Mashable does a series of polls called "Web Faceoff" that pit similar Internet phenomena against one another, e.g. GTalk vs. AIM, Foursquare vs. Yelp, Nexus One vs. iPhone 3GS, and so on. This week, the Web Faceoff was "Chatroulette vs. Hot or Not." My first thought was, "…Huh?" I read on to see why these two, to my mind, very different sites were matched up in the pen.
Chatroulette, which was launched in late 2009, is a webcam-based chat site that matches you up with a random stranger. Hot or Not, launched almost a decade earlier, shows viewers user-submitted photos and allows them to rate the photos on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being smoking hot, naturally). What's the connection? According to Mashable, they both share a "philosophy of randomness." Huh. Yeah, I guess so. It would make mor... > Read more
SES New York will be the first time WordStream's had an opportunity to exhibit at a Search Engine Strategies show, so hopefully you’ll stop by and say hello to us at Booth 125 if you’re attending. We’ll have lots of goodies like water bottles, desk paraphernalia and official WordStream couture, plus the chance to win an eMachines Netbook! If you know you’re attending and would like to set up dedicated time to speak with us, don’t be shy.
We’ve even created a special offer for SES attendees to get two months of WordStream pay per click management software for free! We’ve attended our fair share of industry conferences and tradeshows, and we’ve put together some of our most valuable tips for any conference newbies: Dress warm because convention centers are notor... > Read more
The following post is from a recent email discussion thread I was having with one of our guest bloggers Richard Kraneis. The topic we were discussing was affiliate marketing, in particular, how to find profitable affiliate niches to target. This is a question many ask when starting out in affiliate marketing.
It was a question I had too when I was learning about affiliate marketing. So I thought it would be valuable to share the conversation we had about getting started in affiliate marketing and which niches to target using SEO. I’ve pulled out specific references to my affiliate sites to protect my competitive edge ;). Now, by no means do I consider myself to be an expert on affiliate marketing and these are not hard and fast rules. These are just my opinions and my advice to Richa... > Read more
There are several ways to conduct online advertising campaigns. You can pay search engines or other Internet publishers hosting your ads each time one of your ads is clicked, every 1,000 times the ad is seen, or every time the ad prompts a more sales-related action. The third option entails a user clicking on your ad and signing up for a free trial of a product, registering for a free download, or buying your product.
Signups and registrations generate company leads, while sales generate immediate cash in your pocket. With this type of advertising you pay the host an agreed-upon fee for each specified type of action. For leads that can mean a set amount, while for sales that can mean a set percentage of the sale amount. This method of online advertising is called “cost... > Read more
A while back we interviewed a handful of link-building experts (Garrett French and Ben Wills, Wiep Knol, Debra Mastaler, and Julie Joyce) on everything from what features they'd want in their ultimate link-building tool to how to brainstorm linkbait. Here, you can find all of their answers to eight key SEO link-building questions in one place.
What factors go into a quality link?Which link building tools do you recommend?What features would the ultimate link analysis tool include?What are some strategies for brainstorming and creating linkbait?How does social media change the link building game?How should marketers go about making link requests?If I engage in link buying, how can I avoid being caught by Google?What's a better link: one from an authoritative website, or one from a high... > Read more
One question which is regularly asked to any PPC consultant when managing Google AdWords PPC campaigns is whether ads should be set to rotate or optimize. Google's default setting is "optimize," so if you have multiple ads in one ad group, your better performing ads (generally those with a higher CTR) will be shown more often.
This might seem great -- you will automatically receive the maximum number of clicks for your ads. But the more experienced PPC advertisers out there will know that clicks are not generally considered a good measure of success. Instead, conversions -- sales, leads, sign-ups, downloads and other desired outcomes -- are generally considered better measures of PPC performance. So to aid acute PPC advertisers like Shaun Livengood from PPC Without Pity, who like to optimi... > Read more
In a post called "What's Up, Internet," writer Amelia Gray answers some of the questions that Googlers have found her blog by asking: how long does it take to get a warrant I think you can get one in an afternoon, if you are a police officer and you can find a judge to give you one. (It will take more time if you’re just some guy.
) what sort of rocks are there? All kinds. Some rocks are very hard and others are so soft you can scratch them with your fingernail. Sometimes rocks float. Once I had a dream I was explaining a quartz rock to my child. Amelia may be doing this for laughs, but she still got a good post out of it, right? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Your keywords are content idea generators. If you're already ranking for questions like "What's the worst high five ... > Read more
A few months ago, I published an article about the Best SEO Rank Checkers. In it, I wrote a quick review of a keyword rank checking tool called Rank Tracker, by Link-Assistant.com. Of all the paid rank checkers I featured in that article, Rank Tracker was one that intrigued me the most. So recently, I decided to do some more extensive work with Rank Tracker to get a real taste for the tool's full capabilities.
And I'll tell you, after using this keyword SERP tracker for the past few weeks, I'm hooked. So let's take a closer look at Rank Tracker, so I can explain my newfound enthusiasm for this tool. Rank Tracker: Key Benefits There are a lot of keyword SERP trackers on the market, but they have their share of issues. First, they can be agonizingly slow. Some can only run checks on groups o... > Read more
Last week we published the Expert's Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media. This week, we're offering a similar how-to guide for the SEO copywriter. Many keyword research guides amount to a list of tools, but this guide is all about process. You'll learn exactly when, why and how to do keyword research for blog posts, articles and other content that appears online.
If you write for the web (or want to), you don't want to miss it. Read: The Expert's Guide to Keyword Research for SEO Copywriting ... > Read more
For the link-building search nerd, little matches the joy of scoring a really great link. About a month ago, a post on my personal blog got a link from The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan's blog, which is ranked #12 on Technorati's Top 100 Blogs and has a Toolbar PageRank of 8. Now, I'm pretty sure Andrew Sullivan doesn't subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter (to be fair, I don't follow him either).
So how did this come about? Via domino effect: Over the course of about 15 days, I accumulated a series of inbound links, including a few quality links early on, one of which was clearly the tip-off for the Daily Dish link. This very high-authority link (which, sadly, went up over a weekend) sent a big spike of traffic and led to a mini-long-tail of links from sites and blogs with mid-range... > Read more
Our illustrious founder and VP of product development, Larry Kim, is presenting tomorrow, March 9, at SearchFest 2010, an SEMpdx event, taking place at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. (Click here for the full agenda.) Larry will be talking about competitive intelligence: Your marketing efforts do not exist in a vacuum.
Effective competitive analysis gives you the information you need to ‘remove the blinders’ in terms of viewing your company and brands as customers do, and to highly tune your Paid Search Marketing strategies for success. This session identifies which competitive intelligence efforts enable you to determine what your competitors are doing to drive their online businesses, so that you can either emulate their PPC successes, or exploit their PPC weaknesses... > Read more
There are many ways to segment your online visitors in the three phases of online marketing. On the pre-click side, there is keyword-based segmentation, which maximizes the relevancy of your paid clicks. On the post-conversion side, there is email list segmentation, which as most marketers know, boosts email marketing performance.
And then, on the post-click side, there is form-based landing page segmentation, which can sometimes provide valuable data, after you sort through all the associate-level astronauts in Arizona who have a company revenue of over 1 billion. And there’s also user-directed, or post-click segmentation. User-directed segmentation is a form of segmentation in which landing experience visitors are presented with a few simple choices to make about who... > Read more
I'm sure many of you saw this much-shared gem: a Newsweek article from 1995 called "The Internet? Bah!" (subtitled "Why cyberspace isn't, and will never be, nirvana"), in which author Clifford Stoll argues that the Internet is overrated and will never be as pervasive as the pundits claim (emphases mine): I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community.
Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will repla... > Read more
Keyword research isn't just for search marketing. It's also a highly effective method for social media marketing. Whether your target audience is on YouTube or Twitter, your social media marketing efforts should start with determining which keywords they're using. That way you can match your message to their interests.
With that, I've put together The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media. In this comprehensive guide, I give detailed instructions on how (and why) to conduct keyword research for social media, and I break it down with tips and techniques for research keywords on four of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook. Enjoy! READ: The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media ... > Read more
Last week I landed a spot in the most watched television broadcast on the planet. The International Olympic Committee estimated that 450 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the Women's Figure Skating Finals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – more than the population of the entire US – and I was in the TV coverage! How did I do it? By applying a variation of Ken's link baiting strategy! Goals of My Link Bait Campaign One of my more ridiculous objectives in life is to achieve TV fame.
Now unfortunately I don't have any acting talents, great looks, or anything else remarkable for that matter – so I figure my only hope to achieve my goal is to ride someone else's coat-tails to TV stardom. (Yes, I know, this is pretty sad). And I don't want to be a guest on some d... > Read more
This weekend, my wife and I rented and watched Couples Retreat on Blu-ray. The movie was pretty entertaining, and mildly funny, set on an "exotic island" (aka Bora Bora) at the "Eden Resort." Part of what made the movie entertaining was the great scenery, being shot on location in Bora Bora, and the attractive people having fun (or not) in a beautiful place.
After we were through watching the movie, my wife and I started day-dreaming about taking a vacation to Bora Bora ourselves. This got me thinking about the search results that would come up for the fictional resort name used in the movie (get a life, I know). As is common in movies, the names of the places used in Couples Retreat are fictional; however, this doesn't change the fact that when you show a beautiful place in a movie, it m... > Read more
If you own a small business, you confront a unique set of Internet marketing challenges to create a innovative small business marketing plan. You may not have a large marketing budget, a substantial marketing staff, or expansive knowledge of the industry’s best practices. Luckily, there are blogs out there focused on helping small business owners advertise their product or service online.
Here’s a list of our top 12 small business marketing blogs:Small Business MavericksInternet marketing strategist Caroline Melberg updates her blog daily with concise small business marketing tips and commentary. Her latest posts deal with Yahoo Search’s viability, the importance of testing one’s Web pages with every browser, and whether Facebook should add a blogging feature.The Marketing Spo... > Read more
A lot of people linked to a Wired article earlier this week titled "How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web," by Steven Levy, calling it a must-read. If you're a search geek (and if you're reading this, your probably are), the article probably doesn't communicate much that you don't already know. The most interesting thing about the piece, actually, is an example contained within the article, meant to illustrate how Google outperforms Bing on a pretty basic query.
But the example doesn't work anymore—not how the author intended it to—only illustrating how little the average person (even the average tech journalist?) understands search engine algorithms. “The algorithm is extremely important in search, but it’s not the only thing,” says Brian MacDonald, Microsoft’s VP of core searc... > Read more
February: Kind of a pathetic little month, isn’t it? Cold, wet and short. Like a dog left out in the rain. I can’t imagine anyone picking February as their favorite month. It would be like having taupe as your favorite color. Or oatmeal as your favorite food. (Cold oatmeal that is.) Luckily this dumb month is pretty much over and that means it’s time for our monthly list of the WordStream blog’s greatest hits! Our most popular posts in February, without further ado: How We Got a Link from The New York Times: Ken wrote this link bait case study of the strategy behind our most popular post ever, Larry Kim’s “Poll: Scott Brown to Win Massachussets Senate Race by a Landslide.
” Is SEO Dead? Nope, It Has Just Come Full Circle!: In this guest post, Terry... > Read more
All too often we search marketers get overly consumed with the concept of long tail keywords. We read about it in blogs and articles and increasingly the long tail is preached as the solution to all your pay-per-click problems. Certainly the benefits of the long tail are undeniable; by targeting long-tail phrases we focus our efforts around more targeted search queries and generally find less competition among advertisers.
However, as with any diet, we need to remain balanced. By eating only lettuce and vegetables, we’re sacrificing protein and other nutrients that come with fattier foods. Likewise, by only targeting the long tail, we sacrifice the valuable benefits that competing for head-tail terms may provide. So what are the benefits of head terms? First, these more genera... > Read more
Arnie Kuenn is the president and founder of Vertical Measures, LLC, as well as the founder and president of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) and has presented at SMX Advanced, AMA Phoenix, Pubcon and many online webinars. Follow him on Twitter: @ArnieK. Can you tell us a little about Vertical Measures and your role there? Vertical Measures is a full-service internet marketing and link building company in Phoenix.
We help our clients gain more business from their websites by providing internet marketing solutions using innovative and ethical strategies. We achieve this by developing expertise across multiple disciplines while constantly adapting to current trends. The company is comprised of a group of individuals with backgrounds in internet marketing, social media, we... > Read more
Nielsen reported this week that Facebook is now officially the web's biggest time suck (or time sink, if you prefer), with the average American user clocking in at over seven hours of Facebook use per month – which doesn't sound all that shocking compared to how much TV the average American watches: 153 hours per month, and that's just at home, not counting sports bars, the Internet and so on.
Holy crap, people, turn off the TV – you're probably missing something on Facebook! Nonetheless, it's a lot compared to other online activities – seven hours per month is more time than we spend on Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Amazon and Wikipedia combined. (Holy crap, people, turn off Facebook, you might be missing something on YouTube!) Occasionally we all make bad choices when it comes to h... > Read more
We meant to announce this before it happened, but the pesky time difference got the better us of ... WordStream presented at SES London, and earlier this morning, on a panel on search advertising tools moderated by Andrew Goodman. From the SES agenda: The competition is fierce in paid search! From small in-house accounts to ones with millions of keywords, it's the new advances in SEM technology that might just make the difference between success and failure.
Are there tools you could be using right now to help double your conversions, lower your costs, or save your team hours of time every week? At this panel, top paid search tool vendors will showcase their latest features in bid management, campaign workflow efficiencies, and reveal what the future holds for the industry. As well, t... > Read more
Recently at WordStream, we launched our first link bait campaign. By our standards, the campaign was successful, and we thought we'd share the details on how to build a linkbait campaign. How to Get Links from New York Times: A Case Study In a nutshell, we attribute the campaign's success to setting clear objectives, creating killer content and aggressive marketing.
What resulted from our hard work, planning and execution was a link from one of the most trusted sources on the planet: The New York Times. Case Study Contents: Planning Phase Goal Setting Link Bait Creation Link Bait Promotion Campaign Results How did we do it? Read on and find out how to get a link from the New York Times. Link Bait Campaign Intro: Before You Start, Have a Plan! You may be wondering how to start link baitin... > Read more
Everybody loves an Internet meme. They come into our lives, entertain us and everyone we know for three minutes or so, and then as quickly they are gone. Some, of course, are more tenacious than others (ahem, Rickrolling).Do you ever find yourself wondering what happened to that one guy in that one viral video? Wonder no more! I did the bare minimum of research to find out what some of our favorite Internet memes of the past few years have been doing with their lives since.
JK Wedding DanceIt was just six months ago that Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz's wedding dance video went viral on YouTube. It now has over 41 million views.Where are they now? Presumably still in the throes of wedded bliss. In a recent update on the Today Show, Jill said, "It's going pretty well." Do they ever watch the ... > Read more
Today we're announcing that we're launching a brand new affiliate program that will allow other Web publishers to promote our products - and get paid for it! This is a first-run, "beta" version of our affiliate program so we're welcoming feedback. In attempting to make the program a success for affiliates, their audiences, and of course for WordStream, we've created two types of pay outs for affiliates: Pay-Per Lead for PPC - We have a keyword management solution for pay-per click advertising on search engine platforms such as Google AdWords.
This product has it's own pricing and we offer a free trial and frequently have potential customers request a live demonstration of the product. As such, we've decided to pay for leads people drive to this product. Pay-Per Sale for SEO - W... > Read more
Google this week took another stab at social with the release of the unoriginally named Google Buzz, which was rolled out to Gmail users soon after Tuesday's announcement. As Matt McGee points out in a post on Search Engine Land, Google Buzz – basically a stream of status updates and shared items – is intended to compete with Twitter, Facebook, and even Foursquare, given its mobile features.
There's been a lot less hype surrounding Buzz (ironically?) than there was for Google Wave, which may mean that Google was wary of more buzz backlash. Hype or no hype, among non-tech-geeks I know, the initial "buzz" was very similar to the reaction to Google Wave: What is this? What is it for? So is Buzz really a threat? According to Marshall Kirkpatrick, yes – it's disruptive because it's "built... > Read more
Despite a global recession, budget investments for search engine marketing continue to grow year after year. Many experts predict that spend on search engine marketing (SEM) activities will double in the U.S. from $13 billion in 2009 to $26 billion by the year 2014. With more and more marketing dollars flowing into paid and organic inbound marketing efforts, we wanted to poll our readers to see if their organizations are following the same trend.
We conducted an extensive survey of industry professionals and business owners to get an idea where budgets for search engine marketing are headed this year. We wanted to find out if spend on search marketing activities will rise, fall or remain the same in 2010. Here are the results. 2010 SEM Spending Trend Survey Results Survey Acronym Key SEO ... > Read more
Do I think the days of easy manipulation via links are gone? You betcha! Do I think SEO will require more "marketing" knowledge, not link algo manipulation? Oh Yeah!! On that point I'm of the opinion that third-generation SEO ("the blogging linkerati") is dead; "on-page" algos are still important because they are tied to query relevance, and unwanted manipulation using text makes it easier for search engines to determine intent.
I have never believed linking is SEO; that's a 3G SEO strategy and I knew it wasn't a long-term SEO technique, because it was out of the "complete control" of the webmaster/marketer. I have always instinctively known this technique could not be useful for ranking for the very long term unless the link is one-way and not paid for or schemed, i.e., not open to manipu... > Read more
It's an age-old question that many in search engine marketing struggle with: "How do I judge competition for keywords?" Do it wrong and you could waste countless hours and dollars chasing after an impenetrable market. Do it right and you could uncover a very profitable keyword vertical. Given the importance competitive keyword analysis, we reached out to 35 of the world's top search marketers and asked them a single question: “What is your best tip/trick for determining how competitive a keyword is?” We've collected the answers and compiled them into the Web's first comprehensive guide to analyzing keyword competition.
The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Competition features advanced tips and tactics from such search gurus as Aaron Wall, Rand Fishkin, Michael Gray, Todd Malicoat, David Harry... > Read more