Casey Anthony and the 'Social Media Trial of the Century'

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

July 08, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 2

Google+ Still Getting Buzz, Making Waves

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

July 08, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

Facebook Announces New Skype-Powered Video Chat

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

July 07, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 2

Google AdWords Remarketing Strategy: Three AdWords Remarketing Tips

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

July 07, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Four Ways to Improve the Long-Term Effectiveness of Your PPC Campaigns

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

July 06, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Facebook Blocks Friend Exporter Tool

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

July 05, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 0

Google Realtime Search Disappears As Contract With Twitter Ends

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

July 05, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

Small Steps, Big Results: The Microdynamics of Paid Search

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

July 05, 2011     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 6

Yet More Google Updates: Makeovers, Mobile Sites & Chocolate Milk, Oh My!

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

July 01, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

June Blog Highlights: WordStream's Best of the Month

Happy July! I hope most of you are not even reading these words, because you're already on vacation. Or, you're getting your last WordStream fix right before you take off for the long weekend. Or, you're on vacation, but so addicted to this blog you're reading it on your phone. Hi out there, wherever you are! Below you'll find links to our top 10 most popular blog posts from June, as voted by viewers like you! Google +1 Review: A Deeper Look at the Google +1 Button – In this post Larry examined Google's new +1 social button, looking for an answer to the burning question, Does it even work?? 8 Quick & Dirty Tips for Landing Page Optimization – Time to brush up your landing pages? Kathy Lamphier provides some easy tips and best practices for increasing your conversi... > Read more

July 01, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Google+ | Google’s New Social Platform Revealed

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

June 30, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 2

Webinar: Advanced Keyword Research Technology and Methodology

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

June 29, 2011     |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 0

5 SEO Recommendations for Better Business Blogging

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

June 28, 2011     |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 12

5 SEO Tactics to Keep Your Brand Alive in 2011

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

June 27, 2011     |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 8

The Relationship Between Organic Rankings & Click-Through Rate (CTR): It's Complicated

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

June 24, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4

3 Ways to Qualify PPC Leads: Balancing Quality with Quantity

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

June 23, 2011     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 4

Facebook Pages Now Customizable Based on Klout Score

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

June 22, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 0

Choosing a PPC Agency: 10 Questions to Ask

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

June 22, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Guest-Posting Dos & Don'ts: How to Get Your Guest Post Accepted

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

June 21, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 4

5 Ways to Maximize Your Amazon Associates Revenue

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

June 20, 2011     |   Posted In: Affiliate Marketing   |   Comments: 9

Last Chance! Use Code JUNE15 to Save 15% on the Keyword Research Suite

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

June 17, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Everyone Wants You to Fail: Groupon's Bad Press Keeps Up with Its Losses

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

June 17, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

Cheap & Free Google Analytics Alternatives: Looking for a Low-Cost Alternative to Google Analytics?

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

June 16, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 8

Developing a Diversified SEO Link Portfolio

In the world of SEO, links are the currency of choice. The more quality, inbound links you have pointing toward your site, the “richer” your site is. Those links affect your site’s trust factor with the search engines, which impacts how well your site ranks. A link building campaign is designed to create unique links that pass their link juice (link credit) along to your site.

The better the quality of the link, the more link juice they share. The overarching goal of any SEO link building campaign is to grow numerous links from many different, yet relevant, sources over time.The key to a strong and viable link building campaign is to take a slow and diversified approach. Search engines like to see a natural development of quality links, as this is a good indication that you are takin... > Read more

June 15, 2011     |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 3

Another Round of Google Updates: City Sites, Descriptive Terms & URL Testing

There is never a lack of Google additions and updates in the webiverse, and with several happening in recent days, it’s worth taking an in-depth look at the latest concoctions Google is brewing up.Getting Started With Google City SitesGoogle has started creating new city sites, which act as a central portal showing a variety of information in one central location.

The city pages show places, offers, events, business owner resources, and community blogs.The layout of these pages is fun and aesthetically pleasing. As a person who relies heavily on resources like Trip Advisor to tell me what to check out when visiting a new city, I’m looking forward to testing out the new city pages.For now city pages is only available for Austin (TX), Portland (OR), Madison (WI), and San Diego (CA).Check... > Read more

June 14, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 2

10 SEO Copywriting Myths, Mistakes and Conversion-Sucking Monsters

Is your Web copy only so-so?Maybe your pages aren't positioning in Google and Bing, and you're not sure what you're doing wrong. Or prospects are finding your site, but they're not taking action.Either way, you know something is wrong. You just may not know what it is.If your SEO copy isn't making you money, it could be that your writing has fallen prey to one or more of the 10 most common SEO copywriting myths, mistakes and conversion-sucking monsters.

Here are the typical copywriting boo-boos I see:Writing to a certain keyword density percentage.My all-time, top, #1 myth! Once upon a time, SEO experts knew that a 5.5% keyword density would gain a top spot in Alta Vista. Guess what – it's not 1999 anymore. Yes, include your keyphrases on the page. But don't write for a mythical keyphras... > Read more

June 14, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 10

AdWords Display Network Banners: 5 Tips for Using Crowdsourced Ad Banner Design

In a few recent posts on how to get more volume on the content network and on getting more leads from PPC, we talked about leveraging the content network to expand AdWords campaigns and attract more prospects via PPC.Most advertisers know how to get started with Google’s search network, and even with creating specific content network campaigns, but an area that often trips up advertisers – particularly new advertisers or those who are looking to expand beyond their initial structures – is building out “display” campaigns using Google AdWords, or creating banner ads for display on the content network.

Many times the stumbling block here is more around designing the creative (banner ads) than around the mechanics of creating a structure for your content network campaigns.For that r... > Read more

June 13, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Business Lessons from New Yorker Cartoons: What's Your Universal Caption?

For years the New Yorker has been running a caption contest on its back page, where readers submit captions to go with a punchline-less cartoon. Winners receive a signed print of the final cartoon. It’s a brilliant, sticky content gimmick, especially for a print magazine – it’s interactive and addictive and keeps people coming back for more.

(How many people subscribe to the magazine but only read the cartoons?) In May, the magazine put out a call for a universal caption that could fit any New Yorker cartoon, and this week they rounded up some of their favorite submissions. You may remember that last year, Charles Lavoie proposed “Christ, what an asshole” as the universal caption for all New Yorker cartoons, and frankly, most of the new submissions don’t... > Read more

June 10, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

Launching a New PPC Campaign: How to Navigate Rocky Pay-Per-Click Waters

For my money one of the trickier aspects of PPC management is the first few weeks of a new account, campaign, ad group, or product line. Many paid search practitioners (myself included) take a very data-driven approach to managing PPC accounts, so starting from scratch can be a little off-putting, particularly if things don’t get going out of the gate the way you’d hoped and planned.

In this post we’ll outline a few common early issues with new paid search campaigns and how to respond to them so that whatever accounts, campaigns, or ad groups you’re launching can bounce back quickly.Two Common Problems with New PPC CampaignsNew campaigns often suffer from similar issues to existing campaigns, but I find two major issues frequently plague new PPC campaigns unexpectedly:Lower volume t... > Read more

June 09, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Sometimes Even the Weiners Are Losers: Learning the Pitfalls of Social Media the Hard Way

After a week of denial, yesterday Representative Anthony Weiner finally admitted to posting a lewd photo of his manly parts on Twitter. Following the commotion on May 27 when the photo in question was first discovered, Weiner made a loser mistake: he lied. Not entirely surprising, since realizing you’ve accidentally sent a photo of your personal bits into cyberspace while holding a spot in Congress would be enough to have anyone gathering up excuses.

The Tweet Not Meant to Be Seen Weiner, meaning to tweet the photo directly to a friendly follower, accidentally broadcasted the pic live—a reply-all disaster of gargantuan proportions. Weiner, realizing his error, tried to remove the post, but of course it was already too late and the drama spread like Nutella on toast. Desperately... > Read more

June 08, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Twitter   |   Comments: 0
 
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