Forget Impression Share, Analyze the Competition

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Google AdWords Impression Share reporting, now available in your Campaign tab. But how many of you are using the new "Analyze the Competition" tool available in your AdWords Opportunities tab? This new tool adds useful and detailed data for competitive intelligence.

To quote Craig Danuloff over at ClickEquations speaking about AdWords Impression Share data, "Maybe one day Google will share with us Impression Share at the ad group or even the keyword level. Wouldn't that be grand?"Well, not only did Google start offering share of impression data at the ad-group level, they also included categories, sub-categories, and comparisons for CTR, AvgPos, and Clicks. They even have a weird little video to explain exactly how it works:Why aren't we hearing more a... > Read more

November 03, 2010     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Three Ways Landing Pages Are Different from Web Pages

Your landing pages – the pages that searchers land on after clicking on your ads – should usually be substantially different in content and style from a regular web page. This is because they are built around different goals. Web pages may  be built to rank organically, to inform, to entertain, and sometimes to sell.

Landing pages are almost always intended to sell. Here are three points to keep in mind when creating landing pages as opposed to other types of pages. 1. Landing pages should be closely aligned with your keyword and ad. It's especially important when creating a PPC landing page to form a clear line between the keyword, the text ad, and the page. Using the keyword prominently in both the ad and the landing page demonstrates clear relevance to both the user and to Goog... > Read more

November 02, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 7

How to Maximize Google AdWords Marketing Returns with Targeting

This is a guest post by Willy Oghinan, a search engine marketing consultant and CEO of Salesplux, a leading Google AdWords management and marketing enhancement company. With Google AdWords, you can build your brand and increase your customer base with near immediate results. However, the challenges in properly creating and managing an AdWords campaign are such that many marketers abandon the whole project before they can achieve any return on investment.

These challenges include, but are not restricted to, high bid rates that exceed your budget and non-converting clicks that further erode your spend. But there are two critical factors that go a long way toward ensuring greater AdWords marketing success, enabling you to implement precisely targeted advertising and turn your PPC campaign in... > Read more

November 01, 2010     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 2

A Google Sandwich with Google on the Side

As I went through the blog rounds this week collecting interesting links, I noticed a pattern: everything was turning up Google. Not exactly shocking in the search industry, I know. But for some reason this week seemed especially Googley. Here are some of the many Google stories I read this week. First up, Google has made a significant change to its local search results pages called "Place Search.

" According to Google, "We've clustered search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go." As Patrick Altoft puts it, Google is phasing out organic search results for local queries, giving local results all the prime real estate: "The impact of this change is that in the long term any site that doesn’t have a physical address in the location... > Read more

October 29, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 4

Best of the Month: WordStream's October Highlights

So what are you going to be for Halloween? One of these kooky costumes for SEOs perhaps? (I like the RT of someone else's costume.) Too conceptual for you? You could work instead on "optimizing" a more traditional costume for maximum recognition—there's nothing worse than getting all dressed up and then having to tell everyone who you are.

In the meantime, reading our best posts of the month should work up your appetite for the incoming candy (fun-size is the best size). The Problem with Footer Links in SEO: This guest post by Lior Levin explores why footer links may be detrimental to both your site and the site you're linking to. Google is Testing New Sitelinks: Ken spotted a new sitelinks format in the SERPs. Have you seen this test? 11 Essential WordPress Plugins for Ne... > Read more

October 28, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Google's Broad Match Modifier: Who Should Use It, Why, and How

I’m sure by now that most of you have heard of Google AdWords’ new feature, Broad Match Modifiers (BMM). In short, by adding a simple “+” before a word in your broad match keyword, Google requires that word (or a close variation) to appear in the user’s search query. If you’re not excited, you should be.

This is exactly the type of feature that we advertisers have been asking for and can benefit greatly from. BMM gives us more visibility and control over how we spend our money. (Check out Alan Mitchell’s blog post on using Modified Broad Match and its effect on CTR and CPC if you still need to get pumped up about trying out this new feature.) So who should use this exciting new feature? Anyone who has been afraid to use Enhanced Broad Match (EBM) in the past because it’s ... > Read more

October 27, 2010     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 6

Internet Marketing Jobs - We're Hiring!

Out of work? Unhappy with your present gig? Interested in Internet Marketing? Why not start a career in online marketing? Consider applying for a Job at WordStream! We're on a mission to build the next generation of Internet Marketing Software solutions to simplify and improve customer success with PPC and SEO, and are currently hiring for the following search marketing jobs in sales, marketing and product development: We're hiring for the following positions and offer a competitive salary and benefits package: Director of Business Development: Become a significant revenue driver for WordStream by discovering new sales and partnership opportunties.

Director of Inside Sales: Have experience selling SaaS products and managing inside sales? Then come help us build and provide lead... > Read more

October 26, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 1

Complete Guide to AdWords Matching Options, Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of our Complete Guide to AdWords Matching Options (covering broad match and modified broad match). Phrase Match The phrase match keyword option offers a much more targeted approach than broad match, but still allows flexibility for Google to match your ads to more queries than your exact keyword phrase.

When using the phrase match option, your advertisement will appear for searches that include your keyword phrase in the correct order, but can still display for queries including additional words. To use the phrase match option in AdWords, enter your keyword phrase in quotation marks. Entering your phrase as “Gel Batteries” indicates to Google that your advertisements should only appear when someone has entered a search term that includes this exact phr... > Read more

October 26, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Complete Guide to AdWords Matching Options, Part 1

Selecting targeted keywords is the first step to setting up a PPC campaign in Google AdWords, but the keyword matching options that you use can also have a large impact on your success. There are five AdWords match types: Broad Match, Modified Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, and Negative Match.

All keyword match types have advantages and drawbacks, so we'll discuss each in detail to help you choose the most advantageous options for your goals.For our discussion of the different AdWords matching options, we'll use "Gel Batteries" as the example keyword to illustrate how different options affect when your advertisements will be displayed.Broad MatchBroad match is the default matching option for keywords used in your AdWords campaigns. A broad match keyword will be entered as Gel Batt... > Read more

October 25, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Rumor: Facebook, Apple to Form Terrifying Uber-Brand

There's been a lot of speculation this week, everywhere from The Atlantic to Hipster Runoff, that Apple is planning to buy Facebook. I'm pretty skeptical about this possibility, but nonetheless, it frightens me. No two companies I can think of have inspired so much cultish devotion among millennials, who rank brand loyalty up there with religion and ethnicity in terms of personal identification.

If Facebook and Apple joined forces, world domination couldn't be far behind. And that would be a scary world, a world with only rounded corners and far too many email notifications. Speculation began on Monday when Steve Jobs made intimations during an earnings call that Apple was poised to spend some of its $51 billion in cash on acquisitions. Or, as he put it, they have "a unique opportunit... > Read more

October 22, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Headline Writing for PPC Ads: Dos and Don'ts

Your headline is the first thing people will see in the search results – assuming they notice your ad at all. To catch eyes and get clicks, it's essential to write a headline that: Includes your keyword, signaling relevance to the search, while also Being unique and compelling, so it stands out from the crowd Most advertisers have the first qualification down.

The second part is harder; it takes cleverness and creativity to get say something interesting in just 25 characters. But better ads earn you higher click-through, so it's worth it to invest a little more effort into your ad's headline. Here are some dos and don'ts to consider when writing headlines for PPC. DON'T use a generic headline Do a little competitive research on the keywords you plan to bid on before you wri... > Read more

October 21, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 12

Check Out the New SEO Dojo Radio iPhone App

So the crew over at SEO Dojo are at it again and have created a sick, new iPhone app called SEO Dojo Radio.Here's the iPhone App Description:SEO and all forms of internet marketing are our topics. We discuss industry news, SEO techniques and interview the top names in the SEO Game!Here are a couple of screenshots of the SEO Dojo Radio App too:Now, I'm a huge fan of SEO Dojo Radio.

And how can you not be with kick ass guests such as Jill Whalen, Debra Mastaler, Garrett French and former WordStream Director of Marketing and Measured SEM consultant Tom Demers.So if you're a fan of SEO news and insights, you're definitely going to want to download the new SEO Dojo Radio iPhone App.You can download it here: SEO Dojo Radio iPhone App  Hit me up on Twitter: Follow @larrykim... > Read more

October 20, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Search Engine Marketing   |   Comments: 1

The Problem with Footer Links in SEO

  Most people who are familiar with SEO know that not all links are created equal. In addition to the “nofollow” tag, there are many ways that a webmaster can value or devalue a link, intentionally or unintentionally. This includes everything from the keywords included in the anchor text to the HTML formatting that surrounds the link.

However, there is one aspect that is often overlooked, especially by those relatively new to SEO: the position of the link on the page. Though a link can be stuck anywhere on a page, the search engines quietly judge links based on their location. One spot in particular – the site footer – has drawn their attention, and not for good reasons, so much so that Yahoo secured a patent aimed largely at devaluing footer links, and anecdotal evidence sug... > Read more

October 20, 2010     |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 19

This Thursday: SEMPO Webinar + SES Chicago Panel

This Thursday, October 21, you have two opportunities to learn from WordStream. First, we'll be presenting the following SEMPO webinar: WHAT: Developing a Negative Keyword Strategy WHEN: Thurs., Oct. 21, at 12:00 PM Eastern (9:00 AM Pacific) WHERE: Online (register here) WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Executives, in-house marketers, SEMPO clients and prospects Do you know how to develop a negative keyword strategy? This FREE webinar will provide a series of tips and tricks for cutting the fat from your paid search accounts and for identifying irrelevant traffic that your keywords could be matched against, before you waste any advertising spend.

We will outline a repeatable process for leveraging negative keywords to help cut costs and improve the relevance of PPC traffic. Don't miss this opport... > Read more

October 19, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

PPC Risk-Taking: Using the AdWords Tools Less Traveled to Increase ROI

This is a guest post by Caleb Levell, a search marketing, SEO and PPC consultant at Hanapin Marketing. His interests include search and social marketing, online collaboration, and social media for business and non-profit organizations. He blogs at PPC Hero and SEO Boy. At the beginning of September, Google AdWords and I were in a relational rut.

Our daily lives together had become monotonous and uninspired. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to blame Google for our static relationship, the truth is Google was never short on ideas for me to implement into my client accounts. I, on the other hand, was stubborn and already knew what worked best for my accounts. After talking to some colleagues, I have found that this is a common problem among PPC account managers. When managing accounts, we... > Read more

October 19, 2010     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Five Ways to Repurpose Marketing Content

Ideally you would be able to produce multiple new blog posts, press releases, case studies and newsletters every day, bolstering your company's supply of marketing content and appealing to Google's love of freshness. But the reality is you are not a machine, and can only write so much during your workday.

Given time and energy limitations, it's key you find efficient ways to reuse, recycle and repackage your content (otherwise known as repurposing your content). Here are five ways to repurpose your marketing content to save time and get maximum leverage out of your work. 1. Tweak a blog post you've published and pitch it as a guest post. Google doesn't look kindly upon duplicate content, and neither do your fellow bloggers, but if the posts are significantly different, you should be in the... > Read more

October 18, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Bing and Facebook Like Each Other (But Do They Like-Like Each Other?)

  On Wednesday, Bing and Facebook announced a partnership to make search more social by integrating Facebook "likes" into search results. According to the Facebook blog: When you search for something on Bing or in web results on Facebook (powered by Bing), you'll be able to see your friends' faces next to web pages they've liked.

So, you can lean on friends to figure out the best websites for your search. In theory, if you search for "The Social Network" in Bing, you might see links to reviews or stories about the movie that your Facebook friends have given the thumbs-up. Or if you're searching for a hotel in Santa Monica, you might see that a friend liked a certain hotel's Facebook page. In addition, people in your FB network will be more likely to show up in searches for names. M... > Read more

October 15, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 5

WordStream Readers: Get 15% Off BlueGlass FL!

The folks over at BlueGlass are hosting another stellar, star-studded must-attend event for "serious marketers," and they're offering an exclusive 15% discount to readers of this blog. BlueGlass FL 2010 is happening on November 2 and 3, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The conference will feature some of the top social media and search marketing industry experts, including Brian Clark from Copyblogger, Tamar Weinberg of Techipedia.com, Marty Weintraub of AimClear and Dennis Goedegebuure Director of SEO at eBay. Register for BlueGlass FL with the WordStream Discount Code! If you register with the exlusive discount code "ws15," you'll get 15% off. And there are no limitations on the number of sign-ups associated with this code so pass it along to your ... > Read more

October 14, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Blog Strategies: How to Build Relationships with Bloggers

I've been blogging now for a little over three years now, and one of the important lessons I've learned during that time is that, to have a successful blog, you need to build relationships with other bloggers. Now, smart link builders have long understood that "link building is relationship building," and you will get more links by forging friendships than you will cold emailing strangers and begging for links.

The same holds true for "blog building," and developing relationships with your contemporaries is something that should be part of every bloggers' strategy. Networking with other bloggers in your niche allows you to: Develop mutually beneficial connections Generate more awareness for your own blog Establish credibility and cache for you and your blog (via a recommendation from an ... > Read more

October 14, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 7

Google is Testing New Sitelinks

It appears that Google is testing a new sitelinks format in the SERPs. I haven't seen this mentioned before in the blogosphere and it's the first time I've seen this new format so it's new to me. Anyway, I'm only seeing the new format with branded/navigational queries. With the new sitelinks format, Google has rolled up paired listings along with multiple domain and subdomain listings for a brand into a new expanded sitelinks format.

Here's one for "WordStream" And here's one for "Compete" At first blush, I'm a little torn as to whether I like it or not. It's definitely better for user experience and someone running a navigational query. However, from a SERP management standpoint, rolling up my paired listings and subdomain listings into one big sitelinks section all... > Read more

October 13, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

Farewell, Tom!

Today is a bittersweet day at WordStream – our much-loved director of marketing, Tom Demers, is leaving WordStream for another opportunity. We're very happy for Tom, who is buying a house with his beautiful wife and kids in Connecticut, but very sad for ourselves! Tom's shoes will be extremely hard to fill.

He's been with WordStream since waaaaaay back – as way back, at least, as a startup can go. Back when WordStream was just a handful of people meeting with laptops in a Panera, Tom was there, laying out the early marketing strategy and creating most of the content that became our website. He's seen us through several office moves, site redesigns and product overhauls, dozens of hires, and roughly a thousand meetings, with a huge smile on his face the whole time. Tom is an ama... > Read more

October 13, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 5

Check Out Our Expanded Quality Score Toolkit - Free!

For a while now, we've been offering a free Quality Score Toolkit that rounds up our best resources for marketers looking to learn more about Quality Score. This toolkit includes: A white paper on improving Quality Score by increasing relevance A "Mastering Quality Score" video (a recording of one of our most popular webinars) A Quality Score Cheat Sheet, a one-pager dense with information about Quality Score And we've just added a fourth element that makes this toolkit even more useful for search marketers.

One of our resident PPC experts, Andy Stefano, has put together a Quality Score worksheet that will give you a quick overview of where your AdWords account stands from a Quality Score perspective. Just plug in some key numbers in the first page of the worksheet, and a dashb... > Read more

October 13, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Announcing WordStream's New Quality Score Management Tools

Since WordStream launched, we’ve talked a lot about Quality Score and created a number of Quality Score resources: A Quality Score white paper A Quality Score toolkit including a handy Quality Score cheat-sheet, a webinar on the topic, and a meaty white paper. And an interview which we think serves as a pretty comprehensive guide to Quality Score (despite what some people may think about the veracity of some of the interview answers – hat tip to Aaron of SEO Book and PPC Blog PPC Training for the very insightful comments incidentally!) We believe campaign structure is a foundational element in building out profitable pay-per-click marketing campaigns, and we know that it’s a crucial component of Google’s ad auction.

And while many vendors focus on tool... > Read more

October 12, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 1

The Ontolo Boys Make Link Building EASY with V2 Link Building Toolset

The link building game changed today with the launch of Ontolo's V2 Link Building Toolset that, according to the Ontolo boys, makes link building "ridiculously easy." They dropped by our offices today (ok, via email) to answer some questions about how they're revolutionizing the link building tool space.

.. These guys are on fire lately so it's a real treat to have them "on our blog" today. BTW, we've reviewed their V1 launch and had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Wills and Garrett French before. Ken: Guys, welcome back! Talk to me about how the Ontolo tool makes link building "ridiculously easy." Ben: Thanks Ken! The Ontolo Link Building Toolset makes link building ridiculously easy in the following ways: We find and measure link prospects based on your SEO keywords as well as your targ... > Read more

October 12, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

Google: If Not Broken Then Fix Else Ignore End If

Another week, another Friday, and Google is doing what Google does best – giving the search marketing community something to whine about. Google has taken the "new" keyword tool out of beta and retired the previous versions, the new tool now being the only tool there is. Google claims the new version offers more flexible search options and easier keyword refinement; in addition, users can now view statistics for mobile search.

If search volumes look different to you, that's because the old tool shows stats for search partners, and the new tool only shows stats for searches conducted on Google.com. However, a lot of advertisers had been ignoring the existence of the new tool, preferring to stick with the old UI. Robbed of that option, many aren't too happy about it. Patrick... > Read more

October 08, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4

11 Essential WordPress Plugins for New Blogs

I've created dozens of websites using WordPress, both for my own personal use and also for clients. When I create a blog in WordPress, one of the first things I do is install plugins to turn the off the shelf version into a highly-functional, feature driven machine. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of WordPress plugins, but I stick to a stable of 11 tried and true essential plugins to power my new blogs.

Here they are. WordPress Automatic Upgrade: WordPress updates pretty frequently, and older versions are vulnerable to hackers. WordPress Automatic Upgrade automatically updates you to the latest version of WordPress so you're site is secure and up-to-date. And believe me, the last thing you want is to find out your site is infected with malware. Ultimate Google Analytics:... > Read more

October 07, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 8

Five More Frequently Asked Questions About AdWords Quality Score

The following questions were asked during last week's "Five Myths About Quality Score" webinar. You can read the answers to more Quality Score FAQs here. Q: Does landing page load time effect Quality Score? A: Yes, the load time of your landing pages and site in general is a factor in your AdWords Quality Score, albeit not the most important factor.

Google takes load times into account because they have a significant effect on user experience. To reduce your load times, try optimizing your images and CSS and doing away with unnecessary animation, such as moving ads. Q: You said that CPC bid does not affect Quality Score. But a higher ad may have a higher CTR, so does it indirectly affect QS? A: Google normalizes your click-through rate based on your ad position. Your expected CTR is higher... > Read more

October 06, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: SEM Questions   |   Comments: 2

Announcing SocialTech 2010 (with $100 Discount for Our Readers)

The folks over at MarketingProfs have put together a great social media B2B tech conference called SocialTech 2010. SocialTech 2010 brings together the visionaries and experts who are using the power of social media to transform the way that B2B technology companies market their products and services.

At SocialTech 2010, you will: Learn how to energize your company’s B2B marketing and sales via social media from experts. Connect with your technology marketing and sales peers to network and share social media marketing tips. See the latest innovations in social media tools and services. The event is happening in-person in San Jose, CA, as well as online from "wherever you work" on October 26, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PT). Check out the SocialTech event website to get th... > Read more

October 05, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Keyword Research for Email Marketing

When we think of keyword research we usually don't think beyond search engines. However, keyword research has applications beyond SEO and PPC. Another online marketing discipline it applies to is email marketing -- albeit with a different angle. Keywords are everything to email marketers. Choosing the right words to put in an email message can make the difference between campaign success and miserable failure.

Keyword research is applicable to nearly all aspects of an email message: Sender Name It starts with the sender. You don't want your email to be seen as coming from an anonymous person or a source that isn't trusted. Putting the right sender name in your email software is a vital aspect of crafting an email marketing campaign. Most email marketers go for branded keywords here, usuall... > Read more

October 05, 2010     |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 5

Announcing: WordStream/Acquisio Partnership

  Today at SMX East (come visit us at booth 318 if you're at the show, by the way!) we announced a partnership with Acquisio, a paid search marketing and performance media platform designed for agencies. We recently announced a similar partnership with gShift Labs - both software companies will be leveraging the WordStream Keyword Tool API to offer additional functionality to their customers.

Acqusio has a nice write-up on the API integration and what it means to their customers. Not unlike the gShift announcement, the really exciting part of the partnership for us is the chance to work with really smart people and to have a cutting-edge software company leveraging our API and delivering our technology to their customers to help them succeed with paid search marketing. Intereste... > Read more

October 04, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0
 
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