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Tag Archives: customers

How Much Are You Paying to Send Customers Away?

Is your Internet marketing campaign sending customers away?Engaging in online marketing is all about customer acquisition, ROI and profits. If you see growth in these three areas, you can be reasonably confident that your online marketing efforts are paying off in some form or another.

But things might not always be as they appear. While it’s never a bad thing to grow in profits, ROI or a growing customer base, you may actually be paying good money to lose great customers.
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The Dirty Little Secret of Conversions, Part 3: Give Customers What They Need

While it’s great to know what people want, when you give them what they want, you only give them a partial solution. The want is the symptom. But, when you address the need, you are addressing the underlying problem and providing a much more holistic solution.

In Part 2 of this series, I started discussing a customers wants versus their needs. I continue this list here.

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Why You Should Never Duplicate Your Competitor's SEO Strategies

Engaging in competitive research before and during your SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Link Building campaigns is smart business. As they say, “information is power.”

But, too much information can also cause a handicap. It’s not too difficult to be so inundated with info. that you get information overload or conflicting advice. That leads to decision paralysis. You don’t know the right course of action to take, or you can wind up using good information to make bad judgment calls.

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Are You Preaching to the Converted?

There is an odd phenomenon that I have noticed in the world of websites. There is a small, yet vocal, group of people that love crap! Time and time again, when I advise a client to improve their website or logo, I hear, “we get complimented on it all the time.”


It brings up images of Charles De Mar from the movie Better off Dead saying, “I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy.”

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Using Paid Search Keywords Correctly to Build Your Online Business

In my last post, I shared using a fishing metaphor to talk about stepping your PPC game up to the point where you know how to use it to build your online business for the long haul.  So, let’s start looking at some of the “tricks of the trade” to do just that.

Trick #1 – Use Keywords Correctly

A great misnomer among PPC advertisers is the belief that the foundation to success for an account is found in picking the right keywords.  While picking good keywords is important, it’s not the foundation.  The foundation is knowing how to use keywords to find search queries that you can use to attract customers to your website.  That’s right, keywords are different than search queries.  Search queries are the phrases that real users actually type into the search engines.  Remember, keywords are like nets that you throw into Search Engine Sea to find the fish (search queries) that you will then use to prepare dinner.

How do you build your account around search queries?  Well, an easy way is to make sure to separate your winning search query catches from your nets.  Once you catch a fish, you don’t leave it in the net, right?  That will just get in the way of catching other fish when you throw the net back in.  Therefore, we’ve got to use the organizational features that the paid search interfaces give us to put the fish in a bucket so that we can skin and fillet (optimize) it.

This is easily accomplished by separating your nets and your fish into separate campaigns.  Your “net” campaign will contain keywords that use match types effectively (we’ll get to this soon) to go out and catch the fish.  Your “bucket” campaign will contain the search queries you have found to be winners.  You will set these search queries on “exact match” so that they will only be matched to the exact query that you found works for your business.  Yes, I know that once you add the query to your account that it (technically-speaking) becomes a “keyword,” but since it will only be matched to the exact query, we can view it as such.

The bucket campaigns is where you will build your account from what you caught in the net campaign.  This separation allows you to separately control budgeting, bidding and other targeting options to focus your efforts on dominating the locations that really put food on the table.

For example, if we create a “fishing” campaign that uses the keyword “red shoes” on broad match, it will be matched to thousands of real search queries like “red nike tennis shoes” or even “purple slippers” (broad match can be very broad).  Yes, you may find that the exact query “red shoes” works for you and meets your advertising goals.  But, long-term business growth against your competition requires that you go fishing for as many queries as you can make work for your business.

So, let’s say your main keyword theme is “red shoes.”  Through keyword research, you add many relevant keyword phrases to your “net” campaign.  As ads run on these keywords, they will be collected and you are able to view them in your account. Here’s an illustration of what it’s like.  The keywords you add to your campaigns are in the middle.  The actual search queries that users are performing are in the small bubbles…

Now, what do you do with these?  You take a look at their relevance and statistics to decide whether to continue advertising on those terms or not, and whether or not they’ve performed well enough to be implemented into your net campaign for different treatment.  There will be a lot of terms to add as negatives, some to throw into the bucket, some will need more time, and some may need special attention to figure out why they are not performing as well as you might think.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how you may treat these groups differently.

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PPC Advertiser News – 2/7/11

Here’s what’s new in the world of paid search advertising…

Google Changes Display of Top Position Ads

Apparently, Google is going to start putting Description Line 1 of a typical PPC ad in the headline of the Top 3 ads positions as long as the line ends with a punctuation mark.  If they roll this out, it’s likely that competition for top position ads will grow and it will also affect ad copy strategies.  It is not recommended that you merge the headline and description line as there will be a dash placed between the two in the first line of the ad.

Remember, while it may get more expensive to be in the Top 3 positions if this happens, we still only bid for position if it is advantageous to our overall marketing goals.  As for ad copy, we may be more readily willing to be creative with our headlines since you could now put them in your description text and still have them show up big and blue on the page.

Facebook Debuts User-Generated Ad Option

Facebook has a new ad type called “Sponsored Stories” ads.  Basically, when the conditions are right, Facebook will serve a user comment in place of the ad an advertiser has created.  The conditions of showing the ad are dependent on each user’s privacy settings.  If a user leaves a comment about your company, but their settings only have their wall posts showing to friends, then only friends can see their comment in place of the ad in their profile.  What is happening is you are able to pay to have things that users say about your product or service to other people that would be eligible to see it in their Newsfeed anyway.

Using Negative Keyword Lists

Allows you to not have to manage keywords for each of your campaigns individually.  You can compile themed lists of negative keywords that you create and apply them to specific campaigns; saving you the time of having to weed through negatives to copy and paste them to new campaigns.  This allows you to better organize negatives into groups so that you have more control of how you use them.  Also, it helps if things change in your business or on your site and certain keywords that were negatives become positives.

Google Testing Display Ads in Gmail

Gmail is a part of the “Google Display Network” which allows advertisers who use AdWords to show text, image, rich media or video ads on targeted content sites across the web where your target audience hangs out.  Google put a lot of effort into improving the effectiveness of this network in 2010 and it looks like the trend will continue.  Remember, SERPs (search results pages) only account for 5% of Internet pageviews, so learning how the GDN works and making it work for your business is a very wise investment.

Amazon Product Ads

Amazon has entered the PPC marketplace with what they are branding “Product Ads.”  It’s sort of like a combination of PPC and comparison shopping, since people are looking to purchase anyway.  The categories are initially limited.  Right now there is only Baby, Computers, Consumer Electronics, Health and Personal Care, Home and Garden, Office, Sports and Outdoors, Tools, Home Improvement and Toys.  Your product ads are discovered in a variety of ways including search, browse and on product detail pages.  Products that only you sell will be viewable by using search and browse.  Products that are similar or the same as an existing product will be targeted to customers looking for products like yours.

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Dropping In To See What Condition Your Condition Is In – Part I

Back in 2002, Stanford published their Top 10 Guidelines To Establishing Web Credibility. Amazingly, these conditions for creating a credible website are just as relevant today as they were back then. Isn’t it funny how, with all of the advancements in site development and marketing, it all still comes back to the basics?

Below are the first five guidelines. I’ve provided some of my own additional thoughts and commentary and would be interested in hearing yours as well.

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