Link Building By Being Social

Feb. 28

PPC Ian has been all over the press lately. In fact, I’ve been featured on three high profile blogs within the last week. I’ll get into the specific press mentions next, but first want to highlight my link building strategy. I’m a huge fan of this particular link building strategy because it’s a passive one. And, at the end of the day, there’s a real premium on my time (and I’m sure yours as well) so anything that can happen passively for me is truly rewarding.

My Passive Link Building Strategy

ZK's Web Traffic ROI

Basically, I’ve gone to all of the big online marketing blogs and have become personal friends with the bloggers. I’ve done this by sending direct emails to these high profile bloggers and also via my blog commentating strategy. As a result of being social, I have become part of the community. Because I’m part of the community and all these online marketing bloggers know me on a personal level, they’re happy to link back to me when I post something particularly noteworthy.

The Frager Factor

This is the real reason that Google values inbound links. They’re a measure of what others think of you and your blog. How can you get others to like you and your blog? Get out there, be social, and make friends! Want to learn more about this strategy? I recommend checking out my recent blog post about PR Driving Great SEO Results.

This Week’s Links

My 4-Hour Work Week

So, where did I get featured this week? It all started off with ZK’s Web Traffic ROI. I’m a huge fan of ZK and his blog. If you’re big on blog commentating like myself, there’s no doubt that you’ve run into ZK. He’s an absolute expert online marketer and one of the top commentators on the Internet. ZK discovered my recent series of six free videos from my Stanford GSB presentation and wrote a post all about my videos. (As a side note, you can view my free videos in the following posts: videos 1 and 2, videos 3 and 4, videos 5 and 6).

Now, just being featured on ZK’s Web Traffic ROI was a huge win on its own. However, my success did not stop there. Because I’m well connected on Facebook and posted a link to ZK’s post, my friend Owen Frager from The Frager Factor picked up and recapped ZK’s post on his own blog. This is a true honor, Owen is a true heavy hitter when it comes to online marketing and blogging. After all, his blog is one of the largest on the Internet.

My third success happened today! My friend Eric from My 4 Hour Workweek wrote a truly epic blog post about 142+ ways to make money online. I highly recommend checking out this blog post, it’s going to be one of the best of 2011 in my opinion. I have become friends with Eric and comment regularly on his blog, and Eric was kind enough to mention me as one of his favorite online marketing blogs in this truly epic blog post. Now, this gets even sweeter because Eric’s blog post went truly viral and made the first page of Delicious today. Cool stuff! An interesting fact: Eric won the blog commenting contest I ran on PPC Ian a while back and I reviewed his blog since he was one of the winners!

Images in this post ©,, and

New Look & Feel For Google Sitelinks

Feb. 27

I just searched for my brand name (PPC Ian) on Google and noticed that my organic sitelinks have a brand new look and feel! Check out the screenshot at the end of this post. I’m not sure if this is a beta test or a permanent change, but one thing’s for sure: the new sitelinks rock!

Google Organic Sitelinks: New Versus Old

You may remember from my post Happy Birthday To PPC Ian that I just started seeing sitelinks for PPC Ian around October, 2010. As you can see in the image in that post, the sitelinks were just links with no surrounding text. Moreover, I just had four of them.

More Brand Name Traffic

The new sitelinks that I just noticed today are much more pronounced. There are eight links in total and there is descriptive text below each of the links. My organic listing occupies a lot more space in general. Whenever someone types in my brand name, I’m going to capture a lot more traffic because this enhanced listing with the new style sitelinks really pops. Even better, many of my organic sites that never had sitelinks before now do. With this change, I believe Google is also displaying sitelinks for more sites.

Between the new AdSense formats, the new AdWords mega titles, and these new organic sitelinks, Google is making serious progress through testing. Awesome work, Google!

Google Organic Site LInks

Screenshot of Google Search Results © Google

Pay Per Click Jobs Are Changing

Feb. 19

I’ve been in the corporate world of pay per click search engine marketing since 2004. Back in those days, things were quite different. There was no SEM automation, no AdWords editor, and SEM overall was quite manual. In fact, back in those days it took new search marketing employees at least a month or so to start adding serious value to their employer. These days, however, things have advanced so much. New employees are adding value almost instantly and the leverage in our industry has advanced tremendously. As a result, PPC jobs are changing.

They’re changing in two main ways. First and foremost, advanced analytics, bidding, and testing are becoming mandatory. Second, it’s absolutely imperative these days to go beyond PPC and add value in other areas such as SEO, social media, and email marketing. Today, I’m going to share some quick win tips to embrace these exciting changes.

Tip 1: It’s All About SEM Automation

Change Ahead

I’ve talked about this point quite a bit here on PPC Ian so I’m going to keep my first tip relatively short. It’s important these days to bid more effectively than ever, take your analytics to the next level, and manage your campaigns with precision. Why? Back in 2004, the lack of competition created a scenario of somewhat easy money. These days, you not only have to fight to win the PPC game, but you need to prove to yourself, your team, and your company that you’re doing everything possible to optimize your PPC program to the highest possible degree.

How do you accomplish this? Easy! It’s all about getting the right systems and technologies in place. Want to learn about making the best possible purchase decisions for your SEM platforms? Check out my SEM automation buyer’s guide whitepaper. It’s automation like this that will free up your time to diversify your skillset into other areas such as SEO, social media, and email marketing.

Tip 2: Become An Affiliate Marketer, Today!

I wrote about this topic when I first launched PPC Ian with a post titled moonlighting will accelerate your SEM career. I’m more confident in this philosophy than ever. To be successful in affiliate marketing, you must be an incredibly savvy marketer. You must challenge your intelligence, test wild new strategies, and push the boundaries on online marketing. Simply put, affiliate marketing is the education of a lifetime. The education I have gained from my blogging and portfolio of over 80 SEO websites has been truly invaluable. I’ve been able to take this education back to the corporate environment and perfect PPC operations while taking on major responsibilities within other areas of online marketing.

So, how can you get started? I took the affiliate plunge back in 2007. I basically started from scratch and learned as I went. In this day and age, I’m a huge believer in the affiliate network route. A good affiliate network can truly jump start your affiliate marketing career. You want to make sure to have the best offers, the best payouts, and of course expert advice and mentorship. That’s precisely where industry leading affiliate networks such as EWA Private Network and Blam Ads step in! So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up today!

Tip 3: Read Everything You Can Get Your Hands On

To close out today, I want to underscore the amazing wealth of information out there. If you want to get ahead in the corporate world of SEM, it’s imperative to read all of cutting edge material about PPC, SEO, Facebook, social media, domaining, email marketing, display advertising, and more. These days all areas of online marketing are intersecting and you must become an expert in everything.

One thing that’s really important, in my opinion, is to purchase eBooks and online courses that will take your education to the next level. Sometimes, the best information costs a little money (not much, but some). The leverage on your investment, however, is so much that it’s a no-brainer. Two must-haves include Jonathan Volk’s Facebook Ads Guide and Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course.

Image of Change Ahead © arcady_31

PPC Jobs Are Great For Travel

Feb. 14

I’m the largest proponent of the pay per click search engine marketing career path around. This amazing corporate career can really take you places! As you may know, I wrote an entire eBook about PPC career tips (I highly recommend reading it). Moreover, I wrote about three different PPC career paths (agencies, startups, large direct advertisers) and also PPC versus SEO careers. Today, I wanted to do a really quick career-oriented post because I just got back from an amazing trip to Boston, all because of my great PPC job.

A Great Leadership Opportunity, Travel For Free


Last week, I had a truly great time at my company’s office just outside of Boston. It was a great opportunity to travel and see new things, get a bit outside of my day-to-day routine, and function as a leader in my organization. I really love my PPC job at a large direct advertiser because I get the opportunity to travel a few times a year, the perfect frequency for me. Just within the last year, I traveled to Seattle, Las Vegas, and now Boston, all free of charge thanks to my amazing job (my company pays all expenses).

Different Levels of Travel for Different Paid Search Jobs

Are you someone that likes to travel a lot? How about not much at all? I have advice for you! If you can’t get enough travel, the SEM agency career path will be perfect for you. As you get more and more senior within an agency role, you will have many opportunities to travel extensively and visit your clients face-to-face, all paid for by your company. If you like traveling a few times each year, but not as much as someone in the agency role, the large direct advertiser career path will be perfect for you. If you can’t stand traveling and would prefer to stay in one location, the startup route might be more up your alley. When you’re at a startup, there’s less need to travel, especially if you’re in an SEM role.

Now, let’s contrast this with the affiliate marketing career path. If you’re a super affiliate and are wildly successful, you can travel all you want (but it will be on your own bankroll). However, let’s say you’re just starting out don’t have a ton of funds. Then, you’ll definitely have less of an opportunity to travel. This is just one more reason I’m a huge proponent of the corporate online marketing career path.

Image of Airplane © travellinglight

Three Ways To Drive More Facebook Fans

Feb. 10

There’s no doubt about it: Facebook has taken the Internet by storm and your Facebook Fan Page is very important to your business. Why? Just like YouTube (check out my recent post about YouTube and SEO), your Facebook Fan Page will drive SEO value to your site via a real dofollow link. More importantly, however, SEO is now being driven by social media citations (after the Google caffeine release). Your Facebook Fan Page will drive numerous citations and social buzz to your website, especially after you accumulate a lot of fans. So, how exactly do you get a lot of fans? I’ve been working very hard on my PPC Ian Facebook Fan Page and now have nearly 750 fans! Today I’m going to share three tips on gaining Facebook Fan Page fans fast!

Tip 1: Run a Paid Facebook “Like” Campaign

PPC Ian Facebook Fan Page

This just wouldn’t be PPC Ian if I didn’t start off with a tip that relies on paid traffic. There are two types of paid campaigns on Facebook: Campaigns that drive users to your website and campaigns that drive users to your Facebook Fan Page. The second type of campaign makes the most sense if you’re trying to drive likes because the ad itself will contain a like button in it and moreover the user will have the option to click like again once they land on your Facebook Fan Page. From my personal experience, you gain high quality followers (who are likely to read your updates and interact with your page) via this method for around $2 per follower (in the online marketing vertical at least).

Want to learn more about Facebook Ads? I highly recommend buying Jonathan Volk’s Facebook Ads Guide. This is where I really learned my foundation. Moreover, I’m looking forward to writing a future post with some specific Facebook like campaign tips.

Tip 2: Gain Facebook Fans With Fiverr

Have you heard of Fiverr? It’s basically a site where you can get almost anything done for only $5. One thing that a lot of Fiverr sellers can help you with is gaining more Facebook fans. It’s quite simple: You pay them $5 and they will recommend your Facebook Fan Page to all their friends. Some Fiverr sellers have as many as 13,000 friends that they’ll recommend your page to. It really comes down here to the power of personal endorsement. When someone recommends you to their friends, you can often get tremendous results.

Another benefit of Fiverr is the price. When only $5 is on the line, you only need 2.5 followers to break even with the results of a typical paid like campaign. That said, I’ll be honest here and would like to point two things out. First, results will vary by seller. Some sellers will deliver very little to no value. Others will totally hit the ball out of the park. It’s up to you to experiment with multiple sellers. Second, please keep in mind that followers you get via this method are less likely be be high quality followers that will interact with your page. But, you never know! I personally use this strategy to complement the paid strategy (but definitely not as a replacement).

Tip 3: Optimize The Conversion Rate of Your Facebook Fan Page

As my final tip today, I highly recommend spending a few hours and building a custom banner for your Facebook Fan Page. This is super easy. The maximum size of your profile image is 200×600. Leverage all that space and build an image that includes your logo, a picture of yourself, information about your social media profiles, and even some info that entices the user to like your page. If you’re going to so much effort to dive traffic to your Fan Page (especially via a paid campaign), it’s essential to have a professional looking page with a high like conversion rate. If you check out my personal Facebook Fan Page, you’ll see my 200×600 banner.

As a bonus tip: You can even create a landing page on your Facebook Fan Page that further entices users to click the like button. I haven’t done this just yet because I really like my wall being the landing page. So, there you have it! Now, it’s time to go out there and get 1,000 or more fans!