The use of other companies’ trademarks in your Adwords campaigns is something that crops up from time to time. After a recent judgement by Niilo Jääskinen, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, it appears that the rules of the game are about to change (probably in the Summer of 2011).
What can we do in Adwords?
Currently you’re able to use someone else’s trademark as a keyword (or phrase) to trigger an ad. You are not allowed Continue Reading »
I’ve met with 3 online businesses in the last 2 weeks that have all wanted to increase their online sales. None of these businesses were start ups and all are investing significant budget in online marketing. Yet all 3 businesses lack fundamental statistics about their online performance. A massive benefit of working in the online world is that it’s possible to measure everything that your visitors do…and doing most of it is free. So make sure you don’t break the golden rule and measure everything!
If you’re starting with Adwords, it won’t be long before you wonder how the nuts and bolts of the pay per click (PPC) pricing mechanism fit together. What this video lacks in pizzaz, it makes up for in content. It’s 9 minutes of your life but if you’re a client using PPC advertising (or need to explain the Adwords fundamentals to a client) it’s a must watch.
The only small comment I would make is that I believe the price paid is actually 1p (or $0.01 in the US) higher than the bid that’s been beaten rather than exactly the beaten bid price as Hal says. See more detailed info on the Google Help page about what you pay on Adwords.
Adwords 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.