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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This article provides a refresher on the difference between high-volume and low-volume keywords, the pros and cons of each, and the factors that can help determine whether or not a low- or high-volume keyword phrase should be bid on in your keyword advertising campaign. High-volume keywords These keywords are search terms that have a large search volume.
In other words, many people are querying these terms on Google, Yahoo and Bing. One example is the keyword phrase “computer repair.” AdWords shows that worldwide there are 823,000 Google searches for this phrase each month. The pros of buying high-volume keywords include: More people will probably see your ad. More people will probably click on your ad. More people may buy your product or service. These are some... > Read more
AOL (or is it Aol now?) is back on the map lately. A couple of people I know recently started working for them in some capacity, so I figured they were making a hiring push in preparation for a comeback. That comeback plan must involve acquisitions, because this week brought news of AOL's purchasing TechCrunch.
Yes, the ultimate symbol of all that is dated and lame about the Internet has purchased the tech blog that everyone loves to hate for its sketchy ethics and what Michael Gray calls "page view journalism." This, supposedly, will further AOL's strategy of becoming "the global leader in sourcing, creating, producing and delivering high-quality, trusted, original content to consumers." Hey, you gotta have goals. This was actually just one of several acquisitions anno... > Read more
Yesterday, one of our resident AdWords experts, Andy Stefano, led a webinar called "Five Myths About Quality Score." He received the following question from one of the attendees. Below you'll find Andy's answer. Is it possible that some businesses inherently get a low keyword Quality Score because they are in low-volume industries? For example, we are in the horse topical treatment industry – that will never get as much interest as, say, the golf or football industry.
– Jane Here's Andy's response: Hi Jane, This is a really interesting question. I think “low-volume” won’t be a determining factor, but “low-interest” might be. Let me explain. I started tackling your question by looking at the data I had access to. I had a sample... > Read more
We are getting heavy into fall here, folks. OK not really. The high yesterday was 80. But if you're like me, September just feels different, whatever the temperature. It's the start of a new "semester." After 25 years of nonstop schooling, I've been in the plain-old workforce for almost six years, but I'm still trying to break the habit of buying academic planners.
(Same goes for the annual ritual of "back to school" shopping.) In the spirit of back-to-school, why not throw on a scarf and blazer (turn up the AC is necessary) and catch up on our most popular posts this month? Link Building Magic: How to Turn Citations into Links: Did you all want to be magicians as kids or what? Ken shares one of our favorite secret link-building tricks. How to Find People on Twitter: N... > Read more
There are a few key basics that every PPC text ad needs in order to rank well and generate clicks: A compelling headline Relevant keywords A relevant display URL A call to action This post focuses on the last requirement. The call to action, or CTA, is the language that tells the searcher what to do – in other words, giving them a reason to click.
(Aside from increasing your traffic, a higher click-through rate will also improve your Quality Score, which in turn will lower your costs.) The default call to action is something like "Buy now!" This may be better than no CTA at all, but it's not very good. It's too familiar, too general and too pushy. So what's a better call to action? It's good to remember that your CTA doesn't have to be a direct sales push – there ar... > Read more
Just a quick notice that our friends at Ontolo have a new version of their link building software coming out - we've reviewed the Ontolo link building software before, and we're excited to get our hands on the latest version. Garrett and Ben from Ontolo are only accepting 250 beta users so that they can integrate feedback and work closely with users to get the software right before releasing it to the world.
You can sign up to be notified of beta availability here, and if you do be sure to stop back and let us know what you think! ... > Read more
This is a guest post by Ofer Tirosh and M.E. Simpson, the founder and content manager, respectively, of professional translation services company Tomedes.com. A question for you online marketers and content managers out there: If you made a small change to a client's website (or your own), such as a content revision of those basic web pages linked to at the bottom of the homepage (FAQs, Help, Contact Us, etc.
) – how would you expect it to affect your sales? Most of you would probably say, Dude, ask a real marketing question. Typically, these teeny tiny links at the bottom of the homepage do not operate as individual tools for acquiring more or longer traffic visits, or increased conversion rates – not the way landing pages or SEO content does. Recently, our online ... > Read more
After meeting with gShift Labs CTO Chris Adams at an SES conference, we realized there was a great partnership fit, and today we're announcing that gShift Labs has integrated the WordStream Keyword Tool API into their Web Presence Optimizer. The team at gShift has built out an entire page dedicated to detailing how the WordStream Keyword Tool API is leveraged within the gShift product.
Here's a screenshot of the implementation: We're really excited about the implementation because it's extremely validating for the WordStream API to have companies like gShift programming against and leveraging our data and our algorithms within their software. We've been able to get a closer look at the gShift software and have gotten to know their team, and they're a very smart bunch solving some interest... > Read more
It's Friday, and it's been an unusually long week (something about the tilt of the Earth, no doubt), so let's keep this roundup fun, shall we? What did you do while Facebook was down? Wednesday, due to a vaguely defined third-party networking issue, Facebook was down for a number of users across the country, and the site has continued to experience uptime issues.
This happened at roughly the same time that our own site experienced some downtime due to a Nettica problem (Nettica is our DNS provider), so I imagine this was the root cause of Facebook's downtime as well. Since you Facebook users all seem like a bunch of slavering addicts to me, I wondered what you did to bide the downtime. You turned to Twitter, of course! (Or other social networks, as the case may be.) Mostly, you spent the... > Read more
I wanted to share an experience I've been going through after one of my sites was infected with malware. I've been involved in search marketing for the past six years and have been lucky enough to have never had a site hacked. But, alas, all good things must come to an end. About two weeks ago, one of my sites was the target of malevolent hackers.
I became aware of the security breach when I visited the SERPs and saw that Google was displaying the toxic "This site may harm your computer" warning, which looks like this (NOTE: this is NOT my website listing...it's just an example): When users click on "This site may harm your computer" link, it leads them to a Google support page. If you miss the warning and click on the actual site listing, you're redirected to an inte... > Read more
We've reviewed PPC Blog here before but since that post they've added a members-only training and community portion of their site that I've had a chance to spend some time with, so we thought it was worth reviewing the training and community aspects of the site. Why Bother with a Training/Community Site? One of the common objections you'll hear to paying for content (whether it's a how-to eBook or the Wall Street Journal) is that you can get seemingly similar content for free.
I touched on this in my review of SEO Book's training and community site, but I think that as content and data become more and more omnipresent and commoditized, a lot of the opportunity to create great products that make people better at what they do lies in how you slice, dice, and represent portions of that c... > Read more