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Time To Reap What You’ve Sown From Keyword Seeds

If you’ve been following the series on Keyword Seeds and Keyword Research over the last couple of months, I’ve been writing about how to perform really good keyword research through a series of tactics that I call the "Keyword Seed Method". Don’t bother to go look that up in Google, as I think I’m the only one in the world who calls it that. But it helps me to think of keywords as "seeds" of information that will eventually grow into a "garden of possibilities", if you will allow me the artistic license. I’ve been reading a lot of classic literature lately. I received many ema [...]

3 Lessons Paid Search Can Learn From SEO

There’s no denying the synergy between SEO and paid search marketing, and paid search marketers would do well to take away a lesson or two from the world of organic search engine optimization to improve their campaigns. 1.  Keywords! Keywords! Sherlock Holmes exclaimed, "Data! Data! …I can't make bricks without clay." And likewise, keywords are the backbone, heart and soul of all search engine marketing, paid or organic. There’s a whole mess of keywords work and reports done for organic search optimization that paid search marketers can and should utilize. On the most basic level, [...]

The Complete Guide To Bidding On Competitor Brand Names & Trademarked Terms


It’s been long known in the industry that brand term keywords garner a much higher click-through-rate. As a result, marketers often start by bidding on their own brand terms.

How To Use The AdWords Search Term View To Optimize Keywords & Negatives

Optimizing Keywords and Negatives is a task I recommend to my clients that they do regularly. In this How To, I will include some real-world experience along with the basics of how to use the AdWords Search Term View to optimize keywords and negatives. What Is Search Terms View? The AdWords Search Terms View shows us the performance metrics on the Search Terms that matched against our Keywords (more detail on the difference between Search Terms and Keywords is coming up later in this post). Advertisers can use this data to optimize the Keywords and Negatives in their account. Optimization [...]

PPC Planning Matrix

PPC Planning Matrix One of the opportunities we have as Paid Search Marketing professionals is to help business people communicate their marketing ideas without burdening them with the details of Paid Search. A few months back, I came across a tool that helped tremendously. We adopted it in-house, and tested it with a few client engagements. It is a great success. The tool helps us generate the core concepts of a PPC Account in an easy-to-understand visual layout, without having to burden business users with all of the details. We call it the PPC Planning Matrix. I'm going to gloss over the absolute basics [...]

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 [...]

The Lazy Search Marketers Guide To Increasing Volume Without Adding New Keywords

Sick of spending afternoons reviewing raw query reports? We’ve all been there— pouring over keyword expansion tools trying to identify those stellar terms that your account may be missing. Adding new keywords and refining match types is certainly important for optimization, but it’s not necessarily the fastest way to increase volume. Often, advertisers focused on growing their paid search programs pay too much attention  to keyword expansion activities. It’s not surprising that this bias persists -- given the multitude of keyword tools out there such as Wordstream, Trellian, or Adg [...]

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 [...]

5 Powerhouse Holiday Marketing Strategies For Online Retailers

Think it’s too soon to shop online for the winter holidays? Think again. Some retailers have been promoting holiday sales since this past summer. This year, both Walmart and Target held the first ever Black Friday in July sale, offering deals on a variety of electronics, apparel, toys, beauty products, sporting goods and other essentials. The early opening of the shopping season confirms that retailers are looking to find creative ways to spark buying activity after continued lagging sales as the US economic recovery stalls. The good news is that even in this economy, or because of i [...]

Maximizing Paid Search Campaigns For The Holiday Shopping Schedule

The holidays are just around the corner, and with shoppers gearing up for the holiday rush, smart marketers are already preparing their paid search campaigns for the 2010 season. By evaluating consumer trends from last year’s holiday season we found some interesting insights that will help marketers be even more successful this year, including a few observations that run counter to conventional wisdom. In general, retail search programs performed as expected: starting to increase in traffic and conversion rates in the final week in November and running significantly more profitably than t [...]

How To Leverage Google AdWords Placement Reports For Better Performance

If search engine marketers are only using AdWords Placement Performance reports to exclude sites, they’re seriously under-utilizing the information Google is giving them. Read on for additional ways to leverage the goldmine of data in placement reports. The basics: add site exclusions & managed placements The AdWords Placement Performance report is available in the Reporting tab in AdWords. The primary purpose of the report is to provide data on the performance of display network (aka content targeting) sites in Google’s AdSense network. AdWords advertisers can see impressions, c [...]

Realizing Greater ROI From Onsite Behavioral Targeting

If you had the time and resources to personalize every sales pitch, every piece of marketing collateral, every special offer, how would that affect your bottom line? If your customers told you, "I don't want that, but if you offer me this in a different color, I'll buy three," you would listen, right? Onsite behavioral targeting enables you to customize your website to create the most welcoming, enticing destination for your visitors, ultimately engaging them more deeply in your site. So-called machine learning engines provide a means to automatically offer the most relevant content to [...]

What Keywords Am I Missing?

The typical process that an SMB will go through when building an online marketing campaign usually begins with defining their target audience, performing keyword research, analyzing which words bring the most traffic and conversions, and utilizing keyword research tools such as Keyword Discovery. Upon taking these steps, SMB owners will wait to see their results on search engines, make the necessary tweaks, and eventually reach a higher position in online search results. If you do your homework, the process seems fairly straightforward. Here’s an example of a plumber in Chico, CA who c [...]

Globalizing & Localizing E-Business: Five Steps To Multilingual SEO Success

Not so long ago, there were only a few companies out there that bothered to customize their websites for foreign markets. Those who chose to do so made minimal effort—they simply translated their English copy into the local language and started doing business. Their incentives to create more sophisticated, tailored offerings was minimal; with so few companies doing it, there was no competition for e-business or Google rankings. This, however, is no longer the case. In the past, only the big players could afford to invest the time and strategic resources needed to localize their w [...]

5 Tips To Improve Conversion On B2B Landing Pages

Getting a prospect to your website is only half the battle. Successful B2B search marketing programs must also focus on the "post-click" experience. Here are five proven ways to improve B2B landing pages and increase your search marketing conversion rate. 1. Support your brand. Build trust. Landing pages that are aligned with your brand demonstrate credibility and strengthen customer loyalty. Your search marketing landing pages should be consistent with corporate logo, color, font and language standards. For example, a landing page logo should be prominently located and in the same rel [...]

With Search, Turn Your Marketing Funnel Into A Water Park

In marketing, we divide the customer experience into several tasks: Awareness, consideration, demand and purchase. Advertising campaigns are put into buckets of awareness (isn't this cool?), consideration (here are your options if you decide to buy this kind of thing) and demand (take advantage of this special offer!). The messaging is geared towards one or the other task. And the writing is different as well: Awareness is supposed to be impartial because potential clients are somewhat skeptical. Consideration adds the kind of detail customers need when making decisions about purchasing, witho [...]

Little Known But Powerful: Google’s Export Planning Tool

Google’s Export tool was developed to help businesses identify overseas market opportunities for expanding their business. While not perfect, it does allow companies new to international marketing to discover potential markets by leveraging multiple Google tools to translate keywords then weigh market potential based on search volume and average cost per click data.

Top 10 SEM Tips From SMX Advanced London 2010

Last week, SMX London graduated to SMX Advanced status. We in the UK eagerly anticipated the fresh new tips and tricks which are usually left until several beers later in the networking bars! And we certainly weren't disappointed. I thought it would be useful to share with Search Engine Land readers the top ten advanced search marketing tips which I gleaned from the show. Link building: Offer a student discount. Among Kelvin Newman's excellent 17 ways to build university and government links, the one I found most thought-provoking was for e-commerce sites to offer a student discount. Thi [...]

Managing Customer Relationships, After The Click

Never before has it been easier for local business to generate leads for their businesses. There are many, many resources available to help businesses get customers in the door and on the phone. Many advertising options—online and offline—are performance-priced including pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-call. From search engines, traditional yellow pages publishers, newspapers, local ad agencies to national entrants such as ReachLocal, Yodle, MerchantCircle and others there are numerous options to help local businesses generates leads. However, despite all these resou [...]

Keyword List Building 101

After doing all of your research, you now have a pretty good crop of data to sift through. Remember, during the Research Phase, we collected every keyword we found during our various investigations. Check out this article for a comprehensive recap of Research Phase posts from this column regarding PPC research. Some of sources used for the initial keyword research were: The kickoff meeting with the client A preliminary search of the major engines Previous (or current) paid search campaigns The advertiser’s site(s) and competitor sites The advertiser’s site level web analyt [...]

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