Our illustrious founder and VP of product development, Larry Kim, is presenting tomorrow, March 9, at SearchFest 2010, an SEMpdx event, taking place at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. (Click here for the full agenda.) Larry will be talking about competitive intelligence: Your marketing efforts do not exist in a vacuum.
Effective competitive analysis gives you the information you need to ‘remove the blinders’ in terms of viewing your company and brands as customers do, and to highly tune your Paid Search Marketing strategies for success. This session identifies which competitive intelligence efforts enable you to determine what your competitors are doing to drive their online businesses, so that you can either emulate their PPC successes, or exploit their PPC weaknesses... > Read more
This is a guest post by Megan Leap. Megan is the online marketing manager at Ion Interactive. Ion sells first-rate landing page management and optimization software, has an excellent blog on post-click marketing, and are friends of WordStream. Megan will be posting periodically here, and also look for contributions from the WordStream team to their blog.
There are many ways to segment your online visitors in the three phases of online marketing. On the pre-click side, there is keyword-based segmentation, which maximizes the relevancy of your paid clicks. On the post-conversion side, there is email list segmentation, which as most marketers know, boosts email marketing performance. And then, on the post-click side, there is form-based landing page segmentation, which can sometimes pro... > Read more
I'm sure many of you saw this much-shared gem: a Newsweek article from 1995 called "The Internet? Bah!" (subtitled "Why cyberspace isn't, and will never be, nirvana"), in which author Clifford Stoll argues that the Internet is overrated and will never be as pervasive as the pundits claim (emphases mine): I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community.
Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will repla... > Read more
Keyword research isn't just for search marketing. It's also a highly effective method for social media marketing. Whether your target audience is on YouTube or Twitter, your social media marketing efforts should start with determining which keywords they're using. That way you can match your message to their interests.
With that, I've put together The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media. In this comprehensive guide, I give detailed instructions on how (and why) to conduct keyword research for social media, and I break it down with tips and techniques for research keywords on four of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook. Enjoy! READ: The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media ... > Read more
Last week I landed a spot in the most watched television broadcast on the planet. The International Olympic Committee estimated that 450 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the Women's Figure Skating Finals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – more than the population of the entire US – and I was in the TV coverage! How did I do it? By applying a variation of Ken's link baiting strategy! Goals of My Link Bait Campaign One of my more ridiculous objectives in life is to achieve TV fame.
Now unfortunately I don't have any acting talents, great looks, or anything else remarkable for that matter – so I figure my only hope to achieve my goal is to ride someone else's coat-tails to TV stardom. (Yes, I know, this is pretty sad). And I don't want to be a guest on some d... > Read more
This is a guest post by Kenny Hyder. Kenny Hyder is an Internet marketing consultant based out of Santa Barbara, CA. He has been helping businesses with their SEO and marketing strategies since 2004, and has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands online including several Fortune 500’s.
You can catch him on his main blog about Marketing, SEO, & Social Media or check out his new Awesome SEO Tools blog. He’s also pretty much always on Twitter. This weekend, my wife and I rented and watched Couples Retreat on Blu-ray. The movie was pretty entertaining, and mildly funny, set on an "exotic island" (aka Bora Bora) at the "Eden Resort." Part of what made the movie entertaining was the great scenery, being shot on location in Bora Bora, and ... > Read more
Small Business Marketing Blog Roundup: Small Business MavericksThe Marketing SpotSmall Business Search MarketingSearch Marketing GuideDuct Tape MarketingCharlie Cook's Markting for Success BlogVerticalResponse Marketing BlogSmall Business TrendsSmall Biz SurvivalAllBusiness.comWeb Marketing Strategies for Small BusinessSmall Business BriefAwareness, Inc.
Social Media Marketing BlogIf you own a small business, you confront a unique set of Internet marketing challenges to create a innovative small business marketing plan. You may not have a large marketing budget, a substantial marketing staff, or expansive knowledge of the industry’s best practices. Luckily, there are blogs out there focused on helping small business owners advertise their product or service online.Here’s a l... > Read more
A lot of people linked to a Wired article earlier this week titled "How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web," by Steven Levy, calling it a must-read. If you're a search geek (and if you're reading this, your probably are), the article probably doesn't communicate much that you don't already know.
The most interesting thing about the piece, actually, is an example contained within the article, meant to illustrate how Google outperforms Bing on a pretty basic query. But the example doesn't work anymore—not how the author intended it to—only illustrating how little the average person (even the average tech journalist?) understands search engine algorithms. “The algorithm is extremely important in search, but it’s not the only thing,” says Brian MacDonald, ... > Read more
February: Kind of a pathetic little month, isn’t it? Cold, wet and short. Like a dog left out in the rain. I can’t imagine anyone picking February as their favorite month. It would be like having taupe as your favorite color. Or oatmeal as your favorite food. (Cold oatmeal that is.) Luckily this dumb month is pretty much over and that means it’s time for our monthly list of the WordStream blog’s greatest hits! Our most popular posts in February, without further ado: How We Got a Link from The New York Times: Ken wrote this link bait case study of the strategy behind our most popular post ever, Larry Kim’s “Poll: Scott Brown to Win Massachussets Senate Race by a Landslide.
” Is SEO Dead? Nope, It Has Just Come Full Circle!: In this guest post, Terry... > Read more
SEO Dojo is an social community run by David Harry that focuses on high-level search optimization learning and advanced SEO training. Recently voted the Best Paid SEM Subscription Community, the SEO Dojo is the best collection of search geeks on the Web, and the level of knowledge, expertise and technical depth in this community is unparalleled.
BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm a member of the Dojo and proud of it. So when I sing the praises of membership, I'm speaking from experience. To me, what really makes the Dojo a special place and sets it apart from other SEO communities are the members. The whole spirit of the Dojo is one of teaching, sharing and learning the art and science of search marketing. The Dojo community features some of the best in search, including Lee Odde... > Read more
All too often we search marketers get overly consumed with the concept of long tail keywords. We read about it in blogs and articles and increasingly the long tail is preached as the solution to all your pay-per-click problems. Certainly the benefits of the long tail are undeniable; by targeting long-tail phrases we focus our efforts around more targeted search queries and generally find less competition among advertisers.
However, as with any diet, we need to remain balanced. By eating only lettuce and vegetables, we’re sacrificing protein and other nutrients that come with fattier foods. Likewise, by only targeting the long tail, we sacrifice the valuable benefits that competing for head-tail terms may provide. So what are the benefits of head terms? First, these more genera... > Read more
http://www.wordstream.com/link-buildingArnie Kuenn is the president and founder of Vertical Measures, LLC, as well as the founder and president of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) and has presented at SMX Advanced, AMA Phoenix, Pubcon and many online webinars. Follow him on Twitter: @ArnieK.
Can you tell us a little about Vertical Measures and your role there? Vertical Measures is a full-service internet marketing and link building company in Phoenix. We help our clients gain more business from their websites by providing internet marketing solutions using innovative and ethical strategies. We achieve this by developing expertise across multiple disciplines while constantly adapting to current trends. The company is comprised of a group of individuals with backgrounds ... > Read more
Nielsen reported this week that Facebook is now officially the web's biggest time suck (or time sink, if you prefer), with the average American user clocking in at over seven hours of Facebook use per month – which doesn't sound all that shocking compared to how much TV the average American watches: 153 hours per month, and that's just at home, not counting sports bars, the Internet and so on.
Holy crap, people, turn off the TV – you're probably missing something on Facebook! Nonetheless, it's a lot compared to other online activities – seven hours per month is more time than we spend on Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Amazon and Wikipedia combined. (Holy crap, people, turn off Facebook, you might be missing something on YouTube!) Occasionally we all make bad choices when it comes to h... > Read more
We meant to announce this before it happened, but the pesky time difference got the better us of ... WordStream presented at SES London, and earlier this morning, on a panel on search advertising tools moderated by Andrew Goodman. From the SES agenda: The competition is fierce in paid search! From small in-house accounts to ones with millions of keywords, it's the new advances in SEM technology that might just make the difference between success and failure.
Are there tools you could be using right now to help double your conversions, lower your costs, or save your team hours of time every week? At this panel, top paid search tool vendors will showcase their latest features in bid management, campaign workflow efficiencies, and reveal what the future holds for the industry. As well, t... > Read more
Recently at WordStream, we launched our first link bait campaign. By our standards, the campaign was successful, and we thought we'd share the details on how to build a linkbait campaign. How to Get Links from New York Times: A Case Study In a nutshell, we attribute the campaign's success to setting clear objectives, creating killer content and aggressive marketing.
What resulted from our hard work, planning and execution was a link from one of the most trusted sources on the planet: The New York Times. Case Study Contents: Planning Phase Goal Setting Link Bait Creation Link Bait Promotion Campaign Results How did we do it? Read on and find out how to get a link from the New York Times. Link Bait Campaign Intro: Before You Start, Have a Plan! You may be wondering how to start link baitin... > Read more
Everybody loves an Internet meme. They come into our lives, entertain us and everyone we know for three minutes or so, and then as quickly they are gone. Some, of course, are more tenacious than others (ahem, Rickrolling). Do you ever find yourself wondering what happened to that one guy in that one viral video? Wonder no more! I did the bare minimum of research to find out what some of our favorite Internet memes of the past few years have been doing with their lives since.
JK Wedding Dance It was just six months ago that Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz's wedding dance video went viral on YouTube. It now has over 41 million views. Where are they now? Presumably still in the throes of wedded bliss. In a recent update on the Today Show, Jill said, "It's going pretty well." Do th... > Read more
We're happy to extend a special offer to our readers via Link-Assistant.com. Link-Assistant.com is offering a fully functional trial for all its tools for 1 week and a $50 discount on SEO PowerSuite Professional and $100 on SEO PowerSuite Enterprise for 9 days. SEO PowerSuite is a toolkit of four SEO tools: Rank Tracker – A rankings checker with a keyword research module.
Lets you check your rankings in over 570 local and regional search engines with no keyword or domain limits. SEO SpyGlass – A backlink checker and competitive research tool. Gets you a list of links to any website with a number of important SEO factors, such as Google PageRank, anchor text, the number of outbound links on the page, dofollow/nofollow, and more. The unique feature of SEO SpyGlass is that it's a... > Read more
Today we're announcing that we're launching a brand new affiliate program that will allow other Web publishers to promote our products - and get paid for it! This is a first-run, "beta" version of our affiliate program so we're welcoming feedback. In attempting to make the program a success for affiliates, their audiences, and of course for WordStream, we've created two types of pay outs for affiliates: Pay-Per Lead for PPC - We have a keyword management solution for pay-per click advertising on search engine platforms such as Google AdWords.
This product has it's own pricing and we offer a free trial and frequently have potential customers request a live demonstration of the product. As such, we've decided to pay for leads people drive to this product. Pay-Per Sale for SEO - W... > Read more
Google this week took another stab at social with the release of the unoriginally named Google Buzz, which was rolled out to Gmail users soon after Tuesday's announcement. As Matt McGee points out in a post on Search Engine Land, Google Buzz – basically a stream of status updates and shared items – is intended to compete with Twitter, Facebook, and even Foursquare, given its mobile features.
There's been a lot less hype surrounding Buzz (ironically?) than there was for Google Wave, which may mean that Google was wary of more buzz backlash. Hype or no hype, among non-tech-geeks I know, the initial "buzz" was very similar to the reaction to Google Wave: What is this? What is it for? So is Buzz really a threat? According to Marshall Kirkpatrick, yes – it's disrupti... > Read more
Despite a global recession, budget investments for search engine marketing continue to grow year after year. Many experts predict that spend on search engine marketing (SEM) activities will double in the U.S. from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014. With more and more marketing dollars flowing into paid and organic inbound marketing efforts, we wanted to poll our readers to see if their organizations are following the same trend.
We conducted an extensive survey of industry professionals and business owners to get an idea where budgets for search engine marketing are headed this year. We wanted to find out if spend on search marketing activities will rise, fall or remain the same in 2010. Here are the results. 2010 SEM Spending Trend Survey Results Survey Acronym Key SEO ... > Read more
This is a guest post by Terry Van Horne. Terry is the founder of SeoPros and a 15-year veteran of Web development, currently working out of his consulting and development firm International Website Builders. Terry's interests are primarily the socialization of search and analysis of social Web traffic and applications like Twitter.
Do I think the days of easy manipulation via links are gone? You betcha! Do I think SEO will require more "marketing" knowledge, not link algo manipulation? Oh Yeah!! On that point I'm of the opinion that third-generation SEO ("the blogging linkerati") is dead; "on-page" algos are still important because they are tied to query relevance, and unwanted manipulation using text makes it easier for search engines to determine intent. I h... > Read more
It's an age-old question that many in search engine marketing struggle with: "How do I judge competition for keywords?" Do it wrong and you could waste countless hours and dollars chasing after an impenetrable market. Do it right and you could uncover a very profitable keyword vertical. Given the importance competitive keyword analysis, we reached out to 35 of the world's top search marketers and asked them a single question: “What is your best tip/trick for determining how competitive a keyword is?” We've collected the answers and compiled them into the Web's first comprehensive guide to analyzing keyword competition.
The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Competition features advanced tips and tactics from such search gurus as Aaron Wall, Rand Fishkin, Ann Smarty, Michael Gr... > Read more
As ion interactive's online marketing manager, Megan Leap manages webinar, social media, search and email campaigns. She has extensive experience in conversion rate optimization and social media marketing, and when not championing high-ROI online marketing strategies, can be found running marathons across the U.
S. She is also a frequent contributor to the Post-Click Marketing Blog. Follow Megan on Twitter: @MeganLeap. What’s it like for an online marketer who’s marketing LiveBall, an online marketing software product, to other online marketers? Marketing to marketers is a lot of fun. If I worked somewhere else, I would be our target audience. Plus, I use our software product every day in my job, so I know it inside and out. That gives me a unique perspective. Our audience kno... > Read more
My friend Jessica, who has been blogging since at least 2006, warned me the other day that as my blog gets more popular, the comments will get progressively more annoying, truculent and even abusive. Though she is young and lovely, she said this with the tone of a knobby old seer. I chuckled nervously and tried to dismiss her prediction—I love my blog commenters—but I wasn't sure how to respond.
So my ears pricked up, or my eyes, or something, when shortly after this, Danny Sullivan tweeted that Engadget is turning off comments for a bit. In the announcement post, Joshua Topolsky wrote: Hey guys, we know you like to have your fun, voice your opinions, and argue over your favorite gear, but over the past few days the tone in comments has really gotten out of hand. What is norma... > Read more
Guest posting is a great way to promote and grow your blog. Websites are always looking for fresh content and love nothing better than good, free unique content. Glen Allsopp of ViperChill Viral Marketing is a great example of someone who's been able to build a very successful blog and a lot of "public success" by guest posting frequently on other websites.
Glen was even able to earn 5 figures by guest blogging last year. So it's clear that guest posting can be a very effective strategy with lots of potential. Also, we at WordStream frequently publish guest posts and have received some fantastic content from guest bloggers like Terry Van Horne of SEOPros and Blake Bowyer of EyeTraffic Media. So if you're interested in guest posting on WordStream, just shoot us an email. That bri... > Read more
Search engine marketing (SEM) spend is expected to rise in the U.S. from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014. With more and more marketing dollars predicted to flow into paid and organic search marketing efforts, we wanted to poll our readers to see if their organizations are following the same trend.
We're conducting a brief, 10 question survey on search marketing budget trends in 2010. We want to know: will your spend on SEO, PPC and SEM-related activities in general rise, fall or remain the same in the coming year? The Poll is now closed. To view the results of our survey, go to 2010 Search Marketing Spend Trend Survey Results ... > Read more
This is a guest post by Blake Bowyer. Blake is a social media marketing enthusiast and Media Program Analyst at D.C.-based EyeTraffic Media, a digital marketing firm specializing in top-notch online campaign execution and measurement. You can find them at eyetraffic.com and follow them on Twitter at @EyeTraffic.
Join the conversation, but don’t try to dominate it for search’s sake. The beauty of Twitter is that a 140-character limit allows anyone to chime in. You don’t have to be composing bi-weekly novellas with flowery prose to get heard on the Web. All you need is a half-coherent thought and some shorthand at your disposal. Of course, that ease is also a curse for the many netizens who end up listening to people who have nothing to say. And now that social media messag... > Read more
One of the best ways to save money on your AdWords campaign is by improving your click-through rate (CTR), or the percentage of viewers who actually click on your ad. A higher click-through rate leads to a higher Quality Score -- a grade Google applies to your AdWords keywords and ad groups. When you have a high Quality Score, you pay less for better ad spots.
Here are 10 steps you can take to improve your AdWords click-through rate: Include promotional offers, attractive adjectives, and calls to action in your ads. People are more likely to click on your ad if you tout a special promotion, like free shipping. Also, words like “save,” “easy,” and “new,” and calls to action like “buy now,” “reserve today” and “call now,” can prompt a click. Put your keywor... > Read more
My favorite way to find quality blogs (and books and movies, for that matter) is via recommendation. Towards that end, I thought I'd share a PPC Blog you might not be reading (every so often we share a list of our favorite search and online marketing blogs). Aaron and Giovanna Wall of SEO Book fame (see our SEO Book review here) have started collaborating on a sister site that focuses on PPC.
The content is really strong, offering a very similar level of high quality how-to and industry trend material. They recently launched a very clever AdWords tax calculator that can help give you an indication of how much you might be wasting on paid search. Here is some of the content they've churned out so far: A PPC Copywriting Guide A Post on Leveraging Search Query Reports (Though of course we a... > Read more