Pay to Play: Common sense tips to help you improve your Google Adwords Quality Score

One of the most frustrating aspects for novice pay-per-click (PPC) marketers is the so-called ad quality score—a method search engines use to measure the relevancy of an ad for a particular keyword. The ad quality score affects the minimum bid price, position and display eligibility. Poor ads cost a lot more and are less likely to be displayed than highly relevant ones, giving advertisers a strong incentive to manage their ads responsibly.

Unfortunately, the exact way search engines measure this score has remained a secret. But a few months ago, Bill identified a set of patents that give us a detailed look under the hood at how these numbers might be computed. Read more

A Little Personality Goes a Long Way

If you read my last post on advanced keyword research, you probably thought that there was no way you could look deeper into your search visitors’ desires. Well, think again. I want to share a clever technique I’ve been using for several months now to drastically improve the conversion rates of some of my projects.

The technique I am going to present is useful for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing like Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. As you will see, you can later leverage the results for your SEO efforts. Read more

An Active Mindset: 100 new RSS subscribers and the power of endorsements

Everybody in the search marketing industry has fallen head over heels for social media. Certainly it’s nice to see those traffic spikes in your website stats. Personally, I see social media as excellent for viral marketing, branding and long-term relationship building. But I don’t see that new visitors coming to a site from social media sites are particularity interested in taking action on content. Why? Most of them are not in that particular mindset. For first time visits, search engine and affiliate traffic simply convert better.

Unless your monetization strategy is to sell page views you need to keep hitting the home page of the social media sites on a consistent basis in order to take advantage of them. What works best I find is a balanced approach to building traffic. Let me illustrate this by sharing two recent events that sent notable traffic spikes to this blog, as well as the resulting fallout from that traffic. Read more

A World of Bugs and Logs: Advanced Web Analytics

As search marketers we need to know if our efforts are paying off. How many visitors are we getting? What channels are they coming from? And more importantly, how many of those visitors are taking the action (conversions) that we want them to take?

For all this information, we rely on Web Analytics. There are two basic breeds of web analytics packages: web bugs that use page tagging through JavaScript, and web logs that analyze server data. Each type of package has its pros and cons, so search marketers need to utilize both to get the complete picture. Let me tell you how you can best combine the disparate world of bugs and logs. Read more

Game Plan: What marketers can learn from strategy games

I was recently interviewed by the nice guys at Distilled— if you are a regular reader of this blog and you haven’t read it yet, Tom asked some really interesting questions — and one of the things I briefly mentioned was that one of my hobbies is playing chess. I’ve been playing the game for about 2 years, and what I enjoy most about it is that it teaches me a lot about competition and strategy.

Checkmate

One of the reasons why I recommend doing competitive intelligence for SEO is that when you truly understand what makes others successful, you can find a shorter path to your own success. I only make great progress, both in SEO and in chess, when I am able to beat stronger players consistently.

Most intermediate chess books suggest that for every move you make, you develop a list in your head of candidate moves. Those are moves that you should explore by playing as many moves ahead in your mind as you can and evaluating the potential outcomes. Unfortunately, when you are starting out this is very difficult and time consuming. Chess experts do this instinctively and do it very fast, so it is usually easier and more interesting to study professional games and try to understand the reasoning behind each move. The idea is not to memorize the tactics, like many do, but to appreciate the strategies and the logical reasoning that led to them.

Again, there are far more ways to failure than there are to success. It is far more efficient to learn from the moves of proven winners than to try to experiment every possible move for yourself. Read more

Revolutionary "Point and Click" SEO Software

Some of you know that I’ve been working for a while on an advanced SEO suite. I am getting ready to officially launch the beta program and I would like to ask for your help with some of the details.

If you want to be the best at what you do, you need to be prepared to take some heavy criticism. When somebody critiques something you’ve done, you can’t get offended; instead you have to try and learn as much as possible from it.

With that in mind, I want to ask for your assistance improving our promotional video. Please watch it and use the comments section for your critiques. Don’t hold back any punches! I plan to take your valuable input back to the producers.

Revolutionary “Point and Click” SEO Software

RankSense is a revolutionary new SEO software suite that makes ranking your web pages highly within the major search engines easier than ever before — for the keywords and phrases most relevant to your business.


Thanks in advance!

Three Easy Steps to Test Your Viral Marketing Ideas

Viral marketing may be one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to market a product or service, but achieving success remains more of an art than a science. In fact, one of the most frustrating aspects of viral marketing is that you can spend a lot of time and money on what seems like a great idea, yet ultimately be faced with disappointing results. I’ve been playing around with a simple framework to put my viral ideas to the test before committing major resources. Call it “viral ideas split testing.” I think you’ll like it… Read more

The Year of the Widgets: OpenSocial and the big potential for search engine marketers

This year is certain to go down as the year of the widgets. Widgets (also called “gadgets”) are simply small applications that provide dynamic or smart content and they are big news for search marketers, even if the programming gibberish involved has made the fact difficult for many non-developers to see.

The biggest difference between widgets and traditional content is that the content comes ‘alive’ because readers can interact, click and input text to get the information they are interested in. Everybody, including Google’s new OpenSocial initiative, wants to support widgets in one way or another. Google still has some work to do with OpenSocial, but I am certain that it provides the first glimpse into what the next evolution of search marketing is going to be. Read more