that is becoming more common as PPC gets increasingly competitive is escalating costs per click (CPCs) in niches that had previously been relatively uncompetitive. The problem here is that PPC campaigns that had once been profitable or that may have been viable become untenable for advertisers.
If a conversion becomes profitable for you at $75 and you’re paying $15 a click, it’s very difficult to run a profitable campaign.In this post, we’ll look at five things you can do to try to push down those AdWords costs per click.1. Focus on Improving Quality ScoresWe usually like to start here, as a focus on Quality Score affords you an opportunity to compete in the auctions you want to be in for a reduced rate without shifting your keyword or network targeting. Many times if you’... > Read more
Is it finally time to talk about something other than Google+? Yes, I think so, and this week we’re getting back to basics with an old-fashioned throwdown between two factions of web geek: search engine optimizers and developers.The battle began when Outspoken Media published a guest post by Andrew Norcross titled “News Flash to SEOs: Your Developer Hates You.
” And Norcross isn’t mincing words:While it’s no secret that many people have a general disdain for SEO’s in general, the guy (or gal) writing the code for that new niche website you’re getting ready to launch probably hates your guts. OK, maybe hate is a bit strong. But they almost all think you’re probably a fraud and cringe when they receive any form of communication from you.Norcross thinks a lot of the problem is ... > Read more
The Inside AdWords blog announced yesterday that there will be a new report segment available in AdWords accounts: top versus side. Basically the idea here is that you can see how your ads perform when they’re placed above search results versus when they’re placed below search results – the focus here being on physical position on the page rather than the numeric order in which the ads appear.
The report looks like this:As with any new AdWords feature, the key question to ask as you’re shown more data by the folks at Google is: What can I actually do with this information? In this case the top versus side segment data can be useful in a few different ways.What to Do with AdWords Top Versus Side DataLooking at the new top vs. side reports, I see three interesting potential applicati... > Read more
Richard Kraneis, a longtime WordStream reader, recently left a comment on our blog questioning whether a certain post would "drive qualified traffic to our website." This brings up an interesting question: Why blog? What are the goals of blogging?Of course the answer is different depending on whether you're talking about a personal blog or a corporate blog, but this is a business blog, and we wouldn't devote resources to blogging if it didn't make good business sense.
Here are three reasons that might motivate you to write a blog post for a corporate blog. In my opinion, every blog post doesn't need to fulfill all three purposes, though it's great if they do. The important thing is that every post fulfills at least one of these purposes, and that you don't focus only on one of the thr... > Read more
Here at WordStream we always have a lot going on. For example, when we’re not busy writing the most helpful search marketing articles around, we’re building software to help you find the perfect keywords and optimize your PPC campaigns.In fact, a lot of the resources at WordStream are devoted to creating innovative software to help you save time and money while optimizing your SEO and PPC campaigns.
But what is the best way to save both time and money when working on search marketing? The question is especially tricky because while there are fairly well-established best practices, everyone’s advanced techniques and workflows are a little different.That’s where I come in. As a product manager at WordStream, it’s my team’s mission to figure out exactly what should go into the sof... > Read more
If you’re managing pay-per-click campaigns, the Google AdWords Editor is a really handy (but fundamentally limited) free tool provided by Google to help you with certain PPC tasks. It’s a free, desktop-based application, currently in the 10th version of the tool (check out the changelog here and get the application itself here).
To help you get the most out of Google's AdWord Editor, it’s important to understand what the tool is and what it isn’t.AdWords Editor is a free resource provided by Google that can help you with several bulk editing tasks within your AdWords campaigns, such as:Raising or lowering bids on a number of different keywordsCopying large sections of your campaigns and then tweaking certain areas (moving a list of keywords, a set of ad text, etc.)Changing keyword m... > Read more
With the Casey Anthony trial and its shocking verdict a couple days behind us, it’s interesting to take a look at how social media interacts with real world news. The Social Media Trial Time called it the “social media trial of the century,” and truly social media venues have been overrun with opinions on the trial’s verdict, mostly disapproving.
With enough tragedy, mystery, and deceit to match a prime-time TV drama, it’s understandable why this trial captured the nation’s attention. Many compare the Casey Anthony trial to the OJ trial that had Americans glued to their television sets in 1995. But there wasn’t much social media in 1995, and this time around social media made it easier than ever for people to get the latest updates on the trial pro... > Read more
Google+, Google’s latest answer to the Facebook question, launched last week, and the fact that people are still talking about it could be a good sign for the search giant/social giant wannabe. Could it be that Google+ isn’t destined for the Google graveyard?On the Plus Side, It’s Better Than BuzzDanny Sullivan took a look at Google+ one week after launch and finds that users are gaining followers and traffic.
He points out that it took 17 months for Search Engine Land to get almost 1,000 followers on Google Buzz. In the same time period, its Facebook fans increased by nearly 16 times as much, and Twitter followers increased by about 35,000. And in just one week, Search Engine Land has 1,000 followers on Google+, indicating that it’s a lot more successful than Buzz right out of the... > Read more
Facebook and Skype, Together at Last Yesterday Facebook unveiled its “awesome” new video chat, powered by Skype. Skype-managed video chat has been in the rumor mill for quite some time, and now we finally get to see it in person! Redesigned Chat Grouped with the new video chat comes a redesigned Facebook chat system featuring a sidebar for the friends you chat with most.
Group Chat Facebook chat also now allows for group chats, allowing users to easily communicate with multiple friends at once. Facebook Video Chat vs. Google Hangouts Facebook’s new video chat feature arrives on the tailwinds of Google+ with its own Hangouts feature. How do they compare? Well, Hangouts allows video chatting with up to 10 people, while Facebook keeps it to one on one. Zuc... > Read more
Google AdWords remarketing (and really remarketing in general) is a hot trend in the world of pay-per-click marketing. Remarketing is basically a way of getting your message in front of people who have visited your site in the recent past – you’ve no doubt seen a site you recently visited “following you around” via advertisements.
And if you’re a paid search manager, you’ve likely set up a slew of remarketing campaigns in the last few months, many times at the specific request of the client, but there are still PPC advertisers who are either just getting their remarketing campaigns started or are still considering how much value there would be in a remarketing campaign.In this post we’ll cover three important things to consider as you get your first remarketing campaigns up an... > Read more
Do Better Keyword Research Some keywords drive tons of volume, and are therefore highly competitive and costly to bid on. Other keywords are practically free, but are searched on so infrequently, they won’t deliver a significant number of leads. As a search marketer, your goal is to find the sweet spot in your keyword universe – terms that are specific and targeted to your business, and common enough to drive a healthy traffic volume without being so common that you can’t afford to rank on them.
So if high ROI is what you’re after, you’ll need to diversify your keyword sources and aggregate a large number of keywords, then test, test, test to find your own keyword sweet spot – the terms that give you high click-through and conversion rates for relatively... > Read more
Facebook is seeking to block Facebook Friend Exporter, a Google Chrome extension that does exactly what its name implies. The Facebook Friend Exporter allows users to easily extract their friends list along with emails, phone numbers, and other friend data. The tool allows the data to be saved into a text file or imported easily to Gmail.
While the extension is currently out of commission, creator Mohamed Mansour hopes to build a new version that uses an alternative design to combat the Facebook restrictions.The Cat-And-Mouse GameRoad blocks were first implemented when Facebook began showing email addresses as graphics rather than normal text that can easily be found and processed by data scraping tools. Mansour bypassed this by obtaining the email addresses through Facebook’s mobile site... > Read more
Google Realtime Search is on hiatus since the company's contract with Twitter, enabling access to the full feed of public updates, expired on July 2, 2011.While the unique Twitter feed has been suspended, Google notes that the publicly available information on Twitter is still available and searchable on the Google search engine.
Google plans on relaunching its real-time search with access to content from various sources including Google+ information, although the date for this relaunch has not yet been set.Hopefully it will come soon, because with the suspension on Google Realtime, there is no way to find tweets further back than a few days, as Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land notes:Twitter has largely outsourced the service of Twitter search longer than a few days to Google, a deliber... > Read more
Whenever I’m confronted with the task of building new AdWords campaigns from scratch or expanding existing ones, I focus on the above four steps one at a time. Without having that first impression, no click is possible. With no clicks, you can’t hope for a conversion. Without conversions, there’s no customer loyalty.
Adding keywords while writing new ads, analyzing yesterday's results while planning the next optimization steps, instigating competitive research while creating the next landing page test … it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the work associated with paid search marketing. It’s easy to lose focus on what you’re actually trying to achieve. Keeping your attention on one simple goal at a time goes a long way.The following is a summary of each step of the cycle, with li... > Read more
Don't You Forget About MeIn the aftermath of all the Google+ excitement, I’d like to call attention to some other Google updates that deserve our notice.You may have thought that Google+ was enough to tide you over, but remarkably Google has been dishing out additional updates without pause.Google Products Get a Face LiftYou’ve probably already noticed the new Google homepage’s cleaner, more sophisticated look.
You’ll be seeing this sleek redesign applied to a number of Google products, as Google aims to deliver an experience “founded on three key design principles: focus, elasticity and effortlessness.” How oddly vague.As Google notes, a shot of Botox from time to time never hurts…unless you have a negative reaction. Taking a look at Google’s original homepage in 1997, we ... > Read more
Google+ Has Arrived!Google’s new super-secret social project is finally being rolled out…to a select few, for now at least.But wait to you hear what Google + has got under its hood; more than just a pretty face (and it is quite attractive, thank goodness), the new social project tries to address the gaps and missing pieces in the current social network paradigm.
Vic Gundotra, one of the key players in Google +’s creation, explains:“We believe online sharing is broken. And even awkward…We think connecting with other people is a basic human need. We do it all the time in real life, but our online tools are rigid. They force us into buckets — or into being completely public…Real life sharing is nuanced and rich. It has been hard to get that into software.”Google + has done its... > Read more
Join us this Thursday, June 30th, to learn about advanced keyword research. We will be teaming up with our friends at ideaLaunch, a leading content marketing agency, to provide you with key insights into structuring your SEO and PPC programs logically and effectively. We will dig deep into the art and science of keyword silo development – the practice of designing your website to be more search engine- and user-friendly.
Our WordStream presenters, Founder Larry Kim and VP of Product Will Eisner, will discuss the following: Keyword research techniques to increase your reach and decrease PPC spend New tools that track the ROI and impact of your content and PPC campaigns Keyword silo how-to and why-to Campaign performance measurement tips Register today! ... > Read more
Corporate blogging is a great Internet marketing technique for multiple reasons. Not only does a company blog give the search engines more content to index (growing your trust factor), a business blog can be instrumental in building your online brand. Blogs are inherently social in nature, which means they are also a great way to connect with current and potential customers.
In short, a well-written blog can help all aspects of your web marketing campaign, including SEO.Here are five simple ways to better optimize your business blog for SEO:Write naturallyIt may sound like a “duh!” thing to say, but you’d be amazed at how many blog posts out there are crammed with keywords and anchor text. It’s the number one rule of any content marketing campaign: you have to write for human reade... > Read more
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of hot air floating around on whether or not SEO has seen better days. Last week I attended the MarketingProfs B2B in Boston and it was the topic of conversation for many interested marketers. Whenever I am asked this question I happily answer with, "SEO's NOT dying, it’s evolving.
It has simply expanded past the traditional borders of a website, and is moving into every aspect of SERPs domination."This new wave of SEO revolves around keeping the end user in mind. So instead of writing for the search engines, you NEED to be writing for the end users! And with all the new ways to claim real estate and communicate your brand within SERPs, there's no time for you to be dragging your feet.Being how SEO has evolved -- here are five best practices... > Read more
There were a couple of interesting posts in ye olde blogosphere this week about click-through rate (CTR) – specifically, organic CTR from the Google SERP. We all know CTR is an important metric to track in PPC, since it’s a huge component in your Quality Score and therefore affects your ad rankings and costs per click.
But on the SEO side of the equation, how important is CTR? Is it a ranking factor? And, similarly, can you extrapolate CTR and traffic predictions from Google rankings? What's the relationship between these two tricky metrics?CTR and Organic RankingsDavid Harry tackles some of these questions in a post on Search News Central called “Are Click-Through Rates a Viable Ranking Factor?” I have always wondered if they might be – as Dave notes, “it just seems logic... > Read more
In PPC we often run into the word “quality.” Google’s Quality Score has definitely received plenty of attention over the past few years, but whose quality is it measuring? According to Google, Quality Score measures quality for the searcher, advertiser, and the search engine.Quality Score is great and can help you get your account healthy, but it probably doesn’t mean anything to your business leaders.
If your job is to drive “qualified leads,” Google doesn’t get to define quality for your business—the business does. To your business, "quality" probably means more profit or higher revenue.Not only does the business want quality leads, the business wants hundreds or thousands of them, so our job is always a balancing act between quality and volume.Fortunately, we PPCers have... > Read more
Don’t be surprised if you start hearing people ask about your “klout”; no, it’s not a new brand of Greek yogurt or a bizarre cloud and drought weather phenomenon, it’s a measure of your social influence. Klout is a startup that measures users’ influence through social media platforms.
Your Klout score is generated through a complex ranking algorithm that takes note of your retweets, number of comments on your links and other measures of your social influence. Involver + Klout = Customized Fan Page What has people talking recently is that Klout has partnered up with the social marketing platform Involver, and together they have some big ideas for Facebook fan pages. Brands can now create a Klout widget on their fan page which measures visitors’... > Read more
Finding the right agency to manage your PPC marketing campaigns is quite similar to making an internal hire – in addition to evaluating the agency's background and reputation, you'll want to ask a series of questions to help you better understand what they're about. For most businesses, the PPC agency with the right fit will need to meet your expectations in three areas:Depth of Expertise — Because of the complexity associated with PPC, you want to find a pay per click agency with depth of focus in the paid search space that can put adequate time and attention into the PPC area of your marketing efforts.
The agency should have at least one dedicated PPC manager who focuses solely on paid search. They need to be able to keep up with trends and accouncements in this rapidly changing spac... > Read more
At WordStream, we're a fan of guest posting as a way of building links and relationships. But sometimes you put in the effort to write a post and the blog editor rejects it, or never gets back to you at all. That adds up to disappointment and a big waste of your time.If you're about to embark on a guest posting strategy, here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
These tips will increase your chances of getting your guest post approved and published, links intact.DO read a few posts from the blog before you send something. You run the best chance of having your post published if it resembles what they typically run. Things to pay particular attention to include word count, reading level (beginner vs. advanced), and voice (serious, kooky, snarky, etc.). If the blog publishes guest postin... > Read more
While there are a variety of ways that webmasters and bloggers can go about marketing their services and promoting their content to earn revenue, one option that typically gets overlooked is the Amazon Associates program. In short, the Amazon Associates program an affiliate marketing program that gives site owners commission for customers they link into Amazon.
One nice feature of the program is that a reader/customer doesn't necessarily have to buy the specific product you link to; they can purchase anything on Amazon and you'll earn up to 15% in referrals. Truthfully speaking, not all blogs or websites will be able to make a large sum of cash from this program, but the Amazon Associates program is in fact completely free to join and is most definitely worth giving a tr... > Read more
For a limited time, we are offering a 15% discount on any subscription to our Keyword Research Suite. You'll save $50 when you purchase a standard subscription to the Keyword Research Suite by June 18 with code JUNE15. That's less than $1 a day for unlimited access to WordStream's full suite of best-in-class keyword tools, including: The Keyword Suggestion Tool: Leverage our huge database to find large numbers of keywords fast The Keyword Niche Finder: Find profitable new niches and clusters of related keywords to target The Keyword Grouper: Quickly turn a disorganized list into a manageable, actionable structure The Keyword Research Suite gives you access to way more keywords than free tools like Google's AdWords Keyword Tool.
For example, if you search on the term "ba... > Read more
On TechCrunch, Rocky Agrawal has been writing a series of posts about Groupon – which as you surely know recently filed for a $750 million IPO. But Agrawal is not writing about Groupon’s rapid ascent to success, but rather its, in his mind, inevitable downfall. In fact many in the tech industry believe that the company’s growth and business model are completely unsustainable.
In his latest post, “Why Groupon Is Poised for Collapse,” Agrawal argues that Groupon is “the equivalent of a loan sharking business”: Businesses are being sold incredibly expensive advertising campaigns that are disguised as “no risk” ways to acquire new customers. In reality, there’s a lot of risk. With a newspaper ad, the maximum you can lose is the amount... > Read more
The first question you should ask yourself if you’re looking for a Google Analytics alternative is, of course: why?There are a few key classes of reasons you might be unsatisfied with and want to find an alternative to Google Analytics:AttributionTroubleshootingReal-Time AnalyticsParanoiaIn this post we’ll walk through why you might be interested in any of the previous incentives to find a Google Analytics alternatives, as well as providing at least one possible free to cheap solution.
1. Google Analytics Alternatives for Attribution Typically the problem here is one you’ll want to solve with a system that’s significantly more expensive and more full-featured than Google Analytics, which is free. SEO Moz had a nice run-down of alternatives to Google Analytics from an attributio... > Read more