Check Out My PPC and SEO Guest Post

Mar. 28

PPC and SEO CollaborationAbout two months ago, I did a guest post on the PPC Associates blog about SEM Agencies. I’m thrilled that PPC Associates invited me back to do another guest post. Today, my post went live. It’s all about PPC and SEO Collaboration. I definitely recommend checking it out. When you work in the corporate world of online marketing, it’s fairly typical to have different teams (or at least different people) managing PPC and SEO. However, there are some true synergies between these two online marketing channels. If both teams collaborate closely, the results can be truly astounding. I hope you enjoy my guest post and take some helpful tips to your PPC or SEO job!

Image © PPCAssociates.com

Editors’ Picks Affect Organic Results On Bing

Mar. 25

Today, I was doing some searches on Bing and noticed something really unique. The first result in the organic results for the keyword auto insurance is something called Editors’ Picks (first screenshot below). When I click the title, it goes to this page on Bing that highlights some of the sites their editors found (second screenshot below).

I wanted to point this out for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s cool and unique. Microsoft adCenter powers the paid and organic results for both Yahoo! and Bing. That said, both Yahoo! and Bing are adding on neat, unique features on top of the standard results. While Yahoo is Pushing The Limits of Organic Search with custom widgets and Rich Ads, Bing is pushing the limits with their Editors’ Picks.

Second, it’s quite likely that the Editors’ Picks will affect your organic program on Bing. The Editors’ Picks are ranking quite well. If you’re in the Editors’ Picks, that’s really great news. Not only do they rank high, but it’s also a way to get a second listing if your website already ranks on its own. If you’re not in the Editors’ Picks, it’s likely your organic listing is being pushed down. You’ll want to work really hard and think about creative ways to get into the Editors’ Picks.

Third, as online marketers we need to be careful not to assume that Bing and Yahoo! will have the same organic results. Fundamentally, they are powered by the same engine, but now we are starting to see some really unique customization on top of the fundamentals.

Way to go, Bing! I’m looking forward to seeing more custom features within organic search on both Bing and Yahoo!

Bing Editors Picks

Bing Editors Picks Finance

Images in this post © Bing.com

Google Analytics and Measuring Social Media

Mar. 21

I’m a huge fan of social media. Back when I started in online marketing, Facebook was only available to Ivy League Universities (and I was lucky to be part of it all since I went to Stanford). Since then, over the past 8 years, social media has become a driving force in any well-diversified online marketing program. In fact, a good amount of the traffic to PPC Ian comes from social media (especially Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).

Google Analytics

Here’s the problem: Especially in a numbers-driven corporate setting, it has been somewhat difficult to measure the impact of social media. Social media is often a top-of-funnel, assisting channel. I’m excited to announce that Google has a solution: Google Analytics Is Adding Social Media Reporting. (You definitely want to read this article.)

I personally feel like this is a game-changer. The new Analytics reports will allow you to measure conversions from social, assists from social, how your social program contributes to your overall business, how users are interacting with social media on your site, and even how users are interacting with you via social media off your site. My tip for the day: Leverage this new feature in Google Analytics to truly understand the value of social media in your business.

Image of Analytics © iStockPhoto – Henrik5000

My Weekend Musings (3rd Edition)

Mar. 18

The weekend is here, thank goodness! If you’re in online marketing, it’s all about taking some time to relax and reflect during the weekends. That’s how you stay motivated and productive for the long run! Thanks to inspiration from my good friend Morgan Linton, I started writing these weekend musings posts to take a step back and reflect on my week. Without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s musings…

The Weekend Is Coming

  • I really enjoy public speaking! Last Tuesday, I spoke on a panel at SVForum’s CXO Forum at Sheppard Mullin Palo Alto about Marketing In The Digital Age. This was an amazing event and truly distinguished panel. I was humbled and honored to be on such an incredible panel. Moreover, I was dazzled with the high caliber C-level audience. My advice to those in the corporate online marketing career path: Go after public speaking events, they will grow you as a person and as a leader.
  • It’s all about connections. How did I get the speaking opportunity on SVForum’s CXO Forum? I was recommended and referred by a friend/co-worker who has some seriously impressive connections. It’s really important to build strong connections. Also, it’s important to make your connections your friends and, of course, make sure to pay them back (or even better pay them forward) whenever you can! Everyone wins!
  • I’m intrigued by customer testimonial marketing/product marketing (mainly becuase my wife is an expert at this stuff), and had the amazing opportunity to do a Video Testimonial for Marin Software. I’m really pleased how it turned out. Not only is their product amazing, but Marin has a world-class marketing team (and video production team). Thanks, Marin for the opportunity, you rule!
  • You can’t do it on your own! I have had some incredibly difficult decisions over the past few weeks (in a good way). I wouldn’t be where I am without my wife, family, friends, and mentors. Also, I have been following a lot of inspirational folks on Twitter such as Diddy and Rev Run, and their Tweets have been truly inspirational. Find your sources of support and inspiration. Become a source of support and inspiration for others. Stay inspired, stay on your game!
  • One of my big 2012 Goals is donating a record amount to charity. Today, my wife and I cut a check to Second Harvest Food Bank that’s 300% the amount of any other single donation we’ve made in our lives. It felt good. There is no reason that anyone in our community should go hungry. Get out there and help those in need of assistance!
  • About a month ago, I Was Live on the Radio. My good friend Donald Landwrith hosts an amazing show called The Free COO. It’s an amazing show, and quite inspirational. After listing to The Free COO, I recommend creating your own Spreaker (affiliate link) channel. It’s on my personal road map, and one more way to inspire others!

Thanks for reading! You may want to also check out my the first edition and second edition of my musings. Wishing you an amazing week!

Image of The Weekend Is Coming © KLH49

Monitoring Your Google AdWords Quality Score

Mar. 14

If you’ve been advertising on Google AdWords for a while, you know that it’s all about quality score. The better your quality score, the better you rank, the lower your CPCs, and the more revenue and margin you can squeeze out of your Google AdWords campaigns.

Quality Score

On a keyword level, it’s super easy to measure quality score. After all, quality score is exposed on a keyword level. (Side note: If quality score is low for any particular keyword, I always recommend breaking it out and optimizing ad copy.)

Now, let’s say you’re managing millions of keywords like me. How do you get a sense of your overall account level quality score? Here’s how… Each month, I recommend exporting your entire Google AdWords account with all columns. Then, I recommend creating a new column called quality score * cost that equals the product of quality score and cost. Next, sum the new quality score * cost column and also the cost column. Divide the quality score * cost sum by cost sum and you have your weighted average quality score for your entire Google AdWords account!

Make sure to to do this exact same exercise each and every month. On Google’s back end, quality scores are not on the simple 1 to 10 scale that they export to the end user. However, the 1 to 10 scale is the best we have. These days, a high-spending AdWords account with a lot of history and a great quality score should have an average quality score in the 7 range. When you start measuring on a month to month basis, you’ll see some fluctuations (usually within a 1 point range). Make sure your weighted average has at least two decimal points.

Why do you want to measure this number? There are a few main reasons. First and foremost, you want to see if all your ad copy and reorg projects are working. If your quality score improves, it indicates your work is paying off. Second, you want to keep an eye out of major issues with your account. If your quality score drops, there’s likely a new competitor in your category who is adversely affecting your click through rate (and therefore quality score) or something is wrong with your account. A drop is something to spend time investigating. Third, quality score is a great metric to manage upwards. It’s a way to benchmark your team’s performance. It’s not as important as revenue and margin, but is one other indicator of progress.

Image of check mark © alexsl