Search Marketers: Keep Calm, Carry On

keep-calm-and-market-on Everybody loves progress, but nobody likes change. This adage is particularly true any time Google announces major upgrades to AdWords. If recent comments on Twitter are any indication, Google this morning was gearing up to pull your hair, throw sand in your face and take your lunch money. None of this is true. The Sky Is NOT Falling For whatever reason, search marketers seem to have some sort of an inferiority complex. A lot of us are always on the lookout for new ways that Google is going to screw us over. Seriously, it’s like a laundry list of insecurities: @bigalittlea K [...]


Food For Thought About Link Building: Some Tasty Tidbits

shutterstock_164721908 Presented for your consideration, below are a number of linking-related comments, thoughts, ideas and other notes that I believe you'll find thought-provoking, interesting or, at least, somewhat helpful. [caption id="attachment_189542" align="alignright" width="300"] Your job is no longer to rank high. Your job is to succeed in business.[/caption] Bittersweet Vindication..? On April 30 of 2007, almost exactly seven years ago today, I wrote The Coming Link Apocalypse. This was before Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Buffy, Dewey, Vince, Potsy, LaVerne or Shirley. Back before link deconstr [...]


Reigning In Content & SEO — The King & Queen Of Online Marketing

king_queen_shutterstock_179151986 Years ago, SEOs proclaimed, "Content is king!" Yet the full potential of content as the catalyst for everything we want to accomplish in SEO was not realized. Even back then, SEOs wanted to measure their efforts. Fast-forward to 2014, and we're facing more choices in our marketing with more ways to measure than ever. We have multiple ways to reach customers and mountains of data to sort through; and within all this is the need to confirm that what we're doing is driving business outcomes. At the top of every SEO's mind right now is content -- and SEOs and brands have a burning need t [...]


Got SEO Basics? 5 Tips To Boost Your Organic CTR

Building_Blocks There's no shortage of new digital marketing channels these days -- and while they are innovative, exciting, and fun to experiment with, they can also distract you from SEO basics that can deliver performance gains. Your organic click-through rate (CTR) is a great example. A simple page title tweak could take you from driving 2% of consumers to your landing page, to driving 20%! But today, your organic CTR can be affected by several different elements. Below we'll take a look at five factors in your control: 1.  Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Ranking Marketers everywhere are chasing [...]


420 Dilemma? Marijuana Emerges In Local Search

Marijuana in Maps and Local Search Listings Today marks the first time that April 20th -- known amongst pot smokers as "420" and frequently celebrated with smoking parties -- is a legally observable event in the United States (in some places, at least, since the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of the drug for adults). So, what does this mean for local businesses and marketers? In 2010, I conducted a limited audit to see if 420 party locations, as well as marijuana dispensaries, appeared in Google Maps. I found little more than a user-generated map back then -- but fast-forward to 2014, and we be [...]


5 Steps To Leverage Those AdWords Bid Simulations For Maximum Return

Coverage Though the basic concepts have remained the same, a lot has changed since Hal Varian released his bidding tutorial back in 2009 (video autoplay), especially with enhanced campaigns and those new mobile and location bid modifiers. One such change is that keyword-level simulations are now available for download in AdWords. For any search marketer interested in marginal cost and revenue numbers -- essentially how diminishing returns affect your paid search program -- those simulations can be a great source of knowledge. Below are some thoughts on how to leverage them. 1. Pull Those AdWords [...]


Prepare Your PPC Plans For The Search Engines’ Inevitable Pivots

shutterstock_101441059-emergency-preparedness Last week, Google announced some panic-inducing security enhancements, essentially removing search queries in referring URLs for PPC clicks. Plenty has already been written about this topic and, without getting into it too much, I think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup. Larry Kim summed it up well last Thursday: It's pretty much a non-issue for most of the people who actually do paid search work. But you wouldn't know it based on the all the hysteria. However, before we knew the scope of Google's planned changes, the team at Hanapin sat down to prepare an action plan for adapting to (not pr [...]


Search In Pics: Google Branded Delorean, Android Cleaning Bot & Passover Doodle

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google Spam Fighter Riding Into The Sunset On Horse Carousel: Source: Google+ Google Passover Matzah Doodle (I Made It): Source: Google+ Cloud Platform Android Figurine: Source: Google+ Google Branded Delorean: Source: Google+ Google Android Cleaning Robots: Source: Google+ [...]


Losing Organic Traffic After A Redesign? Four Things to Check

301-redirect While web designers and developers are often strong at designing and programming websites, not all are as well prepared to handle SEO issues, especially when relaunching websites. Just this week, I've worked with three separate web design firms who contacted me after a recent site relaunch caused a substantial loss of organic website traffic. So, if you just relaunched your website and you're losing organic traffic, how can you know where to start? Here's my basic list of the most common issues I see that are often overlooked in a relaunch. While there can be many reasons for traffic lo [...]


Are You Building Links Or Building A Business?

Build a Brand I think many of us can agree that the great thing about this industry is that it's constantly evolving and new elements are continuously being added. For example, I love the role social is playing in helping companies connect with customers and the effect it has on search (links, mentions, content generation, etc.). However, I think many of us would also agree that this evolution has its downside…and its name is Google. Now, I'm not a Google hater. I don't believe that they are out to get SEOs or ruin businesses. But I do think there is a problem happening around links at the moment th [...]


6 Steps To Boost The Profitability Of Your SEM Acquisition Program

cpaclvwee Imagine that your job is to stand outside a barber shop and bring in new customers. If a businessman with shaggy hair comes walking by, you give him a big wave and a hello. If a bald man walks by, not so much. This analogy is used by Google AdWords to describe its Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) feature. The feature is intended to identify auctions that are more likely to lead to conversions -- and to automatically raise bids to "work harder" for those sales. It's a powerful concept, and one that has understandably gained traction in the SEM community. But imagine if you could take [...]


Survey: Older Generations Embrace Mobile As Local Shopping Companion

senior_woman_on_smartphone Conventional wisdom tells us that younger generations trump older generations in their use of mobile devices during the local purchasing process. While teenagers use their smartphones at every opportunity to find local businesses, read reviews and scan deals, their parents and grandparents rarely rely on their devices to take advantage of what is increasingly available via mobile, right? Maybe not. According to the results of a new consumer survey conducted by Thrive Analytics and released today by the Local Search Association, older generations -- including Boomers and Seniors -- are embra [...]


The War On Links

shutterstock_104739881-fear-of-links In case you didn't notice, we are waging a war over links. Some would say that SEOs are at war with search engines, but I disagree. Search engines and SEOs have a symbiotic relationship; and without meaning to, we've killed the value of the link. The link, once a simple connector from one site to another, has become the subject of intense scrutiny by SEOs, Google, and even the US Copyright Office.  Do you remember what it was like to really "surf" the Internet? The way you could bounce from site to site simply by following blogrolls and webrings? The rush of energy and excitement that [...]


5 SEO Tips To Boost Page Speed

Image used with permission of Shutterstock.com Got 10 seconds? Probably. But I bet you won't spend it waiting for a web page to spin, sputter and load. I hate that. You hate that. And search engines hate that, too. But if your site is lightning fast, everyone will love you. Why Page Speed Matters Not too worried about your slow site? Maybe you should be. Sweet Brown (video autoplay) said it best: "Ain't nobody got time for that!" And research findings agree. As SEL news reporter Amy Gesenhues noted in her post last March, average page-load speed for top retail sites was over seven seconds -- well above the ideal load time of thre [...]


How To Repurpose Content Without Looking Like A Total Jerk

recycle-shutterstock When content first hit the search scene, search marketers wanted to produce as much content as humanly possible. That's a lot of work -- so much so, in fact, that it's ushered in wave after wave of crappy content. The great news is that you don't have to create a lot of content to rank well and reach your users. You just have to better use the content you already have by repurposing it. First, let's make a key distinction: Spinning content is rewriting your content just enough (usually with the help of some automation) so that search engines think it's a new article. This includes thi [...]


A Complete Guide To The Essentials Of Post-Hummingbird SEO

Google-Wall Google has made stark changes over the past couple years in the way it ranks websites. When one of its most recent algorithm incarnations, Hummingbird, was released in August of 2013, it created a whirlwind in the search landscape and has since continued to have far reaching impact. In its wake, businesses have been forced to modify their web marketing strategies and SEO efforts to regain favor with Google to reclaim their former search rankings. Read on for the insights we've gained and what you need to do to thrive in this new environment. What We’ve Learned So Far In keeping pace [...]


Search In Pics: Google & Bing Light Bulb Signage, Superman Suits & World Cup Google Soccer Ball

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google World Cup Soccer Ball & Caxirola: Source: Google+ Google GSOC Socks: Source: Google+ Google Ceiling Mounted Light Bulb Sign: Source: Google+ Bing Light Bulb Sign: Source: Google+ Superman Suit In Google's Telephone Booth: Source: Google+ [...]


10 Surprising Facts About “Keyword (Not Provided)” For Paid Search

referral-url Earlier this week, everyone went bananas over a rumor that paid search query data was disappearing and that third party tools providers would be slammed. In my article, I’ll clarify fact from fiction. Here are ten things you need to know about the Keyword (Not Provided) for paid search issue: 1. Can I Still Access My Paid Search Query Data? Yes! You can access your paid search query data, using the search terms report in AdWords. Just go to your keywords tab, and select the view search terms option. (Try it out yourself!) 2. Is The Search Term Report A New Feature In AdWords? No. [...]


Link Building Fundamentals To Future-Proof Your Online Business

shutterstock_178290377-chain-link-old-text Google launched in 1998 and has grown steadily to become the most popular search engine in the world. Over 2,161 billion searches were run on their engines in 2013, and the company corners a 67% share of the global search market. As it grows and evolves, Google search is well and truly on its way to becoming humanity's most treasured "personal assistant," helping users find answers to their questions, discover solutions to their problems, carry out research and even get feedback, recommendations and suggestions from friends and trusted advisors. As consumers increasingly use search e [...]


AdWords Scripts Grows Up With MCC Level Scripts

google-adwords-featured1 So far, many have dismissed AdWords scripts as a toy that you can only use for small AdWords account setups. There are some ways to build out larger script frameworks that span multiple accounts, but it is clunky and still requires you to install a snippet of code into each account. Worse yet, if you find a bug in a script that you've copied to 10 or 25 accounts, you'll need to log into each one and update them manually to apply the fix. This breaks one of the fundamental rules of software development: "Don't Repeat Yourself." Welcome to MCC Level Scripts My Client Center (MCC) level sc [...]


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