Google recently introduced a new AdWords feature that lets you create keywords that are more targeted than broad match, yet have a greater reach than phrase or exact match. With modified broad match, you put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. The words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the user’s keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation.
The words that are not following a (+) sign will trigger ads on more significant query variations. This feature can drive more traffic than phrase or exact match, and attract more qualified traffic than broad match. What are examples of modified broad match phrases? Say your broad match phrase was “red purses.” That phrase could prompt ads on relevant query variations like “red bags,” ... > Read more
There's a reason that link building is often touted as being one of the top strategies for gaining exposure online: it works. Unlike many other online marketing strategies, link building is a consistently reliable way to draw targeted traffic to a website. Like anything else, though, plenty of myths about link building are swirling around out there.
In order to make the most out of your Internet marketing experience, you should educate yourself about the most common link building myths. By doing so, you can use link building to enjoy a more fruitful online marketing experience. Dispelling the Top Five Link Building Myths The Internet is awash in conflicting information about link building. Below, we highlight five of the most pervasive link building strategy myths, then cut th... > Read more
Google has an interesting tightrope to walk with their AdWords platform in that they have two central competing interests:They want to make the system intuitive to use and easy for the "tail" of AdWords advertisers to spend money with.They need to continue to make AdWords a profitable channel for the top advertisers, who represent the bulk of the money spent on their platform, and they need to present power users with access to power tools.
To date the way they've handled this is to offer defaults on the front end that encourage spending, with advanced features that help optimize larger spends available but less accessible (which possibly accounts for their alarmingly high client churn amongst small businesses).A great example of this push-spend-in-the-front-intelligent-features-in-the-back... > Read more
Is Anyone Being Evil Here? Google-Verizon Compromise Proposal Draws Criticism from Net Neutrality Advocates
Last week, the New York Times and other media outlets reported that Google and Verizon were in talks to form a deal that would fly in the face of net neutrality, suggesting that Google planned to pay Verizon to speed up delivery of YouTube videos. Both companies denied the reports. On Monday, Google and Verizon held a press conference to discuss the actual content of their proposal.
As outlined on Google's Public Policy Blog, it has seven key elements: Openness of wireline broadband Internet should be enforceable by the FCC. Any discriminatory practices against lawful content, applications or services, as well as prioritization of traffic, should be enforceably prohibited. Broadband providers should be transparent. The FCC should address complaints on a case-by-case basis and impose pena... > Read more
This week's recommended resource is one of my favorite people in the Internet marketing sphere, Megan Leap. Megan is a fantastic marketer, blogger and world class sweetheart. When I first connected with Megan, she was working for Ion Interactive as the Online Marketing Manager and was a key contibutor to the Ion Interactive Blog, where she shared her insights on search, social media and conversion rate optimiztion tips and best practices.
Recently, she left Ion and is now managing the marketing activities over at MarketingProfs. She still blogs frequently and shares her deep knowledge of the online marketing space, so make sure you check out and bookmark her articles on the Marketing Professors Daily Fix Blog. Megan also has her own personal site, where she posts links to her guest article... > Read more
This is a guest post by Amy Hoffman, a search marketing consultant at Hanapin Marketing. She also blogs for PPC Hero and SEO Boy. Have you ever looked through an old scrapbook to find yourself smiling at memories you’d nearly forgotten? For me, it may be dressing up as Aqua to perform a sixth grade rendition of “Barbie Girl,” holding my at-the-time new baby brother, or some other embarrassing, proud or hilarious moment.
Some of these moments will live on only in the scrapbook. (I can double-check but I’m pretty positive my mom won’t have any more kids.) On the contrary, these memories can spark future plans such as a reunion with my fellow Aqua impersonators. By now, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. Believe it or not, the lifespan of a PPC account follows... > Read more
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an important part of building a web business. While advertising and social networking are important parts of growing your online presence, the majority of people still come across new websites by using search engines. Search engine traffic is also far more likely to be looking for something to buy than social traffic is.
But SEO has changed quite a bit over the years. In the past it was easier to try to outsmart the search engines by using questionable tactics that filled the web with sites that were little more than spam, packed with repetitive keywords and useless to the visitor. Unfortunately, some of these tactics are still taught by people claiming to have knowledge in the field of SEO. It is important to avoid these pitfalls that in the best cas... > Read more
Search Engine Watch today published a really interesting article called "How to Cut Through the Clutter in Branded Search," using WordStream's keyword tools as the first step in a brand query analysis. In this article, Web Liquid Group's Paul Burani (Web Liquid is a New York marketing agency that measures brand health in the digital space) helps a friend, a chief marketing officer, develop a methodology for obtaining "an objective view on [a] brand's overall performance in digital.
" Paul writes: I told him that one way of answering the question would be to look at the trend in search query volume for the brand name -- if more people are querying keywords related to the brand name this month, compared to last month, that would be one way to answer the CMO's question. Thi... > Read more
Summer is winding down, and I’ll miss the warm sun, lazy beach days and endless BBQs. However fall is right around the corner and is sure to bring crisp air, pumpkin coffee, football season … and conferences! That’s right; it’ll soon be time to decide which shows to attend, which tracks pique your interest and which industry celebrities you will stalk.
WordStream is excited to be exhibiting at SMX East in New York City this October. Whether you’re looking for in-depth workshops or networking opportunities, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, SMX East will have you covered. We’ll be there, and we hope to see you, too! So get a head start on your conference schedule, register early and save 10% with our discount code (note t... > Read more
Slate this week featured an interview with Google's research director, Peter Norvig, as part of its series The Wrong Stuff—interviews with people about "the role of error in their lives and their fields." This approach feels particularly apropos this week, since Google announced plans to stop development on Wave as a standalone product.
Kathryn Schulz's opening gambit: I'm interested in the way that attitudes about error vary across professional cultures—doctors typically think about error very differently than pilots and politicians and so forth—as well as across the cultures of different companies, even within the same field. How would you characterize the overall attitude toward error at Google? Norvig, we learn, along with the other executives and engineers... > Read more
This is the final excerpt from Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now, including the final section, "Social Media Keywords." Qualifying Site Visitors For me, one of the most important steps is qualifying your visitors.
For instance, while I work with many different people and businesses, I aim for businesses and professionals who already have a site and are looking to get more from it. So, when I produce content, I use keywords and topics that focus on getting more out of what you already have. This piece, for instance, isn’t just about keyword research, but all the different aspects surrounding the practice and how it relates to content production and publishing. Therefore, I’m more likely t... > Read more
For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now. Different Keywords for Different Purposes Not all keywords bring the same results, and I don’t mean the difference in the amount of traffic they bring in.
Ask any smart businessperson and they’ll tell you traffic and sales are still miles apart. What I mean is that you can’t just say to yourself “OK, now I’m going to become an authority figure,” pound out some content, and expect to get results. It just doesn’t work that way. Traffic Keywords These are the ones all search engine optimizers are familiar with. These keywords generate massive amounts o... > Read more
For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now. Levels of Keywords When researching keywords specifically for content, I select three types of keywords: Primary Keywords — Keywords geared specifically for your main goal.
If your goal is social, you’ll want to use various social media tools to find out what words your target audience is using at the moment. What are the hot topics? If you’re in need of links and rankings, your keywords will likely be found using SEO keyword tools and based heavily on your findings. This doesn’t mean there isn’t any consideration for social in an SEO-based piece or vice versa — simply that its f... > Read more
For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now. Keyword Research and Content Type Great content is...well...great. There’s no denying that, but when it doesn’t attract the right people, or achieve results, it’s essentially useless.
Of course, you can slam down a list of keywords and requirements, but it simply won’t generate the results many would like to believe. So, just as you did when you built the main pages of your website, you need to do some keyword research. The basics of this research are similar, but it’s quite different from what you’re used to. In this article, I’m not going to go through how to use variou... > Read more
The guys behing DuoBlogger, a blog created to share knowledge with webmasters and online advertisers (they did a great reveiw of WordStream recently!), are offering a new iPhone app that AdSense users should find interesting (and it's free!): DuoSense is an advanced AdSense application aimed to both track and analyze your AdSense income.
Core features include showing daily earnings, advanced plot-able statistics for earnings, PPC and CTR, plus a help center with AdSense coaching tutorials. Here's a quick video showing how it works: You can learn more about DuoSense on the DuoBlogger blog or at the iPhone app store.... > Read more
It's not often that I bookmark something just because it's awesome—most of my bookmarks here at the office are applications and login pages that I need for work. Dull, I know. But this week I found a resource that has nothing to do with work and that I know I'll want to return to again and again: a list of "The Best Magazine Articles Ever.
" It's a long list of articles that date back as far as the '40s, so naturally it's full of things I haven't read. But I was happy to see a few of my favorites on the list—like "Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars Over Usage" by David Foster Wallace, an article about the politics of dictionary-making. I read this in college and, as a budding linguist, just loved it to death—I still have that copy of Harper's filed away somewhere, almost ... > Read more
July is almost over, folks! What's that mean? It means that time marches on, we're not getting any younger, and so on (it may be time to buy a youth-activating serum and/or update that unrealistically hot photo on your online dating profile), but mostly it means it's time for WordStream's best of the month! You voted with your eyeballs, and these were the top 10 most popular posts on the blog in July.
Want More Link Juice? Here’s an Easy Way to Get It: This how-to from Ken explains how to drain link juice from your existing content with internal anchor links. The Evolution of Ranking Signals: Google Is Getting Past the Link: In this guest post, David Harry looks at other kinds of signals that Google may begin to value more than links. How Tumblr Opened My Eyes to the Social Web: Cur... > Read more
According to Matt Cutts, linkbait is anything "interesting enough to catch people's attention." Of course, the best linkbait doesn't just catch it but keep it. These five sites are worth re-visiting; here's why they work. 1. Lifehacker Consistently named to lists of the web's best, Lifehacker (part of the Gawker Media family) is a blog of "tips and downloads for getting things done.
" Why This Works: Far from a short-lived linkbait gimmick, this is a legitimately useful website full of life improvement tips (including time management, organization, and smart repurposing) geared toward the tech-geek type. Recent popular topics include "Turn an Older iPhone Into a Prepaid Voice and Data Unit," "Rename Files Fast with the Tab Key," and "IKEA Jerker Do-It-Yourself Treadmill Desk." Because cleve... > Read more
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a small retailer in Alabama that profited from noticing and acting on a paid search opportunity. 365 Inc. first seized a market opportunity—late last year, knowing that the World Cup was approaching, the company ordered several thousand vuvuzelas (stadium horns).
They had a hunch vuvuzelas would become popular among U.S. soccer fans, which ultimately proved true. As the World Cup drew near, 365 Inc. bid on vuvuzela-related terms like “soccer horn” and “stadium horn” from Google and Yahoo for between 15 and 30 cents per click. Its ads began appearing in search results, and as of July 1 the company had sold $240,000 worth of vuvuzelas (30,000 vuvuzelas at $8 apiece). The company wouldn’t reveal to ... > Read more
On-page SEO just isn't enough to secure great rankings. You also need incoming links, which signal to search engines that people value your content. You'll get the best results if these links are: From high-authority domains Relevant to your marketspace Deep, i.e., not just to your home page Optimized with targeted anchor text So how are you supposed to get these links? Write great content and hope for the best? Yes, to some extent, that's a strategy, but unless you're very patient, you'll probably want to be more proactive about getting good links.
One way to do this is by writing guest posts for prominent blogs in your space. The WordStream blog invites proposals for and submissions of guest posts that cover topics of interest to our audience (including SEO, PPC, keyword research ... > Read more
The most thought-provoking thing I read this week was Joe Hall's regular column on Marketing Pilgrim, Cup of Joe: "Sometimes You Should Be Yourself & Sometimes You Really Shouldn't!" Here, Joe questions the common wisdom that the key to succeeding in social media is "being yourself": We have all heard that the trick to social media is to be yourself.
In doing so we create authenticity and transparency that others can trust. But the question emerges, when does being yourself get in the way of building a strong personal brand? Joe recounts a kerfuffle that went down last week, mostly on Twitter, between Chris Pearson, who created the very popular Thesis WordPress theme (yes you can monetize WordPress blogs), and Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress—who contends that Thesis vio... > Read more
I heard about Problogger’s 7 link challenge via Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media. This challenge—to link to seven past blog posts that fit into seven categories—doesn’t set off my fear of heights or eating bugs, so I thought we should take a stab at it. As Lisa points out, this challenge can benefit “old and new readers” of our blog, by highlighting some of best posts from the archives that you may have missed.
Without further ado, here are the seven (give or take) links: Your first post: The first post on the WordStream blog, not counting the welcome announcement, was Larry’s “How to Achieve the Best Results for PPC & SEO,” a list of 10 best practices that formed the cornerstones (can you have 10 cornerstones?) of our product ... > Read more
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
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
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
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
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