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Google Instant Search Myths Debunked

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emmadavis | Friday, September 10th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Advanced, Basic, Basic, Intermediate, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice, SEO Tips & Advice

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Before you let the news about Google’s new Instant Search function cause you to run through the SEO streets screaming, “the sky is falling!”, make sure you know the facts. The blogosphere is buzzing with fear-mongering and paranoia about what Google Instant Search means for SEO and internet marketing, but not all information is created equal. Here are some common misconceptions regarding Google’s latest entry in the search world. Read More »

Online Privacy, Stalking & Sensationalism

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Robert | Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Editorial Page, PPC Tips & Advice

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Sensationalism Sells:
As a resident of eastern Massachusetts I’ve been keeping a keen eye on the path of Hurricane Earl which is expected to be somewhere in our vicinity sometime late this evening. I awoke this morning (Friday, September 3, 2010) and turned on the national news to get an update. Rather than receiving an impartial, fact-based report on the effect that Hurricane Earl had on the eastern coast of the Carolinas, I was greeted by Al Roker who, for some reason, was seemingly unable to keep the hood away from his face and his footing on the ground even though the conditions in which he was reporting from were nothing more than a blustery wind and slight rain. Was this news or sensationalism made for TV? Read More »

Preaching Versus Practicing Adwords

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Robert | Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice

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A Theorist’s Definition of Large-Scale:
Most theorists who preach but don’t practice the management of Adwords define large-scale in terms of keywords under management. I think it’s safe to say that theorists would define large-scale accounts as having many thousands, even tens of thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of keywords under management. As practitioners, however, we define large-scale in a slightly-different way.

A Practitioner’s Definition of Large-Scale:
Yes, although it’s true that large-scale accounts have thousands and thousands of keywords, the real definition lies in the number of ad groups in an account, not keywords.

Since keywords have to be segmented into small groups (i.e., ad groups) together with other keywords that share a literal word or phrase, then the real measure of a large-scale Adwords account is measured in terms of the number of ad groups in the account. This is something theorists don’t have to contend with.

The penalty for not segmenting keywords into very small ad groups that share a literal common word or phrase is a poor quality rating. See a previous blog, “Six Essential Steps For Adwords Success”.

So what?:
So why even discuss the difference between a theorist’s definition of large-scale and a practitioner’s definition of large-scale? Because practitioners are faced with having to manage and optimize bottom-of-funnel (BOF) performance (i.e., paying customers), which is the real measure of cost of acquisition (COA), as opposed to optimizing top-of-funnel (TOF) performance (i.e., leads), which is better described as cost per lead (CPL) not COA. This is a very important point that often gets completely overlooked by most PPC professionals. Read More »

Six Essential Steps For Adwords Success

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Robert | Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice

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Adwords Can Be So Devious?:
Adwords is intended to look so easy that a child could succeed. However, the fact is that the contrary is true. Rarely can you succeed at Adwords without knowing the ins and outs of how to make it work to your advantage.

We’ve discovered many other devious traps embedded in Google Adwords, some of which are explained in “Is Google Evil, Or Just Devious? – Traps No. 1 & 2”, “Is Google Evil, Or Just Devious? – Trap No. 3” and “Is Google Evil, Or Just Devious? – Trap No. 3 (Cont)”.

But here are six steps that are absolutely essential for setting up an Adwords account. If you follow these six steps, your chances of success are greatly enhanced. You can also visit our blog site for many PPC, SEO & Social Media tips, tricks, secrets and advice, and/or you can sign up for our daily PPC, SEO and Social Medial “tip of the day” delivered directly to your inbox.

These six steps are born from years of PPC trial and error. We’ve learned the hard way, and we’re happy to share our experiences with you so you don’t have to. Read More »

The “Shock & Awe” of Remarketing/Retargeting

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Robert | Monday, August 9th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice

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What Is Retargeting?:
Retargeting, or as Google Adwords calls it, Remarketing, is an effective means of delivering a display ad to people who have visited your site and completed, or not completed, a particular action.

For example, a simple use of retargeting would be to serve a display ad to someone who has visited your website but not signed up for a free trial (if you offer one). A more sophisticated use of retargeting would be serving a display ad to someone who made it partially through your shopping cart process but did not complete the purchase. In the latter case you could be very sophisticated and granular and serve a display ad for the very product the visitor ALMOST purchased but did not.

You can read more about how to set up a remarketing campaign by reading this previous blog titled: “Remarketing – Don’t Let Visitors Escape So Easily”.

Shock & Awe?:
Retargeting/remarketing is a very powerful concept in current-day display advertising because visitors to your website can be reminded of your company and its products and services for days, sometimes weeks, after initially visiting your website, even when they are visiting other websites at a later time that have nothing to do with your company, its products or its services. You can imagine how powerful this can be. Your display ad can essentially follow visitors to your website all around the internet reminding them about who your company is and what it has to offer.

Regardless of the effectiveness of this new kind of display advertising, you and others within your company have to be prepared for the shock & awe that will result once your ad starts to appear in various sites around the web. Read More »

How Google Analytics Can Be Dangerous!

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Robert | Monday, July 26th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice

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Have You Noticed Lately?:
Have you noticed that the goal data in Google Analytics is different (often, very different) than the conversion data in Google Adwords? That’s because Google Analytics is a free product. As such it is not supported like Google Adwords, nor is it anywhere near as sophisticated as Google Adwords.

Google Analytics is good for getting a handle on trends, but should not be relied upon when trying to be accurate in counting goals and conversions.

Google Adwords, on the other hand, is the reporting mechanism that paying customers rely on, and is much more accurate and sophisticated than Google Analytics.

Relying only on Google Analytics will lead to incorrect conclusions and disastrous results. Read More »

Using PPC Parameters To Improve Sales

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Robert | Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice

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Top-of-Funnel Versus Bottom-of-Funnel Conversions:
Let’s first define what I mean by top-of-funnel (TOF) versus bottom-of-funnel (BOF) conversions. Conversions at TOF result in sales leads. Conversions at BOF result in actual sales. There are many techniques to optimize TOF conversions, some of which are mentioned in my previous blogs, one of which is, “Pay Per Click (PPC) Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Best Practices & Resulting Quality Score

However, in this blog I want to talk about BOF conversions and how to use Adwords and/or Yahoo! data to optimize conversions and COA at BOF. Read More »

Divide & Conquer Your Adwords Content Network Campaigns

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Robert | Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, PPC Tips & Advice

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Introduction To Content Network Campaigns:
In Google Adwords, the correct nomenclature for a Content Network campaign is a Display Network campaign. It was formerly known as a Content Network campaign, but Google changed the name in an effort to rebuild confidence in the Content Network following recent, significant improvements. I prefer to still refer to it by its former name, the Content Network, which makes it easy and more encompassing because Yahoo! calls their Content Network campaigns, “Content Match” campaigns.

I’ve written a previous blog that provides a high-level perspective on Content and Search Networks called “Advertisers Beware: God Did Not Create Content & Search Networks The Same (nor did Google or Yahoo!) http://bit.ly/bnaoN4”.

What Is A Content Network?:
The easiest way to describe a Content Network is this. Publishers of content who want to make money by allowing Google to place ads next to their published content refer to this platform as “AdSense”. Advertisers who want to place ads next to a publisher’s relevant content refer to this platform as the Content Network (or the Display Network). So really, it’s just two sides of the same coin.

I’ll write future blogs describing how to create effective Content Network campaigns, but for the purpose of this blog I am going to assume you already have some familiarity with creating and managing Content Network campaigns.

Text Vs. Image Ads (and Campaigns):
Although Yahoo! allows only text ads to be delivered by their Content Match campaigns, Google Adwords allows both text and image/flash/animated ads to be delivered by their Content Network campaigns. There lies the hitch!!! Read More »

Is Google Evil, Or Just Devious? – Traps No. 1 & 2

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Robert | Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice

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Is Google Evil?:
I admire Google. I admire the people who work for Google. If not for Google, our lives would be devoid of some of the richness the company has created & weaved into the fabric of our lives. However, when you scratch just below the surface there are clear instances that have no other explanation than to be self-serving, and worse, at the expense of Google’s advertising customers.

I don’t think Google is evil, but evidence suggests they sure can be devious at times. My favorite devilish examples are found on the Settings page. There, you will see a number of default settings that are clearly to Google’s benefit, but to the detriment of the unsuspecting advertiser.

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How Long Is Your Longtail, And Should It Be Long At All?

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Robert | Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Filed under: Advanced, Basic, Intermediate, Intermediate, PPC Tips & Advice, SEO Tips & Advice

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INTRODUCTION TO “LONGTAIL”:
I, as well as others who have been working with the longtail for years, credit Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine with popularizing the term “longtail”. In the 2005-2006 time frame Chris began writing a blog (which was soon followed by a book by the same name – The Long Tail).

The blog and the book focused on the fallacy that the 80/20 rule applies to all things. In particular he showed that in this digital age the cost of creating, storing and distributing digital media (e.g., digital CDs, DVDs, books, etc.) enabled an economic effect that allowed online companies, like Netflix and Amazon, to offer a much greater variety of products than could be offered by traditional offline retailers, to whom the 80/20 rule absolutely applies. Traditional offline retailers have no choice but to focus on generating80% of their revenue from 20% of the products produced because of the physical and economic constraints of the real estate from where they conduct business.

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