Google Shared Endorsements: Who Are the Real Winners and Losers?

Shared Endorsements are the latest in a line of updates that bring user reviews and ratings into the Google results. Announced earlier this week and coming to the SERPs in November, the newly expanded shared endorsements will allow reviews and +1’s from Google+ profiles to appear in the paid search results (not just organic).

For example, if someone searches for “hot springs in Colorado” and you reviewed a hot springs resort that has an ad on the first page for that keyword, your review (along with your name and Google profile image) might show up as part of the ad. Shared endorsements look like this (the one on the far right is an example of a shared endorsement appearing in a Google ad):Shared Endorsements: The Latest in a String of Ratings-Related FeaturesAs I mentioned, this isn... > Read more

October 16, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Multi-Channel Marketing 101: Why Does Cross-Channel Marketing Matter?

Today we’re talking about multi-channel marketing – what it is, why it matters, and how to use it in order to better your business.Image from Get More Engagement.Multi-Channel Marketing DefinitionMulti-channel marketing is the practice of using multiple channels to reach customers. In addition to allowing businesses to reach customers through different mediums, multi-channel marketing also makes it easy for customers to complete desired conversions on whatever medium they are most comfortable with.

Multi-channel marketing lets the user decide, giving them a choice.In today’s modern marketing era, there are many channels a business can take advantage of in order to reach potential customers. These channels include:Retail storePPCWebsiteDirect mailEmailMail order catalogMobileWhy is Mu... > Read more

October 15, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 13

Find Your Old Tweets: How to See Your First (Worst?) Tweet

Can’t remember what your first tweet was? It was probably “Hello world!” or “Is this thing on?” or “I finally joined Twitter, am I doing it right” or “Twitter sucks,” but if you want to know for sure, you’ll need to dig back into your archives.Unfortunately, Twitter only displays your last 3200 tweets in your timeline, so if you’re anything like me (I’ve been on Twitter since May 2009 and have well over 40,000 tweets), that won’t cut it.

Here are the two easiest ways to find your oldest tweets, including your first tweet. (I promise these work – a lot of the methods and tools you’ll find in the Google results don’t.)How to Find Your Old Tweets Using Twitter SearchOpen up Twitter.com and go to the search bar:Type in the following string but with your username ... > Read more

October 10, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 24

Want a Free AdWords Budget for 2014? Grade and Get Paid!

Are you a small business using Google AdWords to market your offerings? That’s great!The bad news is, you’re probably wasting about a fourth of your budget.We recently did a survey of 500 small business AdWords accounts, and found that the average account owner is wasting over 25% of his or her AdWords budget.

Since the typical small business spends $1200 per month on PPC, that means $300 is going in the trash every month – adding up to $3600 a year. And that’s just the average – many companies are wasting closer to half their total spend.That’s not all we found. There is plenty of room for improvement in the typical SMB AdWords account.We identified the top five areas where small business marketers need to renovate their accounts. Learn about the opportunities you’... > Read more

October 09, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Funny Ads: Weird, Wacky Ads and Why They Work

It’s every advertiser’s dream to create a viral video that gets plastered over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (ha, yeah, because people care about G+). As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the chances of getting an ad to go viral are pretty low – you’re much better off creating educational or how-to videos that will gain a steady stream of visitors over time.

What about the 1% though? Those ads that practically promote themselves? One thing seems clear – most of them are utterly hilarious. Not just funny, but odd, quirky, and even downright bizarre. Today we’re looking at some of the weirdest, wackiest ads online, and examining why they are successful.PooPourri: Before-You-Go Toilet SprayThis video was what inspired this post – I was dying to share this ridiculously oddball... > Read more

October 08, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 14

Content Marketing for Service Professionals: 3 Great Examples

Recently, I shared some great examples of e-commerce content marketing – three companies that are using content to promote their online product sales. It was a hit, so let’s do it again – but this time, let’s look at some service professionals that are doing great content marketing work.As ever, the goal of content marketing is primarily to build authority, trust, and interest in your brand.

By positioning yourself as an authority on a topic related to your business, you’re greatly increasing the chances that people will turn to you when they need your services. In other words, content marketing is a great method of lead gen for service professionals.Here are three service professionals putting out awesome blogs and other content to inspire your marketing ideas.Brand New: Addicti... > Read more

October 07, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 8

Landing Page Audit Case Study: McEwan Fraser Legal

I recently co-hosted a webinar for WordStream clients detailing landing page optimization best practices. Prior to the webinar, we gave our clients the opportunity to submit landing page examples for the chance to be audited during the webinar. The lucky winner was McEwan Fraser Legal, a Scottish firm that specializes in the residential property market, dealing with owner occupiers and property investors.

 The Landing Page AuditHere is the landing page submitted for our audit:The GoodThere are a few items from this landing page that I think are great.It has a formI love the fact that they have a form available directly on the page without creating extra steps for visitors. We live in such a busy world that many people will not fill out a form if they feel it requires any sort of t... > Read more

October 03, 2013     |   Written by: Ben Cohen   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 30

Overwhelmed with Blog Tips? Hack Learning with Just In Time Information

Information overload rules the Internet. Go do a Google search for any one of your favorite topics right now. How many results do you see?It’s easy to get obsessed with absorbing every piece of knowledge that we can. But that doesn't help us get anything done. The more you read, the more that gets lost in the bottomless repository that is your brain (or Pinterest board, Evernote account, etc).

It’s totally inefficient.Be honest, how many unsorted articles on blogging strategy do you have saved in Evernote or your bookmarking tool of choice? Instead of adding more and more links to the mountain, there's a better way to learn what you need to – with Just in Time information.What Does "Just in Time" Mean?The term Just in Time originated in business. According to Logistik, Taiichi Ohno, ... > Read more

October 02, 2013     |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 8

Case Study: The Anatomy of a Killer Quality Score

I’ve told you over and over that Quality Score is super important. It lowers your cost per click. It lowers your CPA. It improves your ad rankings. In short, high Quality Scores correlate really well with overall account success.OK, OK, you’re saying, I get it! But how do I actually get these high Quality Scores? Rather than spout the usual list of advice, let’s take a close look at a real account that has exceptionally high Quality Scores and see how they’re getting it done.

The account we’re going to be looking at belongs to a WordStream client, a small business in the insurance industry. Despite this being one of the most competitive verticals in AdWords, this advertiser is killing it with his AdWords campaigns. In fact, he has an average impression-weighted Quality Score of 8.... > Read more

October 01, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Best of the Month: September’s Greatest Hits

While compiling the “Best of September” post this month, I happened across this, on Tumblr:Seasonal Babysitters Club covers are the best way to celebrate any holiday or change of season. Print this out on a sweatshirt and wear it while sipping your pumpkin-flavored whatever.Wow, I wish I had known about this before! Please tell me I’m not the only person in the search marketing industry who read every Babysitters Club book.

(Then sold the whole collection at a garage sale for less than $20, sob.)Now for some reading to enjoy as you sip that pumpkin latte. Here are our 10 most popular blog posts from past 30 days. Read ‘em, know ‘em, love ‘em.The Best Keyword Research Tools (For Experienced Fishermen & Fisherwomen Only) - The AdWords Keyword Tool's reign has come to an ... > Read more

September 30, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 8

Targeting Bilingual & Spanish-Speaking Audiences in AdWords: The Why & How

As digital marketers, we are always under the gun to drive more qualified searchers to our website. This can be a challenging job, especially once a PPC account is well-optimized.So what do you do when your performance starts to plateau? Look for missed opportunities. Hands down, the most common area of missed opportunity I see in US-based accounts is not advertising to the bilingual, Hispanic community.

Why You Can’t Afford to Neglect the Spanish Language MarketThe numbers speak for themselves. According to the 2010 census, there are 53 million Hispanics living in the United States, which comes to 17% of our total population. Not only that, but this group is projected to continue growing at a rapid rate. As you devise your digital marketing strategy, this is an important factor to keep i... > Read more

September 26, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 7

Creative PPC: 5 Clever & Interesting Ways to Use PPC Marketing

I admit it. As a marketer, sometimes I get stuck with ideas when I try to promote my own self.Maybe it’s a cultural stigma that somehow self promotion is a shameful thing (hence the term “shameless self promotion”). And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.But one day (as I was TOTT-ing … “thinking on the toilet,” term you see posted on the back of bathroom stall doors) it dawned on me: “Heck, I should use my knowledge to benefit … ME!”For example, this guy was looking for a job.

He was trying to stand out from the other applicants, so he bought keywords for executives in the company that he was trying to get hired at.Why did it work?Simple. He tapped into people’s natural tendency to Google themselves. Like Al Pacino, vanity is ALL marketers’ favorite sin.That’... > Read more

September 25, 2013     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 5

New Commands for Google Voice Search: It Doesn’t Get Much Lazier Than This

Google voice search – because who has time to type these days? We all have better things to do, like binge-watching Breaking Bad or looking at pictures of babies trying to lift weights. Finger exercise was the last remnant of physical activity for office drones, which means this future is only a few decades away:Thanks Google!We could debate about how much Google had contributed to the obesity epidemic while improving our techno-lives, but to be fair, Google Voice Search is a pretty nifty move by Google.

 Google has been continuing to build on its development, making our online activity even lazier easier.Last month Google did some upgrades on Google voice search, enabling Google search to connect with your other Google accounts to deliver personal information to users. In this post... > Read more

September 24, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 14

PPC for Lead Generation: How to Get More Leads with PPC

Ask any business owner what he or she needs, and you’ll likely hear “more customers.” Businesses can’t just rely on their existing customers to fuel growth, so there’s a constant need for more leads who will eventually become clients.This guide will tell you how to use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with Google AdWords to get more leads and grow your business.

Who PPC Lead Gen Works ForA common misperception is that PPC is only for e-commerce websites, but that’s not the case at all. PPC is a highly effective channel for websites and companies doing lead generation.Lead generation (often referred to as “lead gen”) is a requirement for businesses that can’t or won’t do business with just anyone. There’s usually a prequalification and information-exchange period that ta... > Read more

September 23, 2013     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 19

The Best Keyword Research Tools (For Experienced Fishermen & Fisherwomen Only)

Doing great keyword research is like being a fisherman. Reeling in the big profits takes knowledge, a Speedo, and a thermos.Whether you like it or not, keyword research is at the core of pay-per-click marketing and SEO practices. If you aren’t bidding or using the right keywords, short- or long-tail, then you could be selling yourself short on your potential success.

And wouldn’t you rather reel in a big whale shark instead of a few sardines? (You can obviously tell I don’t know my fish very well.)See, doing good keyword research is like being a seasoned fisherman, casting his net at the right place, at the right time. So whether you’re looking to patch up the holes in your current keyword selection net, or expand the size of it, consider this article a potential algal bloom of prof... > Read more

September 18, 2013     |   Written by: Johnathan Dane   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 72

PPC Storytelling: How to Make an Excel Bubble Chart for PPC

The Excel bubble chart is often overlooked by PPC advertisers, because it can be tricky to set up. However, when used properly, a bubble chart lets you clearly present and compare categorical data (e.g. campaign, ad groups, device, etc.) – represented by the number of bubbles – as well as quantitative data (e.

g. cost, conversions, CTR, etc.) – represented by the size of the bubble and its location on the XY axis.In this article, I will show you step-by-step how to create the powerful Excel bubble chart for use with PPC data and even give you access to a free download of the unlocked Excel spreadsheet (Click to download excel bubble chart template).Why Bubble Charts Are Useful for PPCAs PPC managers, we understand our campaigns, but it can be difficult to quickly and effectively descr... > Read more

September 17, 2013     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 8

How to Create Squeeze Pages: What Makes an Awesome Squeeze Page Design?

What is a Squeeze Page?A squeeze page is a landing page designed to capture opt-in email address from potential subscribers. The goal of a squeeze page is to convince, cajole, or otherwise ”squeeze” a visitor into providing one of their most sought-after and coveted pieces of personal data: the email address.

What Makes a Good Squeeze Page?As its name suggests, there is an element of intentional yet subtle forcefulness involved in a squeeze page. Think the Star Wars crash compactor scene. Squeeze pages should work a bit like that.It’s a trap!You don’t want to leave those golden geese a means of escape, and putting in as few hyperlinks as possible narrows the walls around your victims prospective clients. A squeeze page should act as an ultimatum for visitors – either take the offe... > Read more

September 16, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 26

The 80/20 Principle, Part 3: Finding Your Natural Persuasion Groove

This is Part 3 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 1 and Part 2.The most important 80/20 of all is the 20% of your skills that produce 80% of your results. Yes, 80/20 applies to your time, and your customers, and your product lines.

But the greatest source of satisfaction of all is working in your gifted zones. When you apply 80/20 to your own giftedness, you force multiply everything else in your career. It’s the fastest path to an income spike. It also reduces your stress, big-time.Looking back on the two grueling years I spent as a manufacturer’s rep, pounding the phone and trying to go see people who didn’t want to see me, I now realize one o... > Read more

September 11, 2013     |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 4

New! Build Landing Pages & Manage Leads with WordStream

Landing pages are the bottom of the funnel in PPC. Even if you get your keywords, ads and bids right in your AdWords campaigns, it will be hard to realize great ROI through PPC without a landing page strategy.Once you’ve got the click and the prospect is off the SERP and on your site, you’re tantalizingly close to sealing the deal – but without a clean, well-designed, relevant, and persuasive landing page, you can lose them as fast as you got them.

In our experience, landing pages are a constant challenge for PPC advertisers. Here are some of the obstacles that AdWords users face:Building Landing Pages is Hard: Generally you need Web development resources plus a graphic designer and a hosting environment in order to set up PPC landing pages. It’s hard, it’s time-consuming, and it... > Read more

September 10, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 13

Content Marketing for E-Commerce: 3 Great Examples

As a content marketer here at WordStream, I see great examples of content marketing almost every week – but most of them are coming from lead gen and B2B companies. It makes sense – if you offer a service or some kind of software that helps people do something, content marketing helps you position yourself in the customer’s eyes as an expert in that area.

When people step up and show interest in your educational content, they’re letting you know that they might need other stuff you offer.But what about e-commerce marketing?The same principle works for e-commerce companies, but the tactics need to be a little different. I think attention is even scarcer in the B2C e-commerce space, so content marketing in those verticals needs to be truly awesome – beautiful, exceptional, and all ... > Read more

September 09, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 19

We're Shortlisted for the US Search Awards!

Following a night of fitful sleep, I got some happy news in my inbox this morning – we’ve been shortlisted in three categories for the 2013 US Search Awards! According to the email we received, “The number and standard of entries has been extremely high, so well done on making the shortlist, which is an amazing achievement in itself.

” Go WordStream!We were shortlisted in three categories:Best PPC Management Software – PPC Advisor, our PPC management platform, was one of five platforms shortlisted in the Best PPC Management Software category. Fellow finalists in this category including Acquisio, IgnitionOne, Kenshoo Search and Marin Software. We think this is impressive company – we’re pretty excited to be shortlisted with these older, more established platforms.Innovation –... > Read more

September 06, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 5

Mobile Advertising: Why Just Showing Up on Mobile Isn’t Enough

So you’re advertising on mobile devices. What now?As most advertisers know by now, one of the biggest changes in Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns is that they target all devices. After the upgrade, this means that at least a portion of your impressions are coming from users on mobile devices – even if your market is primarily desktop based.

Sure, you can set your mobile bid adjustment to -100% to effectively turn off mobile (although Google has noted that even this won’t guarantee that your ads will never be displayed on mobile devices) but if you’re like most WordStream users, then you are either willing to experiment with mobile or you simply haven’t gotten around to changing the bids.And this isn’t a bad thing. More and more search usage is shifting to mobile devices, and s... > Read more

September 04, 2013     |   Written by: Adam Shain   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 7

The 80/20 Principle Part 2: Force Multiplication

This is Part 2 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.The 80/20 rule is powerful because it’s a law of nature – much like the Golden Ratio, the Butterfly Effect and chaos theory are laws of nature.

In fact it’s driven by the same underlying causes.Last time we talked about how 80/20 applies to almost everything you can measure, and how you can also apply 80/202: 4% of your effort produces 64% of your results, and 80/203: 1% of your effort produces 50% of your results.But it doesn’t stop there!Psychology of War150 years ago, the military genius from Prussia, Carl Von Clausewitz, attained legendary status for his command ... > Read more

September 03, 2013     |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 3

WordStream's Best of the Month: August's Greatest Hits

September is just around the corner! It’s back to school time once again. We’re about to enter into that period when it’s still technically summer but everyone starts calling it fall anyway. It’s not even really a season – it’s an interim period.In the spirit of Back to School, why not catch up on all the great reading material you might have missed this month, while on vacation or what have you? Here are the top 10 most popular posts from the WordStream blog this month:What is Mobile Marketing and Why Does it Matter? (So So Much!) – Meg explains why you need a mobile strategy, STAT, and the different types of mobile marketing available.

Quality Score Hacks: 3 Sneaky Ways to Increase Your Quality Score – These are the three easiest ways to improve your Quality Scores that we... > Read more

August 30, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 4

PPC Budget Guide: Are You Spending Your PPC Budget Wisely?

The following is an excerpt from a new white paper co-created with Hanapin Marketing. Download the complete white paper here.In pay-per-click marketing, as with so many things in life, you have to spend money to make money. But how do you figure out what you should spend?Your monthly and annual budget is a huge part of your PPC strategy, so whether you’re new to PPC or have been doing it for years, it’s worth taking a step back to figure out if you’re making the most of your spend.

The most important consideration for budget planning is your lead needs. You’ll need to sit down and figure out some characteristics of your leads, such as:Lead qualityTarget cost per lead (CPL)Buying cycleVisitor frequencyGeographic locationIf you’re not sure what your target lead looks like, start by ... > Read more

August 29, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 8

Creating Mobile Websites: Prepare Your Business for the Mobile Takeover

We’re on a bit of a mobile kick lately – my last post was about mobile marketing basics, and today we’re diving head first into mobile websites.Image borrowed from MashableWe will be covering different approaches to mobile website design, mobile site best practices, and what you can do to easily make your site mobile-optimized! Get ready to touch, tap, and swipe your way into the world of mobile web design!We'll be delving into:Mobile Website StatisticsMobile Website Design's Biggest Rule: Keep it SimpleApproach #1 to Mobile Site Design: Creating a .

Mobi DomainApproach #2 to Mobile Site Design: Responsive DesignChoosing Between .Mobi vs. Responsive DesignMobile Websites vs. AppsMobile Website Examples: Learn From the Top Mobile SitesMobile Website AdsMobile Website Tips & Best Pr... > Read more

August 28, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 20

Bid Stacking in AdWords: How to Pay Less When Using Multiple Match Types

A little while back, my fellow CS specialist Lisa wrote a great post to guide advertisers towards picking the right match types. In her post, Lisa pointed to the benefits of testing the same keyword with different match types to help determine which match type is the right fit for an advertiser’s account.

Now let’s explore a situation where you might want to actually keep running different match types simultaneously. In the below example, we have set a sample keyword (literally titled Keyword) to Broad Match and Phrase Match. Why would you want to want to keep these two particular keywords running simultaneously?Well, let’s say after testing your keyword at different match types you have decided you really like Broad Match. There could be a whole host of reasons why you’ve decided t... > Read more

August 27, 2013     |   Written by: Zina Kayyali   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 21

The Change in Quality Score Reporting: What Really Happened?

A few weeks ago, Google announced that it was changing the way Quality Scores would be reported. Not how they are calculated, they pointed out, just how the scores are reported. This seems like clear confirmation from Google that the 1-10 Quality Score you see in AdWords is just a “front” for whatever your “real” score is.

If nothing changed about your “real” Quality Score, and this is truly just a glossy reporting change, then there should be no effect on your other metrics. BUT, there’s another way to interpret Google’s announcement. Google might be saying that they haven’t changed the factors that go into Quality Score, but they have changed how they normalize the results (which is how they can compare disparate advertisers). If that’s true, then there could be substa... > Read more

August 26, 2013     |   Written by: Andy Stefano   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 25

WordStream’s Milestone Hat-Trick

While it isn’t hockey season, our founder Larry is from Canada, as you may know, and is a big fan of the sport. In his honor, we’ll use a hockey analogy, as WordStream scored three key goals in the last few weeks. Earlier this week, WordStream was honored to learn we were recognized as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in America (#184 to be exact!) by Inc.

Magazine. Our growth rate over the last three years has been an amazing 2,225%.Our second big milestone this month: We have surpassed the 1,000 customer mark! We are honored so many companies are looking to WordStream to help them drive success with paid search marketing, and we will continue to work tirelessly to earn your business.Our final milestone this month is that our free AdWords Performance Grader... > Read more

August 22, 2013     |   Written by: Ralph Folz   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 5

The PPC Guide for Beginners, Part 5: Bringing it All Together

This is Part 5 of a 5-part series. Read the rest of the articles here:The PPC Guide for Beginners, Part 1: Intro to PPC ROIThe PPC Guide for Beginners, Part 2: Setting Your PPC GoalsThe PPC Guide for Beginners, Part 3: The Landing Page DilemmaThe PPC Guide for Beginners, Part 4: Finding Your KeywordsWho should use pay-per-click advertising? Does PPC really work?Maybe you have been affected by Google updates, and your website disappeared from the SERP (search engine results page).

Or maybe you simply want to make more money, and you’re looking for all the help you can get to boost sales.There are times when a well-planned PPC campaign proves to be a quick and profitable solution to internet marketing woes. And there are times when it isn’t. But, if you have been with us since the beginn... > Read more

August 22, 2013     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 6
 
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