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Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on Google AdWords

The last post here presented some of the best articles and blog posts on general search engine marketing practices. This post focuses on interesting observations and helpful advice pertaining specifically to Google AdWords, the largest SEM platform.

In Google AdWords, Bidding Wars Are a Thing of the Past: Beat Your Competition with These 4 Tactics by PPC Hero

Post demonstrating how tactics such as keyword group optimization, writing relevant ad text, and designing relevant landing pages can save you from over-bidding on keywords.

Techniques that Always Work?: Who Uses Dynamic Keyword Insertion? by Traffick

Blogger Andrew Goodman provides the how and why of dynamic keyword insertion in AdWords, and why, though it's a powerful technique, it doesn't "always" work.

Just a Bit Off Target With Pay-Per-Click by Future Now

Even sophisticated, major retailers can make SEM mistakes. This post shows how Target screwed up a PPC campaign, and how it could have been fixed.

AdWords Optimization Tips: More on Ad Text by the Inside AdWords Blog

The Inside AdWords Crew offers advice on mentioning prices or discounts in ads, what elements to test, and how to most effectively track the performance of different text ads.

Google Campaign Optimizer No Substitute for Experience by StraightUpSearch

A prescient blog post on the importance of trusting experience and established best practices in SEM over Google's optimization tool. As this post notes, "Research and testing...(has) revealed that this tool does everything but 'fine-tune' an AdWords campaign. Test cases yielded scores of woefully irrelevant, broad match keyword suggestions as well as sky-high max CPC recommendations. All of which would have sent a perfectly profitable campaign into a tailspin."

Split-Test Your Adwords Ads In 2 Minutes Or Less by NetBusinessBlog

Blogger Dee Barizo provides step-by-step instructions on testing Google AdWords text ad performance to optimize campaign results.

Give the Google Content Network another try by John W. Ellis Search Engine Marketing

It's a very rare occurrence when a blog post causes me to completely change my mind about a firm conviction, but that's what John Ellis accomplished with this post. Like John, "I have avoided advertising on Google’s content network. I had seen the numbers on content ads and the return on ad spend was terrible." But he demonstrates how, in four easy steps, to make Google content network ad campaigns produce worthwhile results.

Chinese Food and Chocolate Pudding: SEO And Paid Search Go Together by MediaPost Search Insider

Writer Tony Orelli shows how organic SEO and paid search work together to maximize website traffic, concluding "we can no longer view SEO and paid search as separate efforts, but two complementary disciplines within your overall marketing mix."

Quick Fixes to Some of PPC’s Most Common Problems: Part One by PPC Hero

A detailed how-to post with specific recommendations for dealing with low conversion rates, poor quality score and low-quality traffic.

More Quick Fixes for Your PPC Account: Get More Clicks by PPC Hero

A nice follow-up to the previous post, this one with concrete suggestions for addressing low click-through rate (CTR), low ad position and disappointing traffic levels.

9 Common Mistakes in Landing Page and PPC Campaign Design by Performancing

Blogger Rich McIver provides helpful guidance on how to avoid nine common mistakes that can negatively impact SEM results, including placing the call to action below the fold, asking too many questions, requiring visitors to download plug-ins before viewing content, and focusing bids on unproductive keywords.

Previous articles in this series:

Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Best of 2007: SEO Keyword Research Tools
Best of 2007: News Articles on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEM


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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


All Time Greats

Digital Marketing for Law Firms, How Hard is it?

A lot of "verticals" or industries make sense for digital marketing and the whole process can be very easy and intuitive. For instance, if you are running a Search Engine Optimization company, it's very straightforward to content market:

1- Write blogs or articles about SEO
2- Try to answer questions people have about SEO
3- Optimize those blogs around what the questions are and what you are saying.

But what about an industry that is a lot more complicated and not very straight forward? What about marketing for lawyers?

ACE, one of Philadelphia's top Law Firm Marketing companies, just posted this extremely helpful blog about why SEO is important for Law Firms. It delves into exactly how to do the job for a complex industry like the law and its practitioners.

One of the key points in the entire article is: "If your customer journey does not have a use for search services, then you'll never see SEO campaign results."

We recommend reading the whole thing. …

Tip #3 to improve your digital marketing

Do Your Research You may have ideas for what is going to work best for your audience based on past experience with your ads, but taking the time to conduct thorough research and have data to support your actions is important. You may anticipate that your customers will behave a certain way, when in fact they go in a completely different direction. It’s essential to be prepared for this ahead of time and use the information you collect from research to planning your marketing strategy. Elliot Simmonds explains this concept below:

“ A lot of people use sponsored posts and other paid advertising, and it seems that many are happy to simply pay the money and watch the views and clicks roll in - even if some of those clicks are from individuals tangential to the product or service they're promoting. Most platforms allow you to specifically target your sponsored posts and ads, and my tip is to do so following a period (even if it's only a short period) of actual research. Your gut i…

Tip #2 to Improve your Digital Marketing

Spend Wisely Each platform used to market online provides you with a different value. You need to analyze which outlets you should invest more time and money into, and which ones are not as important. Some platforms that work well for one company, yield little to no results for another. You need to find the one that suits your business goals the best. Digital Marketing is all very specific to your brand, and you need to plan your budget accordingly. Determining what each platform is going to do for your specific advertising efforts should be the basis for the decisions you make with your campaigns, explains Hitesh Sahni, Marketing Consultant at Smemark:

“It’s imperative to understand the value each channel offers. Search advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, work best when there is a clear demand for your product or service, and you want to target people who search for your product or service online. Search advertising is less effective for a startup that has created a new an…

Does SEO Actually Work?

I wrote this for my new Doctor Digital column over at Results Driven Marketing's Blog. But I wanted to share it here too.

It's the most basic question of all: Does SEO Actually Work?

Yes it does! But not like you think it does.

This graphic should explain it pretty well:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

Tips to Improve Digital Marketing: Tip 1

Digital advertising has become a major component of modern day marketing strategies. Here are tips on how to improve your digital marketing strategy:

1. Be Creative Your business has visual elements that make it stand out from your competition. Use that to your advantage in your marketing efforts. Whether it is a logo, mascot, font, or color scheme, having it included can help make your brand recognizable. You want to catch the eye of the audience, but you also want to maintain their attention and have them remember your brand. Incorporating unique and creative visual elements into your ads is crucial to the success the ads will bring you. Sarah Maloy, Content Marketing Manager at Shutterstock points out that you want a variety of creative images, but they should be consistent: "When advertising on social media, it's important to refresh your creative often so that it is relevant and so that users aren't seeing the same post more than once. When testing variations and tryi…

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…