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

Quality Score FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Quality Score

Below you'll find answers to some common and not-so-common questions about Quality Score, courtesy of our in-house PPC experts. Have a question that's not answered here? Leave it in the comments and we'll respond! Is there a way to check our AdWords Quality Score? Where do I find my Quality Score? Yes, you can view your Quality Score in AdWords right now.

This recent post explains how to find your Quality Score in both Google and Yahoo. Is Quality Score specific to campaign or ad group? According to Google, neither. You have Quality Scores at the account, keyword, and ad level, but not for campaigns or ad groups. How fast can we improve Quality Score? Unfortunately Quality Score isn’t something that you can necessarily right overnight if you’ve had poor account performance for a signif... > Read more

June 14, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: SEM Questions   |   Comments: 2

What Bros Icing Bros Can Teach Us About Marketing (And Humanity)

Thank god somebody is talking about "icing" from a marketing perspective, because I really wanted to write about this and just wasn't sure how. And by "this," I mean the bizarre game/meme known as icing, as documented by the site Bros Icing Bros. And by "somebody," I mean the New York Times. Earlier this week the NYT's J.

David Goodman asked, in the form of an embarrassingly lame headline, "Popular New Drinking Game Raises Question, Who’s ‘Icing’ Whom?" (At least they didn't misuse the phrase "begs the question.") If you're not a frat boy and you've somehow missed this cultural phenomenon, it consists of one "bro" presenting another "bro" with a Smirnoff Ice, frequently lukewarm, as a kind of dare. To maintain his honor the challenged bro must drop to one knee and chug it on the spot... > Read more

June 11, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Improving Quality Score Part 4: The Importance of Quality Score

Quality Score affects virtually all the important metrics of a PPC campaign, including: Impressions Ad position Cost-per-click (CPC) Here’s how: How Quality Score Affects Impressions Each time a user conducts a search, Google AdWords conducts an internal ad auction to determine which advertisers have ads it deems eligible (relevant enough) to appear alongside the user’s search results.

Google has publicly stated on numerous occasions their underlying belief that it’s better to display no ads at all than to display irrelevant ads (and in doing so, potentially lose an opportunity for incremental revenue). Quality Score partly determines if a keyword is relevant enough, and hence eligible to enter an ad auction. The more times an advertiser’s ads are deem... > Read more

June 10, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Improving Quality Score Part 3: How is Quality Score Calculated?

For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from our new free white paper, "Improving Quality Score: The Value of Being More Relevant." To download the full white paper (you'll only get about half of it here), fill out the form below. Google determines Quality Score slightly differently for each of the different advertising networks that it runs.

Here we’ll learn how Quality Score is calculated for Google Search, which is the largest source of traffic for most advertisers. According to Google: Quality Score is calculated in real-time, every time your keyword matches a search query—that is, every time your keyword has the potential to trigger an ad. Quality Score is used in several different ways, including influencing your keywords’ actual cost-per-click... > Read more

June 09, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 3

How to Leverage $1000s in Engineering Costs to Turn Visitors Into Leads...for Free

In the year plus we've been in the market, we've added a series of free utilities to WordStream.com, including: The Free Keyword Tool The Free Keyword Niche Finder The Free Keyword Grouper Several Free Search Engine Marketing White Papers Free Internet Marketing Articles The idea being that we're able to introduce prospective WordStream clients to our products and our philosophies and methodologies as a company.

Visitors to the WordStream site get something of value - a tool they can leverage to improve their search marketing results or content that offers actionable suggestions about how to get more out of search engine marketing - and in exchange we get permission to introduce them to solutions that we offer on a subscription basis. This is such a win-win for us, we thought other busi... > Read more

June 08, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 2

Improving Quality Score Part 2: How Quality Score Works

For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from our new free white paper, "Improving Quality Score: The Value of Being More Relevant." To download the full white paper (you'll only get about half of it here), fill out the form below. In a nutshell, Quality Score is a Google-devised system that measures advertising quality (or relevancy), which in turn helps determine if your ad is eligible to be displayed in the search results for a given query.

Beyond that, if your ad is deemed relevant, the position of your ad and the cost you pay each time it’s clicked are also partially determined by your Quality Score. The factors that determine Quality Score, as outlined by Google, include: The historical click-through rate (CTR) of your account and your specific keyword... > Read more

June 08, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 2

Improving Quality Score Part 1: Why Should You Care About Quality Score?

For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from our new free white paper, "Improving Quality Score: The Value of Being More Relevant." To download the full white paper (you'll only get about half of it here), fill out the form below.Why Should You Care About Quality Score?Should you be concerned about Quality Score? You probably should, but let’s find out for sure.

Take a look at this list and see if any of the following apply to you:a)     You’re Paying Too Much – You’re annoyed at rising pay-per-click (PPC) advertising costs (or you wouldn’t mind paying less per click).b)     Your Competitors Seem to Be Beating You – You wish your sponsored ads would show up higher than those of your competitors, but without having topaymore.c)... > Read more

June 07, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

The Great Inline Link Debate

On her blog, The Link Spiel, the always smart and interesting Debra Mastaler asks, "Can You Handle On-Page Links?" The post is a response to Nicholas Carr's post "Experiments in Delinkification" on Rough Type, as well as a post by Marshall Kirkpatrick called "The Case Against Links" (also responding to Carr).

Carr writes that he is beginning to come around to his friend Steve Gillmor's way of thinking about hyperlinks—that is, that inline links are a needless distraction and should be done away with or moved to the end of an article. His reasoning goes: The link is, in a way, a technologically advanced form of a footnote. It's also, distraction-wise, a more violent form of a footnote. Where a footnote gives your brain a gentle nudge, the link gives it a ... > Read more

June 04, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

Lessons from a Search Startup: Our Journey Through Two Rounds of VC Funding

Let me start off by coming clean and admitting that I’ve been dying to contribute to the WordStream blog since it debuted about a year ago. As CEO, I certainly could have posted any time I wanted (“it’s good to be the king”) … but I also have to admit to being intimidated due to the substantive nature of most of our posts and the corresponding readership.

So I couldn’t make just any post my first post—it had to be good. I figured the recent announcement of our successful capital raise provided as good an opportunity as any to make a meaningful contribution to the blog and our community of readers. Having raised more than $70 million for four start-up companies over the past 20 years, I have some clue as to what I'm talking about. (Not to mention I... > Read more

June 03, 2010     |   Written by: Rob Adler   |   Posted In: Venture Capital   |   Comments: 9

How to Find and Fix Broken Links on Your Website

If you have a website, I'm sure you’ve put a lot of hard work and long hours into making it a valuable resource for your visitors. But if your links aren't working, it can derail all of your hard work. Broken links on your website can be harmful in two ways: They make for a bad user experience – When users click on links and reach dead-end 404 errors, they get frustrated and may never return.

They devalue your SEO efforts – Broken links restrict the flow of link equity throughout your site, which impacts rankings negatively. To avoid these potential pitfalls, you should periodically check for broken links on your entire website. If you’re wondering how to do this, you’re not alone. The good news is we’ve done this work before and we’ve documented everything in a step-by-ste... > Read more

June 02, 2010     |   Written by: Yue   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 15

How to Find Your Quality Score on Google and Yahoo

The Quality Score of your pay-per-click ads is a key determinant in the amount you need to bid on keywords to secure a strong position in search engine results. The higher your Google Quality Score, the less you have to pay for your ad to appear in your desired position.For this reason, it's important to track your Quality Scores so you know how your ad campaigns are performing.

Low Quality Scores should prompt you to better organize your keywords, get rid of specific keywords, modify your ad text, or improve your landing pages (among other possible solutions). But first you need to find out what your Quality Scores are. Unfortunately, Bing doesn’t provide this information, but Google and Yahoo do. Here's how to find your Quality Score in Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing.&n... > Read more

June 01, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 2

Enough About Facebook – What’s Up with Twitter?

Last week I brought you the epic Facebook link roundup … this week, the epic Twitter roundup? Well, maybe not epic, exactly. But there’s definitely been some noise about Twitter, probably because people are sick to death of talking about Facebook. First, there’s @BPGlobalPR, which is basically the new @ShitMyDadSays.

If you somehow missed it (which seems impossible, if you’re on Twitter at all; there’s a 100% chance that someone you follow retweeted @BPGlobalPR this week), some folks set up this satirical account to highlight just how much “BP cares,” sending out a stream of tweets along the lines of: As you can imagine, this has caused quite a stir – but not at BP. According to AdAge: The use of the [logo] and of the @BPGlobalPR handle isn't something BP seems particularl... > Read more

May 28, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Monthly Blog Roundup: WordStream's May Highlights

I remember back in my school days it always seemed like Christmas would never come … then it did, and then it seemed like summer would never come. Now time pretty much flies by at warp speed all year. But, paradoxically, winter in Boston always seems interminable! So right now I'm simultaneously amazed that it's almost summer, and already too hot to sleep without the AC on, and pained that it took so long to get here, and dreading its inevitable end.

So it goes. I ate lunch from this exact viewpoint last Friday. Let's revisit some of our most popular posts of the month: R.I.P: Search Engine Optimization is Dead!: Ken pulled the old bait and switch with this one. This isn't yet another post about the death of SEO. Rather, Ken provides data showing just the opposite.   Poll Re... > Read more

May 27, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

SEO Tool Review: SEO Spyglass

Spying is all the rage in SEO. Search marketers love to secretly spy on their competitors to try and decode their winning tactics. The logic (and hope) is that if they can determine why a particular site is ranking so well, then they can apply the same strategy to their own websites to best the competition.

The inherent flaw in this logic is that it is impossible to duplicate a site's link profile, even with all their link data. Bottom line is there are some links you will never be able to obtain, no matter how crafty you are or how hard you beg (which speaks to the importance of building quality backlinks so your competitor's can't easily turn the tables and duplicate your link profile). But that's okay. Your goal shouldn't be to replicate a competitor's link profile, link for link. You g... > Read more

May 26, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 10

Lifetime Value Versus CPA

This is a guest post by Niel Robertson. Niel is the CEO of Trada, the first PPC marketplace that allows agencies and in-house advertisers to leverage the skills of hundreds of the best PPC experts in the world, who in turn earn money risk free by generating low-cost clicks and conversions for advertisers.

Trada is running a contest in May for the best online marketing blog post; the winner receives an iPad. You can read more of Niel’s thoughts on the Trada blog and follow him on Twitter at @nielr1. The performance-based advertising world is focused on CPA. For those who are not aware of the acronym, it means cost per acquisition or cost per action (both versions are used). An acquisition or action can be anything that a website’s owners want it to be: a confirmed sale or a lead ge... > Read more

May 25, 2010     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Venture Capital & Marketing - A VC's Perspective on Marketing, SEO, PPC, & Search

Recently I had a chance to pose a series of questions to Greg Gretsch, a partner at Sigma, one of our investors' venture capital firms. We recently recieved a second round of venture funding and while I was a member of the WordStream team when Larry got our first round of funding, I've never really been actively involved in raising capital.

I had a lot of questions around how venture capitalists view marketing programs and the search space, which Greg was nice enough to answer in his post on the marketing portion of your venture pitch. Greg spent even more time answering some of my follow-up questions via Email, and gave us the green light to post the answers on the blog. Since a lot of the audience here is either working in a marketing department, trying to learn SEO/SEM and grow them as... > Read more

May 24, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Venture Capital   |   Comments: 1

NYT, HuffPo Still Don't Get SEO

On Wednesday, Jill Whalen (@jillwhalen) shared a link to a "stupid" article in the New York Times by someone who "has no clue what SEO is." The NYT isn't the opposite of hard-hitting journalism with integrity (that's the Huffington Post) but it's often surprisingly crappy. So I was quick to click and see just how stupid the piece was.

The verdict? Fairly stupid. It's all about headline writing for SEO, but it's hard to tell if the author (David Carr) really doesn't understand SEO and keyword optimization or just thinks he's being funny. The headline on the article is "Taylor Momsen Did Not Write this Headline." Why this headline, on a piece that has nothing to do with Taylor Momsen? Here's why: Don’t know who Taylor Momsen is? Neither do I, beyond that she is the mean one on “Gossip G... > Read more

May 21, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 3

R.I.P: Search Engine Optimization is Dead!

There's been a lot of talk recently about how "SEO is dead." The claim is based largely on the specter of mounting algorithmic complexities, rising barriers to entry, the advent of personalized search, integration of social usage data signals, global warming, the Tea Party movement, blah, blah, blah, (insert your own fatalistic theory).

There was one post in particular that I read a few months back where a blogger used a pretty compelling graph from Google Trends to make the case that SEO is on life support due to a steady decline in query popularity juxtaposed against a meteoric rise in social media query activity. Going by this graph, it appears that SEO is in fact "on the back nine." So if you make your living as an SEO, or if, like us, you just launched a line of ... > Read more

May 20, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 30

Keywords and Social Media: What You Should Know

When one thinks of social networking they don't often associate it with keywords. Usually, businesses or individuals look to use social networking as a means to brand themselves, connect with friends/customers, sell a product, or share experiences with people they’ve never met IRL (in real life). But what many brands and individuals miss out on is the opportunity to integrate keywords into the public messages they post on Twitter or other social networking sites for the purposes of research as well as search engine optimization.

Keyword Research and Social Media: Listen Using social networking sites to help with keyword research only seems logical. With Twitter Search, Facebook Search, Del.icio.us search, and other social networking search functionality, you're able to listen to what th... > Read more

May 19, 2010     |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 7

14 PPC Tools for Beginners

For whatever reason, you may not have yet partaken in a pay-per-click advertising campaign. Maybe you thought print advertising was more effective, feared the potential of click fraud, or have just been too busy to learn the ins and outs of the PPC advertising model. Now you’ve decided that PPC may be worth your while.

You’re doing your best to read all you can about the advertising form, determine your keywords, and set a budget for your pay-per-click ad spend. As you venture into this new advertising territory, there are many tools that can help you effectively shape your PPC campaigns. Here are 13 PPC tools for beginners:Google AdWords Traffic Estimator: Use this tool to get the estimated average AdWords cost per click (CPC) amounts for particular keywords and keyword phrases. ... > Read more

May 18, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 3

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Interview Series: Anna Talerico

Anna Talerico is the executive vice president at ion, where she manages sales, marketing and client services. Can you tell us a little about your role at Ion Interactive? What's your conversion rate optimization (CRO) philosophy? As the executive vice president here at ion I manage the sales, marketing and client services teams.

It's a great place to be sitting because I can make sure these three teams are working very much in unison. I think that ultimately benefits our customers a great deal. My CRO philosophy is really simple: Test. Test continuously. Test to statistical significance. Learn what you can from the results, and then move onto the next test wave. Constantly be seeking improvement in both conversion rate and conversion quality (average order value, lead score, etc).  Wh... > Read more

May 17, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 2

Epic Facebook Link Roundup

Friends, I wasn’t planning to write about Facebook again this week, I swear. But every other post in my feed reader, every other link I saw on Twitter was about Facebook. Clearly, the world wants to talk about Facebook. You want it, you got it: I bring you the epic Facebook link roundup. The first Facebook story I read this week was a Wired piece called “Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative,” Ryan Singel argues that the company is “drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world domination.

” He lodges a series of complaints about Facebook’s steady decrease in privacy: Facebook thinks that your notions of privacy — meaning your ability to control information about yourself — are just plain ol... > Read more

May 14, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4
 
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