Why You’re Paying More For Your Brand Terms On Yahoo

Yahoo has suffered through its fair share of turmoil over the last few years: a revolving door of CEOs, significant layoffs, investor revolts, and a declining share of the search space, both paid and organic. One recent bright spot for Yahoo was their first year over year growth in search revenues after traffic acquisition costs (ex-TAC)  since their alliance with Microsoft in the fourth quarter of 2010. In fact, before last quarter, Yahoo hadn't shown Y/Y growth in search revenue ex-TAC since they began reporting it in 2009. Not too shabby then, and Yahoo's results were generally well [...]

Using Google Analytics To Collect & Benefit From AdWords Position ROI

As an agency, we talk a lot about client expectations and understanding. Reality and actuality sometimes don’t start off in the same place, or even the same hemisphere. When we talk about Google AdWords, clients sometimes expect a few hours of education on how the setup of a campaign works, and then they’re off and running – generating thousands of dollars with minimal involvement. That’s their expectation. The reality is AdWords for even a moderate budget could really be a full-time, 40-hour-per-week job. There are many intricacies in an AdWords account, and it’s becoming more co [...]

Getting Started With Microsoft Advertising Intelligence

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence (MAI) is one of the SEM tools most Advertisers don't even know they wish they had. MAI provides API access to keyword extraction and generation, and historical and forecast metrics, all wrapped in a softward add-in that integrates with Excel. It is in some ways better than AdWords' equivalent tools, and the Excel integration and wizard workflow are unlike anything AdWords makes available. The adCenter team invited me to help them announce their recent innovations at Search Engine Strategies New York last week. I was somewhat surprised to learn that [...]

How To Terrify Executives Into Linkbuilding

scared-businessman-featured Much has been written about the poor in-house SEO, fighting the good fight to inculcate SEO awareness and best practices throughout the organization. This is an unenviable task and more than one in-house has shared a narrative with me that sounds something like this:  SEO:  "So, I’m concerned that we’re not proactively link-building and that may have a negative impact on our high quality in bound traffic." Executive:  "But when I type-in the company’s name, we are number one in Google." SEO:  "Yes, well you are getting personalized results AND there’s a lot more to . . ." [...]

SEO Best Practices For HTML5: Truths, Half-Truths & Outright Lies

HTML5 for SEO During a panel at SMX Advanced 2011 in Seattle, I remember hearing a question about Schema.org tags. More specifically, I remember Greg Boser remarking about how search engines have come full circle. First, they gave us meta data. Then they took it away (as a ranking factor). Now, search engines are once again asking us for meta data. His tone did not indicate any type of excitement about the Schema.org announcement or the use of the tags as an SEO strategy. Other panelists commented on how the Schema.org tags could lead to additional code bloat, and in the end, none of the panelists re [...]

The Highs & Lows Of Search Retargeting: Version 3.0 Is Here Already

I know this industry evolves fast, but damn! Just 18 months ago, most media planners and search marketers had not heard of search retargeting, and already we are in what could easily be called version 3.0. With the agency hat back on (for today), we look at whether this tactic is living up to the growing hype. When the principle was first explained to me, I was running an agency display media team at a search agency that was focused on direct response clients; I was therefore interested in tactics that involved precise data points as a way to focus on user intent. Search retargeting seem [...]

How To Improve Crawl Efficiency With Cache Control Headers

Way back at the end of the last century, I worked for a company called Inktomi. Most people remember Inktomi as a search engine, but it had several other divisions. One of these divisions (the one I worked for) sold networking software, including a proxy-cache called Traffic Server. It seems weird now, but Inktomi made more money from Traffic Server than it did from the search engine. Such were the economics of the pre-Google Internet. It was a great business until 1) bandwidth got really, really cheap and 2) almost all of the customers went out of business in late 2000/early 2001. (Most of [...]

How To Maximize SEM Efforts With Search Retargeting

Last month, we discussed how display media has evolved to be more quantitative in Why Search Marketers Are The Future Media Planners, and ironically, how the skillset held by search marketers has become more relevant to display media than the skill set held by current media planners. Using the real-time environment of the media exchanges, ‘search retargeting’ is one of several techniques that has created a safe bridge for SEM marketers to move into display and see almost instant results, and it is the SEM budget holders that are trying it quicker than the media planners (and who often [...]

How To Use Occupational Targeting In Facebook For B2B Leads & Sales

For many B2B marketers, mainstream social channels a la Facebook (FB) and LinkedIn remain the proverbial Wild West of the contextual online advertising realm. While some early-adopters look to these platforms with intrigue and enthusiasm, others are handicapped by intimidation— skeptical of how rich and sophisticated these social landscapes might be. Between the two channels, LinkedIn and Facebook boast around 800 million registered users globally. We have tons of experience with B2B clients who are less spooked by the concept of marketing to users in LinkedIn, classically described as th [...]

How To Track Social Conversions On Landing Pages

Earlier this month, Google released Google +1 buttons for websites. This seems like a good occasion to celebrate social conversion on landing pages — and provide you with the links and sample code to implement it in your own post-click marketing. By social conversion, we mean a social-oriented action that a user takes on one of your pages: clicking a Facebook Like button, clicking a Twitter Follow button, or clicking a new Google +1 button. For example, any of these buttons: In some cases, this may be the primary call-to-action for a certain landing page: you deliver meaningful cont [...]

How To Fix Common Analytics Mistakes In Multinational eCommerce SEO

Google Analytics Profile Setup One of the major headaches in multinational campaigns is solving the many web analytics issues thrown up as a result of operating across multiple subdomains, in multiple languages. Part of the problem is technical, but probably the most difficult issue you'll encounter is actually maintaining consistency in numbers across the various departments and agencies involved in multinational campaigns. Getting the right numbers into the right reports for the right people should be straightforwards but rarely is. Here are my top tips for making your multinational analytics drive success. Tip #1: [...]

PPC Tactics For Large Enterprises: Search Network Targeting

At SMX West last month, I spoke at length about what it means to manage PPC programs at large companies.  One of the topics I covered at some depth was using the various search engines’ targeting options to break keywords down into smaller bits of data to optimize them individually. This type of tactic can turn the ‘head’ of your portfolio into more of a ‘tail’ and makes it work more efficiently for you. But if you’re like us, and you have super-sized SEM programs, how do you tackle this in a manageable way that will drive incremental profit to your group or company, and make y [...]

Indistinct Links & Link Building In Difficult Verticals

Link building in social-unfriendly verticals can be a heartache. At one point, before the reasonable surfer concept was implemented, it was possible for many websites in taboo verticals like poker, payday loans and pharmaceuticals to get by on footer and sidebar links alone – meaning links that never saw the light of a user’s eyes could still pass enough value to rank for the most difficult terms on the Internet. Now, that’s simply not the case, and those websites trying to get by solely on the same tactics are assuredly going to get swept away onto the second page of the search resul [...]

How To Analyze A/B Tests Using Google Analytics

Much has been said about A/B testing techniques and the value that Website Testing can bring to website owners. In this article, I will not discuss what to test or how to do it, but how to analyze what you have already done. I have written in the past about the differences between A/B and Multivariate Testing and how to choose between them. Back then, I wrote that one of the advantages of multivariate tests is that you can analyze each and every interaction between elements in a much deeper level. However, one of the points that I missed is that A/B Tests are easier to be analyzed using [...]

Attribution Management: The New Frontier In Search

Had you exchanged pleasantries at a 2001 cocktail party, describing yourself as a search marketer, you’d have undoubted been met with a moment of uncomfortable silence and a blank stare. A decade later, it’s hard to imagine a company of any size, in any industry, that isn’t using SEO or paid search advertising to market its products or services. In fact, a company not pursuing these activities now is almost universally viewed to be at a disadvantage to its competitors who are so engaged. Well, marketing history appears to be repeating itself in the form of attribution management. I [...]

Where, Why, When & How To Benefit From Google’s Farmer Update

I'm sure everyone has read about Google's recent algorithm change to penalize content farms by now. There's been lots of reports on who the biggest losers have been in terms of traffic loss, but for everyone who's lost – someone else has won! So looking at this from the alternative point of view, how can you benefit? Well firstly, it's important to look at where the content farm style of websites went wrong. Quite clearly, one of the common signs is that they created not just thousands, but in many cases millions of pages containing low-quality content. All with the primary intention o [...]

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