Adwords lost impression share due to rank explained

Jul 22 2010

A long tailAdwords impression share is very useful for demonstrating how much of your target audience you’re covering. As a rule of thumb, impression share (IS) above 80% is usually regarded as good.
Take the following figures from a real Adwords account:
Impression Share: 93%
Lost IS (Rank): 7%
Lost IS (Budget): 0%
Exact Match IS: 100%

There can be a couple of reasons for the Lost IS due to rank; one of which is that the ads are being displayed on a partner site that doesn’t display as many ads as Google’s homepage so effectively the ad drops off the bottom. This is logical.

However, in the above example the advertiser is only distributing their ads on the Google search results page, so it will never be displayed anywhere other than on the Google.com/.fr/co.uk/com.au etc.

A second (and more relevant) reason for the Lost IS (Rank) is that the advertiser is missing opportunities to display ads against long tail terms. Let’s assume that the advertiser above is targeting the term “curly wigs” (phrase match type). They’ve set their CPC bid and daily budget high enough to display an ad to 100% of the people searching for “curly wigs”. But only 93% of the people searching for “curly wigs” plus a modifier e.g. “brown curly wigs” see an ad. This probably means that their website isn’t optimised for all the possible long tail terms (“curly wigs that make me look like Michael Knight just when he gets out of Kitt” anyone?).

The more content they add to their site, the more keywords they target and the more they bid the lower their Lost IS (Rank) will be. But at over 90% I reckon they’ve got the curly wig market pretty well covered!

Image: Glenn Pebley

Use your own domain for OpenID

Jun 26 2010

Creating accounts and remembering passwords for every site you visit has always been a major pain. A simple way around this issue is OpenID. This technology allows you to use a single account to control access to lots of sites in a secure way.

You probably already have an OpenID account but just didn’t know about it.

Keep reading and watch a quick video to see how easy it is to set up…

3 must-have plugins for setting up your business blog with wordpress

Jun 19 2010

If you’ve installed WordPress for your business’ website, blog or news section, you’ll need to install some extra plug-ins to really get the most from this excellent software. They’re all free (although a donation is welcome) so install them right now.

Greg’s High performance SEO

Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t insert some common meta tags in your pages. Although the importance of these (specifically keywords & description) has been reduced since the early days of SEO, they still hold some value and it is just general good practice. This plugin has a wealth of features (and documentation) to help make your site a bit more Google friendly and to get it set up properly took me about 15mins. If you only have time to install one plug in, this is the one – it really is superb.

Google XML sitemap generator

To make sure that Google (and Bing and Yahoo!…) knows where all your pages are, you can submit an XML sitemap. However, editing the file manually every time you create a new post is a major pain. This plug in does the editing and submits the new sitemap to all the search engines automagically! Make sure that you take a couple of minutes to configure the plug in to get all the categories and tags that you want into your sitemap.

Wordtwit

There are a whole host of ways to integrate your WordPress blog with Twitter but this plugin gives you a couple of powerful features that are really slick. Once installed, you can create your own url shortening structure (now, that looks pro doesn’t it!) and you can track clicks from Twitter in your Google Analytics account. You can also restrict the posts that are tweeted by including or excluding a specific tag/category.

Pass multiple select values from your website to Salesforce.com

Apr 26 2010

If you’re integrating your website with Salesforce.com you may need to capture multiple select values. Unfortunately, Salesforce doesn’t accept an array of values (the way PHP sends multiple selects when a form is submitted) so it truncates the values it receives so only the first value gets through. I recently solved this issue when I was building a form for a client.

Salesforce needs a single

&var=val

pair for each of the values in the same select. So, we need to create something that looks like

&var=val1&var=val2&var=val3...

The php implode() function is very helpful here so we could just pass the array from the form to a php file and do something like

implode("&val=" $_POST['mySelect']);

It would be sensible to urlencode the values of the form data to make sure it arrives safely. So, we need to urlencode the values after they’ve been imploded. If we simply urlencode the array, we no longer have an array and it’s pretty useless.

To send data from the website to Salesforce, I pre-processed the data and sent the request ‘manually’ so my chain of events looked something like this:

Form on website >> php data manipulation >> php creation of POST >> Salesforce.com object

If you have any tips about integrating your website with Salesforce, please drop me a line.

Make your site social for free

Feb 17 2009

Social media is a term you’ve probably heard but if you haven’t it broadly means allowing users to engage with website content and each other. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are known as social networking sites because their primary purpose is to allow people to make contact and share thoughts, comments & content. Other sites like The Guardian or YouTube allow comments to be added around their content thus making their content ‘social’. So why not let your website users comment on your content, share ideas & thoughts etc. In other words, use the features of social networking on your own website.

One of the ongoing annoyances for committed users of the web is the number of user profiles we need to create to engage with the all these websites. Fortunately, Google’s recently launched social networking platform, Friend Connect allows us to embed social networking tools into our websites without the need to ask users to create a new profile when they want to use the features.
Adding the various free widgets will allow you to create a plug & play community for your website without the barriers usually associated with setting up and using a social network. You won’t need any programing skills but you will need (ftp) access to your server to set it up.

Check out this intro video from Google:

The evolution of successful blogs

Oct 26 2008

The guys at website monitoring service Pingdom have done an interesting visual round up of how some of the more successful blogs have evolved over recent years. There are a few trends to note but for me the move to a very crowded masthead stood out. Most of the blogs featured have decided to place a large ‘leaderboard’ style banner ad at the top (or near the top) of the page. I read this as a sign that the attention ads get here is too difficult to ignore when compared to the revenue from other areas on the site. It really reminds me of the huge mastheads we now see on print newspapers.
If you’re planning a blog it might be worth learning from the big guys rather than find out through your own evolution. Although the specifics are clearly relevant for those looking monetize content, the layout lessons must be applicable to corporate, promotional blogs too.

Take a look now: A visual round-up of successful blog evolution

Free file sharing service

Aug 21 2008

If you want to share large files with your suppliers (videos, photos, artwork etc), the best service I’ve found is drop.io. There are lots of file sharing services out there but what’s so great about this one is that it is totally free (up to 100MB per file), its quick and doesn’t require registration or other annoying shenanigans. If your data is particularly sensitive you can password protect it at no extra cost. The premium versions of the service allow much larger data storage and shorter url’s (not that the 7 characters of the free version are too long). Quite simply there’s not much more you could want from an online file sharing service. If you think there’s something better please let me know.

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