PPC Ian Speaks At Google

Mar. 31

I’m really excited right now because I spoke at Google today. It was quite the honor and my second time speaking at Google (I spoke on a panel back in 2009 at Google’s Client Ad Forum). Today, I spoke for one hour to a group of 20 Google employees across marketing and product management, an event called Client Connect. I want to sincerely thank James and the Google marketing team for arranging this event, it was a true honor in my career.

Corporate SEM Offers Great Speaking Opportunities

PPC Ian Google Speech

PPC Ian with Ryan and Rich From Google

My presentation today spanned one hour, and that hour flew right by! I focused on industry trends, predictions for the future of digital marketing, and opportunities for both advertisers and Google. Throughout my presentation, I had the great opportunity to interact with amazing Google employees and field some seriously great questions! While I’m not able to share the presentation here (it’s confidential to my employer), I wanted to write a quick post to call this out as a major advantage of the corporate SEM career path.

Just in the last year, I spoke at Stanford Graduate School of Business in May, I spoke at Stanford Graduate School of Business in January, and now I spoke at Google. If you’re into public speaking and giving back to the industry (I sure am), search engine marketing is an amazing career path to consider. It’s because of the corporate SEM career path that these speaking events presented themselves.

Google Is Amazing

I wanted to close out by calling attention to Google. I couldn’t be more impressed. My account management team (Ryan and Rich in the picture above with me) in addition to all the attendees to my presentation are truly top notch. Google is innovating so quickly and I really can’t get enough of it. They’re one of the best partners ever and it’s a true pleasure working with the Google Financial Services team. I’m looking forward to my next public speaking opportunity for sure.

Image in this post © PPCIan.com

Internet Marketing Productivity: Start Small

Mar. 27

It’s been a while since I blogged about SEM leverage and productivity. Internet marketing, especially in the corporate world, is a discipline where you can easily feel overwhelmed. Add on top of that your commitments outside of work – exercising, hobbies, family, friends, and blogging/affiliate marketing (if you’re like me) – and you could quite possibly lose your sanity! Today’s short post is for those times when you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start. It’s all about starting small and building momentum.

Prioritize Your Smallest Projects First

Man In Labyrinth

The header above really says it all. If you’re in one of those situations where you’re so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend starting small. This is actually quite counter-intuitive. Small tasks are typically low leverage. Some small tasks are so small that you could theoretically cross them off the list. However, this tip is not really about getting leverage instantly. It’s not about adding a ton of value instantly. It’s about building up momentum so you can break out of the rut, feel a sense of accomplishment, and then later build up to the big, high value projects.

Of course, if you’re already very focused and already have momentum on your side, I don’t recommend this tip. If you’re in an empowered state of mind, it’s all about harnessing that power and going right after the big projects.

Some of My Favorite Small, Momentum-Building Tasks

In terms of making this advice actionable, here are some small projects I regularly tackle to build up my momentum:

  • Find one exciting blog article about Internet marketing and send it to my team at work, with my commentary on why it’s useful. (Of course, remember to send the email with a low priority flag).
  • Search Google (or Yahoo/Bing) and find one or two interesting paid ads within my vertical. Send the ads to my team to spark creativity in ad copy testing.
  • Search Google (or Yahoo/Bing), just like in the last tip, and find interesting landing page experiences within my vertical. Send the landing page experiences to my team to spark creativity in our own strategy.
  • Search all major search engines manually for trademark violations on our trademarked terms. Even if you have automated software that polices trademarks it’s good to double check it works once in a while!
  • Generate a few keywords manually (just a handful) based on my own industry knowledge and experience. Make sure the new keywords don’t cannibalize old ones (make sure we don’t broad match to the terms), and then deploy them.
  • Record the projects I’ve worked on recently (or plan on this week) in Sharepoint. Our world is moving fast and it’s essential to record completed projects so you remember everything when annual reviews come around.
  • Get routine stuff done such as expense reports, timesheet approvals, invoice approvals, and other similar tasks.
  • Find a project that someone on my team did particularly well and send out a short email to the entire team that celebrates success. I really like this strategy because it not only gets my momentum rolling, but it empowers my entire team.

So, there you have it! Just a few small tasks that can quickly build up my own momentum when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Want to push your productivity even further? I recommend checking out my post about controlling your PPC mind. Thanks for reading and I’d be super curious to see if this start really small strategy works for you?

Image of Man In Labyrinth © iStockPhoto – Petrovich9

Acquisio’s Free Facebook Advertising Webinar

Mar. 22

I have some truly helpful tips for you today about Facebook advertising. As you may know from my recent post about three ways to drive more Facebook fans, I’m really into Facebook right now. Facebook is hot and whether you’re looking to drive more “likes” to your fan page, capture leads, or even drive conversions, it’s truly the beginning stages of the game when it comes to Facebook (think AdWords 4-5 years ago). My recommendation: Learn as much as you possibly can about Facebook and run with it! To help you follow this advice, it’s with great excitement that I highlight Acquisio’s Pre-Recorded Facebook Advertising Webinar in today’s post!

53 Minutes of Free Facebook Advertising Tips

Acquisio Facebook Webinar

This webinar truly delivers. I honestly can’t believe it’s free. Presented by Merry Morud, expert Facebook advertiser from aimClear, this pre-recorded webinar delivers 53 minutes of helpful tips. The first two thirds of the presentation cover a very well thought out agenda with the final third covering questions from attendees. I learned throughout the entire presentation! The questions from the audience were stellar. Some of my favorite parts of the presentation:

  • Ad Fatigue: This is a real issue with Facebook advertising. Ads will quickly achieve millions upon millions of impressions. Their useful lifespan can quickly end with click through rates plummeting (and CPAs accelerating). I’ve personally experienced this issue first hand running large campaigns on Facebook and couldn’t agree more with Merry’s tips for overcoming ad fatigue. Many of Merry’s points are tips I have employed first hand, and the rest are tips I will be trying soon!
  • Workflow Efficiency Tips: Let’s face it, Facebook is a new platform and lacks the overall efficiency of AdWords. It can take quite a bit of time to get campaigns live and sometimes things can feel a bit “backwards” for new advertisers. Merry steps in and provides a number of workflow efficiency tips that will save you hours.
  • Make Your Images Pop: The image component of your Facebook ads are of paramount importance. I’m thrilled to have learned of a new, nifty tool that will help me make my images “pop” even more.

Interested in the overall agenda? Check out the image at the bottom of this post (and then click it to watch the pre-recorded webinar).

Acquisio Is On An Amazing Roll

Have you heard of Acquisio? They’re an amazing performance marketing platform that helps agencies save time (and money), optimize campaigns across search engines, derive insights (and beautiful client reports) from advanced reporting, optimize bids via highly sophisticated algorithms, and so much more. I’m a huge fan and recently interviewed Marc Poirier, CEO of Acquisio, here on PPC Ian. I even met up with Marc at SMX West a few weeks ago.

In addition to providing an amazing platform, Acquisio has been leading our industry in terms of their free educational materials. They teamed up with Search Marketing Now and sponsored this Facebook advertising webinar, after all. In addition to this particular webinar, I highly recommend checking out their two recent whitepapers: Choosing a PPC Management Pricing Model and Why Display Matters To Search Marketers. I reviewed both of these whitepapers here on PPC Ian and both are totally free, just like the webinar.

So, there you have it! I’d love to hear from you guys. Have you been advertising on Facebook? Is it working for you?

Facebook Webinar

All Images In This Post © Acquisio.com and SearchMarketingNow.com

I Changed My Post Background From Black To White

Mar. 20

At the end of the day, it’s my readers (you guys) that make PPC Ian the blog that it is! As such, I take feedback from my readers extremely seriously. What’s been the most overwhelming feedback that I’ve gotten over and over again? Basically that I make the background color of my posts white (with black text) versus the black background (with white text) that I’ve had for the last year and half (since my blog launched in October, 2009). Well, I finally took everyone’s advice and made the change last night! In sincerely hope my change makes reading PPC Ian a lot easier on your eyes.

Please Let Me Know What You Think


For the next few weeks, I’m going to test the new white post background. I’m going to closely monitor my blog stats (to see if my visits go up), blog comments, and also emails. If you like (or dislike) the change, I highly encourage you to speak up. Your feedback will really help me out. Right now, I’m very much leaning on the side of keeping the new white post background because I personally like the change and am hopeful it will help take PPC Ian to the next level in terms of visitors. My friend Owen Frager who operates one of the most visited domaining blogs on the Internet and who’s featured me several times provided some really helpful info from his own testing that suggested the white background with black text should really help me drive more visits (and happy readers).

Aside from the posts themselves, everything else here on PPC Ian is staying the same. I’m a huge fan of my overall blog design. After all, PPC Ian sports a custom design from Unique Blog Designs (the same people that designed John Chow dot Com). In an effort to preserve my overall site feel, I left everything else the same (including the post comments). Thanks again everyone for the feedback and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Image of blueprint © iStockPhoto – doram

Epik Product Portal Tips & Special PPC Ian Discount

Mar. 15

I’m just going to warn you up front, today’s post totally rocks! Not only am I going to present an exclusive Epik Product Portal SEO tip that has been working wonders on my extensive portfolio of 55 Epik sites, but I’m also going to share a special Epik Product Portal coupon code only for PPC Ian readers. That’s right, I negotiated this special coupon code with the man himself, Rob Monster (CEO of Epik), as a favor for PPC Ian readers.

I Invested $10,000+ In My Epik Product Portals

Double Picture Frames

So, first of all, what the heck are Epik Product Portals? Epik is basically the WordPress of product comparison shopping sites. It’s an amazing platform that empowers owners of high quality product domains to build out amazing websites that drive extensive value for the user while providing outstanding monetization for the domain owner. Want to learn more? Check out my post about my personal Epik Product Portal websites and then my post about my Epik Development Tips. I’m so confident in Epik that I made a substantial $10,000+ investment in my personal Epik Product Portfolio websites in 2010 and I continue to invest this year. This is my very hard earned money, on the line!

My Epik Product Portal SEO Tips

Outdoor Sofas

So, as part one of today’s post, I wanted to provide a quick and actionable SEO tip for all you Epik developers out there (and Epik developers to be). Since I own 55 Epik Product Portals, I’ve experienced the excitement of testing many different SEO strategies across my portfolio of sites. Over the last few months, a clear winning strategy has emerged and that’s the strategy I’m going to share with you today! That said, results vary and I never recommend going with just one strategy. It’s important to test, test, test and want to underscore that this is just one winning strategy and there are others out there.

First, let’s look at a brand new Epik website. When you get a brand new site developed by Epik, it comes complete with everything (and I mean everything) you need for success. In fact, these off-the-shelf sites will do very well with zero modifications. Today, however, I wanted to show some ways to supercharge your Epik sites (for exponential returns). An example of an off-the-shelf Epik site? Check out my brand new site Outdoor Sofas. Key things to note:

  • There are no articles (yet).
  • The blurbs are the same at the top of each page. Check out the homepage versus the outdoor sectional sofas page.
  • The keyword outdoor sofas in the top blurb refers to a sub-page by the same name and not the homepage, the root domain.

Now, let’s contrast that with my supercharged Epik Product Portal, Double Picture Frames. Some key things to note on my supercharged site:

  • There are two articles (and more in the pipeline). An example: double picture frames ideas. Exciting note: Epik provides amazing packages to assist with article creation. They will even upload articles (you write on your own or via their own team).
  • I link to the articles page in the blurb at the top of the homepage. Even though articles are direct linked on all pages Epik Product Portal sites, this extra link to the articles page in my homepage blurb helps search engines find (and weight) my custom, high quality articles. Remember: Content is king! Get credit for that content by linking to it.
  • I link back to the homepage with the keyword double picture frames from within my articles (but am careful to not overdo it). This helps add authority to my high quality exact match domain name and tells the search engines what my site is all about.
  • Instead of linking to a sub-page, the keyword double picture frames within my main blurb on the homepage links right back to the homepage. Like the links within the articles, this helps reinforce the exact match domain name with search engines. That said, be careful to not overdo it. It’s a balancing act.
  • I write custom blurbs for every page of my site. For example, check out my metallic picture frames page. It’s different than the homepage and is optimized for these special metallic picture frames. Within these sub-pages, I sometimes link back to the same sub-page with the topical theme of the page as anchor text. These recursive links help tell search engines what your page is all about, although I don’t use this strategy on all my sites. I vary it a bit, and don’t like to follow a fixed template all the time.

So, there you have it! I am very confident that if you employ these simple tips on your current (or soon to be) Epik sites, you will experience great returns! At the end of the day, these tips are all about adding quality content (content that users will read and enjoy is always king).

PPC Ian’s Exclusive Epik Product Portal Coupon Code (PPCIAN10)

Now, the real fun! So I’m personal friends with Rob Monster, CEO of Epik. Rob is a serial entrepreneur, business leader, and overall genius within technology. He’s someone I definitely look up to because I’m personally trying to achieve fame in the corporate world of online marketing. You would think with his background that Rob wouldn’t have time to talk to individual Epik developers. That couldn’t be further from the case! I can’t get over the fact that Rob (and his entire team) always goes above and beyond to assist individual Epik developers with their questions and ideas, even though Epik has grown into a large company.

Anyways, I asked Rob if I could get a special coupon code for you guys and I was successful. Here’s the coupon code: PPCIAN10 – Enter this coupon code when making your purchase at Epik and you’ll receive a 10% discount off your entire order. (Here’s a link to the Epik website.)

Make sure to mention that you’re a PPC Ian reader and the Epik team will give you the red carpet treatment for sure! Whether you’re a current Epik developer or a new one, I highly recommend taking advantage of this coupon code. If you’re new to Epik, why not start small? Epik Product Portals start at $249, and only $224.10 with the PPC Ian discount. As an online marketing professional, it’s my opinion that you cannot afford to miss this opportunity. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to post them here on PPC Ian! I’m looking forward to some Epik discussion.

All images in this post © IJL Productions LLC