Building a PPC Campaign: Workflow & Mistakes to Avoid

I haven't done PPC in a long time, so when I had to set something up for my dad's dental continuing education conference and travel business, it took a while to shake off the rust. I'm still figuring things out, but so far I've got some things flowing smoothly, and some mistakes worth learning from, too.

So let's see what we can learn from this campaign.(This was in the context of trying PPC again for my dad's dental CE cruises. I already knew the campaign strategy and so was able to create the landing page quickly, making the wireframe myself, having the graphics fleshed out by Angeles, and the HTML sliced by PSD to HTML CSS.)If you don't have your strategy set already, you need to think things through first. (For instance, is it going to be an e-commerce or lead gen play? Who's the audie... > Read more

July 22, 2010     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 6

How to Target Keywords with Blog Posts

By now every web marketer knows that each page of a website should target a well-chosen and researched keyword phrase (whether or not they follow through on this strategy!). But many people skip the keyword research step entirely when it comes to blogging. It's a wasted opportunity, because keyword-optimized blog posts can help you both now and later: Blog posts allow you to target hot, trending topics that wouldn't be worth devoting permanent site content to.

You can capture search traffic while that keyword phrase is popular, and let the post get buried in your blog archives once the trend is over. Blog posts, especially how-to articles, make great evergreen content that not only ranks quickly but can continue to rank well and pull in traffic for months and years to come. Here are just... > Read more

July 21, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 8

How Tumblr Opened My Eyes to the Social Web

Search Meet Social ... Now Play Nice! In the last SEO Training Dojo Friday Chat, I discussed using the Tumblr micro-blogging tools as a content distribution strategy. A few SOSG warriors wanted me to expand on it, so I decided to share this case study here on the WordStream blog. The temporal nature of universal search, which I had kinda stumbled upon before I embarked on this campaign, is partly why this strategy worked as well as it did.

This particular campaign took place during the holiday shopping rush. Timing the release of content and the channels the content was sent down were, IMO, big factors in ROI and conversion rate. I believe this is because people are sometimes frantically looking for gift ideas when shopping for Christmas. What better gift than something someone has just sh... > Read more

July 20, 2010     |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments:

How to Write a Blog Post When You're Not Passionate About the Subject

Let’s face it. Sometimes you have to write a blog post on a topic you’re not all that interested in.  Maybe your boss told you to write it, or you know the post will appeal to readers, or the work will earn you a decent amount of money. Whatever the reason, writing about topics you don’t love can be necessary and even worthwhile.

  Because you’re not passionate about the topic, it’s important to make the writing process as painless as possible. Here are some tips for getting it done quickly and painlessly: Write on a full stomach. Well, your stomach doesn’t have to be completely full, but make sure you’ve had a substantial meal and perhaps a cup of coffee before starting the post. Food (especially healthy “brain” foods) and c... > Read more

July 19, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 1

Love in the 21st Century: On the Internet, Everyone's a Marketer

The worlds of Internet marketing and romance don't usually have much overlap, but two articles on 21st century dating caught my eye this week—I guess love is in the air (the stifling, sticky summer air).First up, via Mashable: An enterprising young romantic named Brian has decided to crowdsource his love life.

Having recently gotten out of an LTR (long-term relationship) and moved to singles-crazy New York, he plans to go on 30 dates in 30 days, taking advice via Twitter and Facebook on how he should proceed all the while. On the "Dating Brian" site, you can fill out a form if you want to date Brian yourself or "play matchmaker" and set him up with someone you know.Will this work? Well, first of all, it's as much a marketing scheme as it is a genuine attempt to find love—Brian is ... > Read more

July 16, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4

Want More Link Juice? Here’s an Easy Way to Get It

Link Juice Guide: Link Juice Draining Process Find Internal Prospects Add Keyword Links Record Results Case Study Bonus Link Juice Pages One of the biggest, missed opportunities I see in SEO is wasted link juice. SEOs and link builders alike are in relentless pursuit of high value links and the equity and semantic relevance that those coveted links carry.

However, the irony is they often overlook vast, untapped reservoirs of concentrated link juice on the very Web properties these SEO link builders control: their own or their client's sites. So when I visit a site and see page after page of equity-rich pages that haven't been "milked" of their juice properly, I get a little glum :(. So if you are sitting on lagoons of link juice, how do you drain these equity reservoirs? That's pretty ea... > Read more

July 15, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 24

Keeping Your Affiliate Marketing Strategies in Shape

There are a lot of challenges to face in affiliate marketing, just like with any other business. There are pitfalls you need to avoid and certain things you need to do to keep your affiliate marketing strategies working and bringing in consistent ROI. So what’s the best way to do it and how do you stay on the right path to maintaining and growing your business? Here are 10 key tips you should know and remember for making your affiliate marketing business a successful one.

Tip #1. Don’t skimp on SEO. Just because you’re ranking well and bringing in traffic from other sources doesn’t mean you should disregard SEO. Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that will bring you residual traffic for years to come. Investing weekly or monthly in backlinking or press releases is a... > Read more

July 14, 2010     |   Posted In: Affiliate Marketing   |   Comments: 2

The Evolution of Ranking Signals: Google Is Getting Past the Link

This is a guest post by David Harry. David Harry is an SEO and search analyst with Reliable SEO. He also writes on his SEO blog and runs the SEO Training Dojo, a top community in the SEO space. You can also track him down via Twitter: @theGypsy.   There's always been a fair amount of discussion that Google's reliance on links is the bane of the internet.

From the insanely dynamic tin foil wearing crowd to those that muse. From the link economy to the spam that litters social sites and blogs. The never-ending thirst for more links has turned some people I know into freaking link machines (yeah, I'm lookin' at you – BOOYAKA). But why? You get the impression from some folks that it is some evil master plan or sheer bumbling and incompetence. I submit to you that those people have never... > Read more

July 13, 2010     |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 30

Congrats to Our First Facebook Sweepstakes Winner!

Like most of the world, I'm sure you've been on the edge of your seat since we launched our Facebook 6K Fans Sweepstakes (sorry, not allowed to use Facebook in the contest name...ya know, house rules and all...) because you've been dying to find out when we'd reach 1,000 "likes" on Facebook and who the first fan milestone winner will be.

Well, get ready to get excited, because the wait is over. Congratulations to Stacey Davis who wins a $100 Amazon.com gift card.To our other 999 fans who didn't win and think they've missed out on winning some cool prizes (for basically doing nothing, BTW, since this is THE easiest Facebook contest on the planet...yes, it's official, folks), turn that frown upside down because this sweepstakes ain't over yet, kids.That's right, there are still more pri... > Read more

July 12, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Recommended Resources: Dana Lookadoo

This week’s recommended resource is SEO consultant Dana Lookadoo. Dana recently started a new SEO consulting company called Yo! Yo! SEO. Her philosophy is that businesses should be engaging in online conversations (which she calls shouting “Yo!”) in addition to optimizing their content for search.

Social media is a key way to start these conversations, Dana says. Facebook, Twitter, and forums are all ways to get people talking about you, coming to your website, and buying your product or service.   Whether or not you decide to hire Dana as an SEO consultant, her online presence can help you improve your SEO efforts. Consider checking out: Her archived blog posts about SEO. Before Dana started Yo! Yo! SEO, she wrote about SEO on her Pixel Position website. If you ar... > Read more

July 12, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Best Online Marketing Blogs   |   Comments: 7

Are You Living in a "Filter Bubble"?

Aaaand we're back! After Monday's holiday, we had an enforced second day off when our whole office building lost power for most of the workday on Wednesday. So it's been a little hard to get back up to speed. While scanning Twitter in bed that day (the bedroom being the only room in our apartment with AC), I saw a link to a post called "Are Facebook and Twitter bad for your information diet?" You may have noticed that Facebook and Twitter (especially their failings) are kind of my beat around here, so of course this caught my eye.

Clay Johnson, who runs a blog called InfoVegan about "information obesity, information diets, and civic accountability," wrote the post in response to a video of Eli Pariser's talk at Personal Democracy Forum in June: Pariser's talk addres... > Read more

July 09, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 3

How Much Should You Earn as an SEO?

[See More: How Much Should You Earn As An SEM?] Determining what your salary range should be for any position is a dilemma many job hunters face (especially in today's economic environment). "How much am I worth in this market? How much should I ask for in salary negotiations? How much do my positional peers earn?" are all common questions.

It's no different for SEOs. Search marketers wonder about salary expectations and inquire on message boards, forums and online SEO communities about how much they should expect to earn. The thing is there are so many factors that come into play that it’s difficult for anyone to say with certainty how much YOU should be earning as an SEO. Take for instance: Location – Cost of living varies depending on where you live. Salaries differ from coun... > Read more

July 08, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 7

The Creativity in PPC: Ad Copy Lessons from Advertising Masterpieces

This is a guest post by Caleb Levell, a search marketing 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.In anticipation of the new season of Mad Men (which begins later this month), I thought it might be worth exploring the creative side of PPC.

Unfortunately, PPC specialists too often forget their creative merits. Amidst all of the researching, monitoring, and overall managing of client expectations, it is easy to downplay the importance of being creative in the search engine marketing industry. Today, I’m here to preach the other side of the story and encourage you to embrace the Don Draper or Peggy Olson that lies within you.Day in and... > Read more

July 07, 2010     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Recommended Resources: Glen Allsopp

This week’s recommended resource is Glen Allsopp, author of the viral marketing blog ViperChill. In his posts, Glen offers advice on how to boost your website traffic and income.   There are many reasons to check out Allsopp’s blog, including: Glen’s original language. One of the first things you may notice about Glen’s blog is his creative page titles.

On his homepage, he has a link to his “What the F***?” page, his “Cloud Living” page, and his “Say ‘Hi!’” page. The first page is actually about the blog, the second is about his book, and the third is a contact page. His unconventional language helps make the blog interesting. Glen’s in-depth posts. Glen only blogs every... > Read more

July 06, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Best Online Marketing Blogs   |   Comments: 6

Content Optimization Strategy: Revamp Your Content to Capitalize on Missed Long Tail Keyword Opportunities

When it comes to content optimization, I'm a big fan of revisiting and reworking my existing content to take advantage of any traffic opportunities I may be missing out on. Now even though I perform keyword research before writing any blog post or landing page, I often always overlook keyword opportunities (both long tail and any closely-related keyword variations around my core term).

 And being a search marketer, one of my primary goals when writing is to rank. So I don't want to leave any keyword optimization opportunities on the table. That's why, after I've published content, I make it a point to go back and fine tune things, so I can extract every last ounce of SEO benefit.Now, the Web is saturated with articles on tools that aid you in conducting initial keyword research. But wh... > Read more

July 01, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 9

How B2B Companies Can Use Foursquare for Marketing and Advertising

Foursquare, launched in 2009, is a hot mobile social media platform self-described as a “friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things.”  So far Foursquare has been very successful with Individual users Media outlets, such as The New York Times and The History Channel B2C companies, like Starbucks and McDonald’s But B2B companies have yet to embrace Foursquare.

Many see it as having limited utility and aren’t quite sure how to leverage it, so they don’t see it as a viable business application. So are there ways B2B companies can use Foursquare to reach new customers or promote their brand? Let’s get creative and look at some of the ways B2B companies can follow the lead of other Foursquare adopters to ... > Read more

June 30, 2010     |   Written by: Yue   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 2

Monthly Blog Roundup: WordStream's June Highlights

It's officially summer now, and I'm guessing a lot of you are either on vacation on planning to go on vacation very soon (in which case, you're probably not reading this; why am I even talking to you?). I'm hitting the road (or sky, as it were) myself tomorrow for a long weekend outside Asheville, NC.

I've never been to Asheville—they have fireworks there, right? Happy Independence Day to our American readers! (And happy regular Wednesday to everyone else.) If you are working this week, why not check out our top 10 most popular blog posts from June? Lessons from a Search Startup: Our Journey Through Two Rounds of VC Funding: CEO Rob Adler made a rare appearance on the blog to share valuable insights about the process of securing venture capital funding in the search marketing space... > Read more

June 30, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Future Proofing Your SEO: Parallel Indexing

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.

Today I'm going to show you how to go about "future proofing" your SEO. Some call this "algo chasing," but the only similarity to algorithm chasing is that in future proofing, we learn something new or see a change in the results, review the cause and adjust the SEO strategy to position the site to move up in the flux that results. We never look for exploits! IMO, we should be looking for what we need to change and how to work within what we anticipate the algori... > Read more

June 29, 2010     |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 7

Recommended Resources: BlueGlass LA 2010

Our recommended resource this week is BlueGlass LA 2010, an online marketing conference taking place next month in Los Angeles. This conference will bring together more than 20 online marketing experts, including Clix Marketing CEO David Szetela, MySpace Senior Marketing Manager Tony Adam, and Director of Technical Marketing for Yahoo! Media Laura Lippay.

The event will take place on Monday, July 19, and Tuesday, July 20, at the Marina del Rey Marriott Hotel. Here are some reasons you might want to consider signing up: There will be 10 panel discussions about a variety of topics. Subjects include “How to not FAIL at getting search traffic,” “When to raise money and when to bootstrap,” and “Links matter: How to measure and attain them.&rdq... > Read more

June 28, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 0

Is the Internet Making Us Smarter?

Constant connectivity and pervasive social media often feel like a massive distraction, vacuuming brain power and attention away from more tedious but necessary work and killing productivity. Easy access to Google, especially via mobile devices, can make us reluctant to think or flip through our own memory files, favoring the fast, easy answer.

Low barriers to publishing content online mean we're frequently writing dumbass things we'll live to regret. Has the always-on Internet made us collectively stupider? (Thanks a pantload, Al Gore.) A number of "pundits" and "luminaries"—I'm reluctant to use those terms without irony—think just the opposite, that the Internet is making us smarter! (Thanks, Al Gore!) Echoing some of the ideas in Steven Johnson's 2005 bes... > Read more

June 25, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 10

Online Advertising: The Evolution Continues

I was struck last week by several headlines about the continuing growth of online advertising, but none more than this one: “Online Poised to Supplant Newspapers As World’s No. 2 Ad Medium.” Of course, anyone alive and paying attention this last decade shouldn’t be that surprised by the headline.

Unless they're surprised that newspapers are still #2 – they seem so yesterday. But as I considered that the online world is now 15 years old, and that search, the largest and most significant growth driver of online ad spend, is now 10 years old, it did push me to think about what this news might signify about the online advertising industry’s evolution. You see, new media platforms (like online advertising, or television before it) behave a lot like other new platforms or technologi... > Read more

June 24, 2010     |   Written by: Rob Adler   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 2

How to Increase PPC Conversions with Organization & Communication

This is a guest post by Jenny Anderson, a search marketing consultant at Hanapin Marketing. She works with a variety of clients and writes for Hanapin’s blogs, PPC Hero and SEO Boy. Over at SEO Boy, I recently wrote a post on how a promotional calendar can help boost SEO efforts. The main point was that if you set up a promotional calendar and pair it with site changes and new content based on the promotions, you’ll have a plan in place for adding relevant and useful information to your site.

Search engines will love the fresh content and your customers will love the sales and promos. The same concept can be applied to PPC management with just a couple of twists. Let’s say we’re managing pay-per-click ads for a resort. Below, I outline how the three main compon... > Read more

June 24, 2010     |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 0

Link Assistant PowerSuite Now Available in French

Just wanted to drop a quick update from our pals over at Link Assistant, who have just announced that their awesome SEO PowerSuite is now available in French. Details about the new French version can be found on the Link Assistant blog: SEO PowerSuite is Now Multilingual The SEO PowerSuite French website can be found here: http://www.

seopowersuite.fr/ According to Ian Artimovich from Link Assistant, "the main point is that the software and the SEO reports it generates have been fully translated into French. So now French speaking webmasters and SEOs can optimize their sites with our software and SEO companies get a great opportunity to reach out to the French speaking markets. SEO PowerSuite is now available in four languages: English, German, Russian and Dutch." I'm a big fan of the tools... > Read more

June 23, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 0

How to Use WordStream's New Free Negative Keyword Tool

Yesterday Larry announced the release of our new Free Negative Keyword Tool and talked a little about the importance of using negative keywords if you want to maximize your PPC budget. Today, I'd like to walk you through the functionality of the tool in a little more detail. As Larry mentioned, negative keyword discovery is critical for keeping PPC costs under control.

Because they ensure that your ad doesn't match against irrelevant queries, they reduce wasteful ad spend, increase click-through rates, and improve Quality Score—all of which contribute to lower costs for PPC and better returns. The great thing about our new negative keyword tool is that it's a proactive way to indentify negative keyword candidates, so you can preemptively curtail worthless ad clicks, instead of findin... > Read more

June 23, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Announcing the World’s First Free Negative Keyword Tool - Find PPC Negative Keyword Lists for AdWords, Yahoo, MSN

Today at WordStream, we’ve released the world’s first Free Negative Keyword Tool for improving your click-through rates (CTR) and Quality Score, which in turn can significantly improve your return on investment across your entire PPC account. For a quick take on the new tool, you can:Read the official press releaseWatch a 2-minute video demoRead the FAQOr simply try it out yourself!In this post, I’d like to talk a little about how this new tool was designed and why I feel it's a valuable resource for anyone doing PPC marketing.

Why You Should Care about Negative Keyword ResearchIf you only had time for one keyword optimization task for an existing PPC account, I would suggest finding negative keywords – whenever I look at a client’s search query report, there are always tons of ju... > Read more

June 22, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 3

My Take on the Mayday Update: Strengthen Your Niches or Land in the Ditches

There have been some interesting theories and observations about the Google’s recent Mayday update and how Google has "…increased the emphasis on quality and is giving smaller sites a chance." The official word out of Google is that they’ve made an algorithmic shift to "looking for higher quality sites…for long tail queries.

" Since the Mayday Update was implemented, all Hell has broken loose across the Web, with many sites reporting a sudden loss in long tail traffic. But for every site that lost SERP share, another site was there to scoop it up. Lucky for us, WordStream was one of the sites to benefit from the update. Immediately following the Mayday rollout, our organic traffic spiked 50%. So, as you can imagine, we were thrilled to hear Mayday is here to stay and there won... > Read more

June 21, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 10

Are Your Keywords Descriptive or Prescriptive?

There was an interesting post on Kenny Hyder's blog this week about the difference between descriptive and prescriptive marketing. He's borrowing a concept from grammar and linguistics, topics close to my heart! Descriptive grammar aims to describe the way people use language without making a judgment on what's right or wrong.

For example, it might describe in what contexts and in what regions the construction "noun + be + -ing verb" (as in "You be trippin'") is used. Prescriptive grammar, on the other hand, aims to systematize language use with rules; a prescriptive grammarian would categorize the above usage as incorrect English, the correct version being "You are tripping" (or, in some interpretations, "You tend to trip," "You are freque... > Read more

June 18, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

Paid Links vs. Linkbait: What's the Better Value?

This is a guest post by Christopher Angus, an SEO expert who runs a bespoke digital marketing agency/SEO company in the Cotswolds, United Kingdom. In addition to his extensive SEO knowledge, Christopher specializes in social media marketing, viral marketing, pay-per-click management and website design.

Rated the 26th Most Influential Marketer in the World in 2009, Christopher’s portfolio includes a range of high-profile companies within the travel, finance and gaming industries. Linking is the holy grail of getting better visibility on Google. It’s no secret that getting great quality links from trusted sites is the key to success in terms of organic results and therefore free traffic. Previous SEO techniques used to mainly involve buying links, as many as you could afford... > Read more

June 17, 2010     |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 7

It's the Easiest Contest on the Planet! "Like" WordStream, Win Prizes!

In an effort to make everyone's life less "complicated" (and to help us hit 6K fans on Facebook...), we've created "the easiest contest on the planet."You don't have to invent anything, solve any riddles or dress up like a goofy robot to win a cool prize in our contest.All we'd like you to do is "like" WordStream on Facebook and "like" Search Engine Journal on Facebook (yes, we really neeeed to be "liked") and you're automatically entered to win.

See...told you it was easy.So come on...our goal is 6,000 Facebook fans. Help us reach it!So It's Like This: We Hit 6K Fans, SEJ Gets More Fans, You Can Win Cool Prizes...Everybody Wins!!!Like I said, to be eligible to win some kick ass prizes, all we'd like you to do is "like" WordStream on Facebook and "like" Search Engine Journal on Facebook.So... > Read more

June 16, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 4

Announcing The Ultimate Guide to Quality Score

Since launching WordStream in late 2008, the most common question we get asked from clients is "how do I improve my Quality Score?" This really doesn't come as a surprise given that maintaining a healthy AdWords Quality Score is critical to driving down click spend and driving up ROI. To help PPC marketers better navigate the murky waters of Quality Score, we've put together The Ultimate Guide to Quality Score.

The guide features in-depth, comprehensive insights into the nuts and bolts of Google AdWords Quality Score from some of the top minds in pay-per-click advertising, including Brad Geddes, Andrew Goodman, George Michie, Dave Davis, Marty Weintraub, Larry Kim and many, many more. So for anyone who's ever wondered what you can do to improve your Quality Score in Google AdWords... ... > Read more

June 15, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0
 
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