Linkbait Formulas: X Things You Can Learn About Y from Z

Following in the footsteps of Ken's very popular post on title tag formulas, I've noticed that search marketing and social media marketing gurus (AKA bloggers) love to write linkbait in the form of "X Things You Can Learn About Y from Z." You can do it too—plug some numbers and concepts into the formula and the post practically writes itself! For best results, follow this handy guide:X should be an integer, preferably between 5 and 10.

Save lists longer than 10 items for your Facebook meme.Y should be a broad, Web 2.0-ish concept like "SEO," "PPC" or "social media." Don't veer too far off course from your job description; that's what Z is for.Z should be a pop culture reference, the geekier the better. Old standbys include Star Wars, The Matrix, The Princess Bride, Monty Python, Trekkies... > Read more

September 11, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

2009 Search Marketing and Social Media Salary Survey

Search engine and social media marketing are industries that continue to grow even in the face of one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. Talented and skilled SEO, PPC, SEM and SMO professionals are still in hot demand, despite the grim economic backdrop. Recently, we conducted a survey of search engine marketers and social media marketers to get an idea of the current state of SEM and SMO.

More than 100 SEO, PPC and SMM professionals participated in our survey, giving us a window into their experience level, primary fields of expertise, and more to the point how much inbound marketing professionals are earning, given the global recession. The results of our survey may surprise you. 2009 Search Engine Marketers and Social Media Marketers Salary Survey Interpreting the S... > Read more

September 10, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Surveys   |   Comments: 3

Web Analytics World Guest Post - Diagnosing Problems (& Successes) In Analytics

I had a chance to write a guest post for Web Analytics World last week. In it I talked about quickly diagnosing quick jumps or dips in traffic or conversions, and oulined three steps for getting to the bottom of a shift in traffic: Consider the Source Analyze Your Overall Mix Identify Who or What is Sending You Traffic To learn more about each step and how you can accomplish the above in Google Analytics, check out the post.

... > Read more

September 09, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 0

WordStream Believes: Keyword Grouping & Organization Are Critical to Success

This is Part 3 of a 10-part series on 10 things we believe about search marketing. These 10 beliefs form our product design philosophy. Whether you're conducting keyword research primarily for search engine optimization (SEO) efforts or primarily for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, we believe that effective keyword grouping and organization techniques are crucial to long-term success.

Why is keyword grouping so important? Let's walk through the process. The point of doing keyword research is to inform your site's content creation as well as its information architecture (how content is topically organized), in addition to your campaign and ad group structure in Google AdWords (or other PPC marketing platform). Even small companies can amass thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions o... > Read more

September 08, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Maslow's Hierarchy for SEOs and Other SEO Advice We Agree With

This Week in Search: SEO Needs You to Need It I saw a lot of links and tweets this week pointing to Virginia Nussey's excellent post on the SEO hierarchy of needs, based on Maslow's hierarchy, a psychological theory that says physiological and safety needs have to come before stuff like love and belonging (I almost typed "blogging").

I've created a handy (and tall) illustration to show where the SEO hierarchy fits into Maslow's hierarchy. An SEO's basic needs for Diet Dr. Pepper and a paycheck must be met before he/she can move up the hierarchy. It goes without saying that for search marketers, link-building is more basic than "intimacy" or "sense of connection," and self-esteem and self-actualization are impossible without proper website optimization. Conveniently these latter two go... > Read more

September 04, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

WordStream's Top 5 Whiteboard Fridays From SEOmoz

A lot of good things happen on Fridays: payday, a more casual office environment, the start of the weekend, and of course, a helpful lesson from Rand Fishkin and the crew at SEOmoz. For over two years now, SEOmoz has posted quick tutorial videos every Friday, also known as Whiteboard Friday.Below are five of our favorites--cue the techno music!PPC Basics: 10 Minute Rundown of PPC Strategies Everyone Should KnowAn oldie but goodie, this video staring Tom Critchlow breaks down the most important aspects of search engine marketing and PPC.

The Future of SEO: Rand's Take on Where Search is GoingHow important will content be going forward? How will Twitter affect SEO tactics? Find out what Rand thinks is coming next for search engine optimization.Domain Trust and Authority: Google's Algorithm Ch... > Read more

September 03, 2009     |   Written by: Susannah Richardson   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 0

WordStream Believes: Keyword Research Should Be Personalized and Data-Driven

This is Part 2 of a 10-part series on 10 things we believe about search marketing. These 10 beliefs form our product design philosophy. We firmly believe that the best source of keyword data is your own customers. Too often, search marketers over-rely on third-party keyword suggestion tools and neglect their own website data (server log files and keyword analytics), a completely private, self-renewing source of keyword data.

Keyword suggestion tools are fine as a jumping-off point for keyword research, but then you need to go beyond that. Build on public keyword data by refactoring insights from private data into your list for an extensive, expanding keyword research database. We believe your own website data has a number of advantages over typical keyword tools: Personalized keyword... > Read more

September 02, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Take Our Search Marketing and Social Media Survey

Hey, search engine and social media marketers. We're conducting a brief search marketing/social media salary survey of SEM and SMO industry professionals. If you're a search engine or social media marketer, we'd love it if you'd take a few moments to participate in our survey. This survey is designed for: Professionals who work in search engine marketing or social media marketing Once this survey is completed, we'll publish the results on our blog next week.

So take the survey now. It's a mere five questions and will take less than two minutes of your time. NOTE: Poll is closed. But you view the results here: Search Engine Marketers, Social Media Marketing Salary Survey 2009 Thanks for participating! ... > Read more

September 01, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Surveys   |   Comments: 0

Top SEO College Websites 2009

In honor of "Back to School," I thought it would be fun to do some SEO sleuthing and determine which colleges are doing the best job at optimizing their websites for organic search. Before joining WordStream, I worked in the web office for a major university, so I spent a lot of time checking out other college websites.

What I realized was the vast majority of college websites have not yet embraced (or even acknowledged) search marketing, be it paid or organic, as an effective marketing channel. So why are most colleges clueless about SEO? Well, there are a number of reasons: Brand recognition - Many universities rely on brand power to attract prospective students, and are plenty satisfied if their site shows up first for a branded query. They're not overtly concerned with keyword rankin... > Read more

September 01, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Top SEO Websites Series   |   Comments: 18

Know Thy Audience: The Importance of Targeted Marketing

Don't Market for the Sake of Marketing Socialnomics' Erik Qualman is becoming something of a favorite around here for Friday roundups—I can't help it if he posts the most interesting stuff! This week, he offers some free marketing advice to Boeing, whose ongoing advertising campaign as a sponsor for Meet the Press makes it, Qualman says, a poster child for old-school marketing.

He points out some of the mistakes they're making, not the least of which is poor consideration of audience: Is a television or iTunes media buy really the best way to target the airplane buyer? As my wife shouts every time the commercial plays  – “Honey can we buy a Boeing Today?” There are only a handful of airplane buyers, why would you spend $100,000 plus on producing a comm... > Read more

August 28, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

How to Get Do Follow Links from Wikipedia Articles in Four Simple Steps

Apologies for the (slightly) misleading headline on dofollow links. You won’t find something like this within this article. What you will find is a means for accumulating passive, recurring, and authoritative links to content by leveraging the popularity and search prominence of Wikipedia (which I assume probably sounds pretty good, too).

Quality Link-building Strategy: Define a Query Set Find Heavily Trafficked Pages Create A Resource Insert Link Appropriately Wikipedia is Where Research is Being Done There are a number of bloggers, journalists, students, and others in control of Web content who rely on some combination of Google and Wikipedia to research a topic. This can be evidenced by a couple of handy graphs. Lots of people visit Wikipedia, Compete puts the estimate at somewhere ... > Read more

August 27, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Link Building   |   Comments: 11

10 Free SEO Tools We Use Every Day

I thought I'd take the time to share some of the 10 free SEO tools we use every day in our SEO efforts. Since all of these tools are vital to our SEO, I'm uber-grateful for their existence, and even more thankful that they're FREE. And seeing that these SEO tools are in fact free, the least I can do is pay-it-forward, promote them and pass along some link love.

Now, some of the free SEO tools on this list you may know about or use already, but hopefully you'll find some new tools you can use everyday in your own SEO efforts.10 Free SEO Tools We'll Review:SEO for FirefoxMajestic SEORank CheckerYahoo Link DomainFoxyrankiGoogleGoogle AlertsPing.fmGoogle Webmaster ToolsTwaitterThe Free Keyword ToolSEO for Firefox Toolbar- This SEO tool has become ingrained in my daily routine. So much so, that ... > Read more

August 26, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 23

WordStream Believes: Your Keywords Are a Valuable, Proprietary Asset

This is Part 1 of a 10-part series on 10 things we believe about search marketing. These 10 beliefs form our product design philosophy. At WordStream, we believe that keywords (including SEO keywords, PPC keywords, meta keywords, long tail keywords, etc.) form the foundation of all your search marketing efforts, both paid and organic.

These keywords represent the way people search for the products and services your business offers. Given the potential power of search engines as a sales and marketing channel, this information is a valuable asset not just for marketing but for your entire business. Public keyword data from free keyword tools is a commodity, but data about your own site is a proprietary asset. As such, we believe that your company's keyword database should be treated wit... > Read more

August 25, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

3 Steps to More Effective SEO & PPC Analytics

The following was previously a series of blog posts. We're repurposing the series in a single document here to make the piece easier to link at and reference; additionally our readership is much larger than it was when we first started the blog, and we thought the new readers might find the content valuable.

The original posts can be found here: The Power of Data Sharing - How Sharing SEO & PPC Information Can Improve Results How to Use PPC & SEO Keyword Data to Maximum Effect Anyone engaging in search marketing should be analyzing SEO and PPC concurrently. By creating a data-driven Web marketing environment in which you can share insights from multiple channels, you provide yourself with a marked advantage over companies and marketers who segment their information sets. This is ... > Read more

August 24, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 3

The Necessity of PPC, Insights for Search, and Other Odds and Ends

Elisa’s on vacation today, so you’re stuck with me, which means a much more disjointed Friday Roundup. I promise she'll be back next week. Since we’ve been pretty self-promotional here on the blog all week I won’t bore you with a lot of stuff about interviews Larry’s done, interviews I’ve done, posts Ken’s written that got a lot of attention, presentations from SES, etc.

(See what I did there?) Anyway… First off, Google Insights for Search pushed out an update. Insights is a really slick tool; if you’re looking to glean some insight into seasonality, or if you just want to decide which query space to target, you can get a really nice high-level look at the way certain searches are trending. Aaron Wall added this data to his tool, and David Harry has the scoop on the updat... > Read more

August 21, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 2

WebmasterRadio.FM talks about WordStream

Hello (again!) - I was recently interviewed by Jim Hedger of WebMasterRadio.FM (an online radio and podcast network covering B2B marketing issues) at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. In the recorded podcast, Jim asked me these questions: How did I get into search engine marketing? Since basic keyword tools already existed when WordStream was started, what kinds of challenges was WordStream aiming to solve? What kinds of surprises do your customers find in their long tail of search? How do certain types of search queries terms indicate greater intent? What kinds of features and functions that differentiate WordStream from the likes of Microsoft Excel and Google AdWords Editor? What kinds of people and companies use WordStream? Is there a particular size of business for ... > Read more

August 20, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

How Keyword Organization Impacts SEO and PPC

Keyword Organization — classifying keywords according to common attributes, along with keyword discovery and keyword research is the key to successful PPC and SEO efforts. In PPC, keyword discovery and research is obviously important, since clicks on searches of the keywords you pick are essentially what you're paying for.

And having a structured approach to keyword management and organization is equally important for effective organic search optimization as well, since the key to appearing in the SERPS for a particular keyword requires breaking out your keyword list into smaller keyword groupings, and then authoring themed content around more specific topics. Let's first take a look at paid search. To achieve high ROI, you'll need to match up the keywords in your keyword lists with rel... > Read more

August 20, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Keyword Research Strategies and Tips - Search Engine Strategies

Hi! Last week at the Search Engine Strategies conference, I had the opportunity to be on panel discussion entitled: Brainstorming the Paid Search Super Tool, led by Josh Dreller, VP of Media Technology & Analytics, Fuor Digital. It was really awesome to be included among representatives from the leading PPC Management Software providers including: Wister Walcott, Co-Founder and VP of Products, Marin Software Eduardo Llach, CMO of SearchRev (Acquired by AKQA) Chris Zaharias, VP of Sales for SearchCenter Following the discussion Josh did a short video interview with me about WordStream and the conference, which you can watch here on YouTube! Now I have to say I'm disappointed with myself for a few reasons, including: For being so darn shifty-eyed (No, i'm not watch... > Read more

August 19, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

License to Rank: Google's Silly Love Affair with Exact Match Domain Names

Love is blind. And that's no more evident than when it comes to Google's undying affection for exact match domains. Yes, Google hearts exact match domain names "4-eva." It's true. I see it every day: sites with no links, no content, no authority top the SERPs because they have query-perfect domain names.

 These darlings of the Web get a free ride, and don't have to play by the same set of SEO rules as the rest of us with "regular" domain names. Basically, an exact match domain is a license to rank. Why is Google Ga Ga Over Exact Match Domain Names? Google's infatuation with exact match domain names has been going on for years, which is pretty frustrating. Because despite their countless "quality" updates to the search algo and pledge to clean up the cesspool, Google is still weak in t... > Read more

August 19, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 12

Sage Lewis Interview with Tom Demers of WordStream

Sage Lewis, a frequent blogger at Search Engine Watch and the president and founder of Sage Rock Web Marketing, was nice enough to sit down with me for a quick interview about WordStream at SES San Jose. Many thanks to Sage: (I get paid by the hand gesture, incidentally...)... > Read more

August 18, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 1

The Value of Keyword Expansion (And How to Do It Well)

The following was previously a series of blog posts. We're repurposing the series in a single document here to make the piece easier to link at and reference; additionally our readership is much larger than it was when we first started the blog, and we thought the new readers might find the content valuable.

The original posts can be found here: Why the Most Efficient Frontier May Be a New One Starting Another Graph: How to Expand Your Keyword Lists The Value of Keyword Expansion & Discovery Continual keyword discovery and keyword expansion in paid search marketing is immensely important. There are actually a number of instances where strategically expanding your keyword portfolio offers more ROI than bid manipulation. The concept of "diminishing returns" and modern portfolio theory ... > Read more

August 17, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 3

WordStream Dives into Search Engine Strategies San Jose

Obvi, SES was the big event on the blogs this week. It’s already been recapped and live-blogged all over the place so I won’t spend too much time re-recapping it or dead-blogging it now. But I do want to highlight some of the excellent coverage and connections we made in San Jose. First up, the coverage.

Worth going back and reading if you missed it: Virginia Nussey live-blogged many sessions over at the Bruce Clay blog, including the death of last-click attribution and SEO tools of the trade. Check out the aimClear blog for coverage of topics including landing page optimization, conversion rate optimization and viral marketing. Rebecca Kelley at the 10e20 blog covered social media-related sessions (with extra snark). SEO-PR rounds up all the coverage on the Search Engine Strategies b... > Read more

August 14, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Facebook Lite and Other Things That Terrify Me

Last week, Twitter optimization; This week, Facebook optimization?It’s yet another “big week in search,” and not just because of SES. Seriously, lately every week feels like a big week in search, what with all these deals and acquisitions, revamped home pages, yet more announcements from Google of dubious significance.

The deal of the week is Facebook’s $50 million acquisition of FriendFeed. The purchase (which has stirred up some feelings of resentment and betrayal in loyal FriendFeed users) suggests that Facebook is trying to stay competitive with Twitter. Late Tuesday, the company sent out limited invitations for a “Facebook Lite” application, and I think this pretty much closes the case. Mashable broke the news and released a screenshot of what the stripped-down app will lik... > Read more

August 13, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Interview with the Experts: Jenny Wiseman

Jenny Wiseman is the Editorial SEO Manager at TechTarget Inc. based in Needham, Massachusetts. Can you tell us a little about TechTarget and your role there?   TechTarget is an enterprise IT media company offering technology professionals information via our suite of market-specific websites, conferences and lead management services.

Some of the main functions of my job include working with the editorial and marketing staff to educate them on search engine optimization techniques; developing strategies for improvements to our sites; and working with the product development team to recommend technical and design changes.   When and how did you first get interested/involved in SEO?   Back in 2001, I was working for a small internet startup as an editor when I was first introdu... > Read more

August 10, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 0

Search Marketing Jobs - PPC, SEO

Out of work? Unhappy at work? Interested in Search Marketing? Consider applying for a Job at WordStream! We're on a mission to build the next generation of Keyword Management solutions to simplify and improve customer success with PPC and SEO, and are currently hiring for the following search marketing jobs in sales, marketing and software development: Marketing Associate: Support inbound marketing efforts to drive awareness and lead generation Software Engineeer:  Electrical/Computer Engineer or Computer Science, +2 Years Experience with C++, Python, Flex Linux Systems Adminstrator: Expand, optimize, maintain & secure a production-environment Linux cluster Product Manager: Define and evangelize our software solutions Inside Sales: Follow up on... > Read more

August 07, 2009     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

SMO Is the New SEO: The Rise of Social Media Optimization

The Week in Search Twitter domination continues, or, it's time to add "Twitter Optimization" to your skill set.  Is old-school social linking dead? Andrew Goodman of Traffick claims that social linking is going the way of the dodo. Taking its place? Sharing (via Facebook, Google Reader, and social bookmarking sites) and "social tweeting": [S]ome people still have remnants of any inclination whatsoever to engage in 1998-era social linking, taking the trouble to wrap a relevant link around anchor text in a post like this.

The vast majority have no such inclination. They prefer something quick and easy, like a tweet or any number of other forms of social behavior across different digital venues. These days, he says, "only old school, super-conscientious sorts of bloggers, and SEO's and s... > Read more

August 07, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 6

SEO Title Tag Formulas: How to Create High Performance Title Tags

Want Better Keyword Ideas for Your Title Tags? Try our Keyword Tool to Generate Highly Relevant Keyword Suggestion Ideas!One of the most important pieces of copy for SEO is the title tag. Having a strong, relevant, clickable title can have a major impact on rankings, click-through rates and overall traffic numbers.

Table of Contents:Adding KeywordsAdding Action WordsAdding Secondary KeywordsBest Title Tag FormulasTesting Title TagsIn my mind, the title tag is so vital to the success of your SEO that I advocate rigorous testing of tags to find which ones work and which don't. Once you've found a winner, you should implement a title tag formula that everyone who touches SEO on your website can follow.Benefits of an SEO title tag formula:Keeps SERP listings consistent across a siteSimplifies t... > Read more

August 05, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 51

The Long Tail Keyword Optimization Guide - How to Profit from Long Tail Keywords

The following was previously a series of blog posts. We're repurposing the series in a single document here to make the piece easier to link at and reference; additionally our readership is much larger than it was when we first started the blog, and we thought the new readers might find the content valuable.

The original posts can be found here: The Long Tail SEO Keyword Guide Posts: Part One: Heads or Tails? - How to Profit From Long Tail Keywords that Don’t Exist Part Two: Informing the Tail - Mid-Level & Long Tail Information Architecture Part Three: Building Links & Creating Content for Mid-Tail & Longtail Phrases By strategically targeting keywords of varying keyword competition levels you will see more and better qualified streams of traffic. At a high level, sea... > Read more

August 03, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 3

It's Friday: Honesty, Transparency and Lessons From Direct Mail

The Week in Search The importance of honesty and what we can learn from traditional marketing. Agency Transparency and Tech Crunch Says Oops (Again...) A big topic this week has been regarding transparency and openness. Here at WordStream, the marketing team got together to discuss our own policy for disclosure, specifically for blog posts.

If we find something that works in search marketing, should we share it with our audience as a helpful find and newsworthy topic or are we giving away a trade secret? When weighing reward (interesting topics generate more blog visitors and WordStream coverage) against risk (consider what happens if the strategy gets adopted by the masses and suddenly it's no longer such a great tip), how much transparency is too much? Dave Fleet wrote a great post yest... > Read more

July 30, 2009     |   Written by: Susannah Richardson   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

Torn on Bing/Yahoo Deal

Search Engine Journal was nice enough to post my initial reaction to word of the Bing Yahoo! deal. Take a look and let me know your thoughts regarding the impact of the deal on PPC and SEO. ... > Read more

July 30, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0
 
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