So two of my buddies both fled the country for a while and they got back JUST in time for Thanksgiving. Raymond Fong fled to Australia while Fernando Ceballos went off to Mexico.
I gave them a quick call to welcome them home and got a bit more than I bargained for…
It turns out, even though they were half the distance of the earth apart from each other, through the miracles of the Internet, they kept in touch and was PLOTTING something… something very evil
How do I know this?
Well, see, Ray was lucky enough to have gotten go to skydiving while he was abroad, and he captured it on video and sent me the clip. And in it, he sublimely hinted at something.
See if you can catch it, it’s in his “last words” before he goes off to his lil’ propeller plane for the jump.
Okay, did you check it out? Did you catch his “last words”? After thinking about it for a brief second, he said, “seonetworker.com”.
That lil’ rascoe, always thinking marketing, even when he’s about to fly off to 14,000+ feet and then plummet from that height!
So I scoped out seonetworker.com and finally understood what Ferny and Ray were plotting… yes, even while being half a world apart, literally!
See, SEONetworker.com is about combining the awesome powers of SEO 2.0 and social media to increase exposure for your website. And boy was I blown away by what they shared.
I was expecting the same ol’ tired and outdated SEO strategies SEO hacks out there are touting. But instead, they actually tore up these old strategies, improved on the few that’s working, and offered brand new tactics.
I guess that’s why they call it SEO 2.0 eh?
Now now, I know what you may be thinking…
“But Lawrence, you are a Google AdWords specialist, what are you doing looking at SEO?”
Well, as much as I love Google AdWords (and believe me, I do), I also am quick to admit that it only gets a fraction of the total traffic for any given keyword. See, if you take any the #1 natural ranking versus the #1 AdWords position, you’ll find that the AdWords position only gets anywhere from 20% down to say… 8%.
The majority of the traffic goes to the natural results.
On top of that… you have to PAY for your ads. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love AdWords because it has so many merits, but what if you can get both? Armed with the knowledge I’ve imparted to you, you should have a very good handle on AdWords.
And well… Ray and Ferny can shed light on the other aspect, dominating the natural search results. I was blown away at what they shared in their FREE SEO video series… I can’t wait to learn the rest.
Now… just a warning, despite Ray and Ferny’s uncanning ability to boil things down to simple to understand language, SEO is still ultimately a somewhat technical topic, so don’t freeze when they toss around terms like, “meta tags”, “inbound links”, and “PageRank”.
So if you are ready to dominate the natural search results the same way you’ve dominated the AdWords results and increase the amount of traffic to your website up to 7x folds, check out SEO Networker.
I am going to bug them and see if they can let me check out their material early…
Every online marketer knows that in order to become successful, you’ll have to have a high amount of traffic driven to your website. Traffic volume means more income potential, but when you’re just starting out, adwords ad campaigns may not be a viable option for your marketing budget.
So when you are trying to drive more traffic to your site, you’re faced with whether to try to get free traffic or use paid traffic programs such as pay per click (PPC) marketing like Yahoo search marketing and Google AdWords. (Or you can go for both).
Free traffic routes deliver the best ROI (return on your investment) because there’s no out of pocket cost. But the traffic you bring in may not be as targeted as a PPC campaign and quite frankly, may take you longer to get started.
Some forms of free traffic-generating methods include articles marketing, social networking and forum marketing on niche-related message boards using a link-driven signature file. You can also toss in more creative ideas like eBay and Squidoo.
The problem with free traffic is that it’s a work-heavy advertising technique. In order to gain high amounts of traffic, a marketer needs to continually advertise their site to get their link exposed to prospective customers.
If time is in short supply, free marketing isn’t an option that will benefit you. So then what?
It’s time to turn to paid marketing.
Paid traffic avenues cost you money to gain traffic, but if executed properly, the ROI will be much higher and the maintenance much lower. If you’re using article directories, you may have to wait 10 days for approval, but an AdWords campaign can be live in minutes.
While costs are considerably higher, so is the potential for profits - higher the risk, higher the reward right?
If you don’t know how to conduct a savvy PPC campaign, you stand to lose a LOT of money, trust me… I’ve “been there, done that”.
There are barriers in place to prevent anything bad from happening, such as daily limits to your spending. Unfortunately, many marketers put limits far beyond what they can actually afford, not knowing Google will find a way to tap into your coffers.
Let this be a lesson to you, I like to advise my AdWords clients to start with $100 (my default budget, which may vary of course depending on your market). Treat it as their “AdWords testing money” to get their feet wet with AdWords.
The best way to use paid and free traffic is to implement a strategy that combines both methods. You might run a pay per click campaign and at the same create a lens on Squidoo and HubPages – both for the same keywords. Now you are covering your basis.
And assuming the keywords you tried ranking and advertising for, a few days later, you might find your lens ranked #1 in the Google SERPs.
Do you need to continue the PPC campaign? That’s what testing and tracking of conversions will tell you. You might find that the PPC ad linking visitors directly to your sales page has a higher conversion than those who click through to the lens and then have to take an additional step to get to your sales page.
Savvy marketers understand the need to constantly track and tweak their marketing efforts. Implement new strategies. See what works best for your niche audience. Then wash, rinse, and repeat your success!
I just read this on Google AdWords Learning Center:
Embedded match is a sophisticated form of keyword matching that allows you to prevent your ad from appearing in relation to certain phrase or exact matches. This is popular when an advertiser sells merchandise related to a movie or book, but not the actual movie or book.
Example: An advertiser selling Toy Story merchandise might use the embedded match option of a negative and exact match on -[Toy Story]. This way, the advertiser’s ads appear for Toy Story dolls and Toy Story products, but not for the exact match Toy Story.
How interesting… didn’t know about embedded match until now
Okay, so I got them on the call and they essentially gave me a mini “AdWords tutorial” if you will… basically they schooled me a bit on what went haywire with my campaign. What I learned was quite an eye opener.
After hearing that despite opening up a new account, Google STILL didn’t like me (and I say that loosely of course) and slapped me right from the getgo… They suspected that my domain was trashed. Basically Google keeps a “history” of domains on their PPC network. And if your domain has a HORRIBLE track record and ends up in their dog house, that’s the end of that.
It doesn’t matter (as I discovered) if you open a new account with brand new credit card, they’ll still not give you (with that domain) the time of the day.
With that said, to remedy my situation, I bought another domain and merely had it aliased to the original domain. And wouldn’t you know it… problem solved. That’s right, with that change, i got out of Google’s dog house and the same exact keywords that were originally getting poor quality scores are now OK and Great
So next time you get in Google’s dog house and can’t seem to get out, you know what to do.
Okay, so I just confirmed something Perry Belcher and Ryan Deiss taught me a few weeks ago.
Here’s the scoop. I am helping a client of mine do Google AdWords. Actually, I picked up his account after someone else butchered it. I adopted it a copule years ago when I was still relatively green with Google AdWords (I haven’t gotten into the AdWords Tutorial business yet…)
I made his account a bit better… at least for the time being. Back before Google Slap become synonymous with “Google AdWords”, I got away with having hundreds of keywords in one campaign.
Then I left it alone. For quite some time. OOPS.
Google Slap happened, again, and again. And boy Google did NOT like that account.
Recently I went back to pay attention to it to find that every single keywords we had had the quality score of poor. That’s no good! And no matter how hard I tried (using every single AdWords strategies under the sun) to raise the quality score, I was NOT finding any success.
Heck, I even went so far as to open a brand new account with a brand new credit card (my client’s of course)…
That didn’t help either :( After a few weeks and a ton of tweaking I was still seeing the “Poor” quality score.
What to do what to do…? Well, I finally decided to make an emergency phone call to the AdWords greats, Perry Belcher (not to be mistaken for Perry Marshall) and Ryan Deiss. And this is what they had to say…
See next post
As you may know, Google AdWords is king of Pay-Per-Click. They get tons of advertisers vying for an ad spot and paying top dollars for those spots. As such, Google maintains the highest standards of quality control - punishing those who don’t know what they are doing while rewarding those who do.
While Google does offer a ton of help to advertisers trying to do well on the network, they don’t bother making it easy to find that “help”. I guess they figure that only those who are truly serious about marketing will bother digging and searching around for these nuggets of tips that’ll help them market better on AdWords.
Below are 9 advanced tips/strategies I dug up that will help you get a better understanding of AdWords and help your efforts. Enjoy!
9 (Advanced) Things You May Not Know About Google AdWords
Google keeps a history of how good your account performs.
The better your track record, the more Google likes you. And the more Google likes you, the less cost your clicks will be.
By track record I am talking about your click-thru-rate, ad position, how much you are spending, your keywords’ quality score, etc.
You can use Google AdWords Tool to analyze your website for keywords.
Just use the “Website content” option and enter your web address. The best part about this is that Google will return keywords in the order of relevancy, so you know what will make Google happy and give you a good quality score. And if the keyword you want to bid on is lower on the relevancy scale, you know you should go back and optimize your landing page more for that keyword.
If you have bad history with Google and want to start afresh, opening a new AdWords account doesn’t cut it… you’ll have to come up with a brand new domain name since Google also tracks domain names.
If you are worried about losing PageRanks, don’t sweat it. Keep your current name for SEO purposes and retaining your ranking, use the new domain to point to the same folder on your server and use THAT domain for PPC only.
Content Network is longer requires you to bid using CPM.
Google has wisened up and now allows CPC on the content network… This is great news for you so go setup your content network!
You are no longer blind on the content network.
You can actually see exactly where you ads on content network is showing up on by running a Report. Wooooohhhh, can you link this to placement targeting? (Hint: the answer is yes, you are now able to see which relevant sites have AdSense and now try targeting it with placement targeting).
Google throttles your account initially.
Don’t be surprised if you find your account not getting the clicks (or impressions for that matter) you wanted and thought you’d get. Google sets up a cap for you in terms of spending.
Brand new accounts start at only $50 per pay period and they typically bill you once a month. What this means that you may try telling Google you want to spend $2,000 a month and you want to get ALL those clicks… but in reality, they are only going to get you at most $50 worth of clicks.
(This one shows a limit of $500.)
Once they successfully charge your card, they raise your limit a bit, and the cycle repeats. This is why having an AdWords account with long history helps (your limit goes up).
Google is fine with your using the word “free” in your ad…
But when a visitor goes to your website, they better get what they were promised for “free”. And having them opt-in first to get the product is not “free” - Google knows that a lead is worth some monetary value.
Google wants you to be very open (and honest) with what you are doing.
Every 6 to 8 weeks, a pair of actual human eyes WILL scope out your account including your ads and your landing page…
So if you are trying anything funny (i.e. using the word FREE in your ad, using illegal pop-ups, etc.), don’t be surprised if your campaign, that was once rolling just fine, all of a sudden get slapped by Google. And if you think, “oh, no problem, if that happens, I’ll just UNNNNDO what I did.“
Well, guess what, it’ll take another 6 to 8 weeks before another human eyes come back and UNslap you… That’s some costly wait time.
There ya have it folks! Please feel free to post any more tips/advice you have concerning AdWords in the comments section.
I get this all the time…
“Lawrence, I am getting slapped by Google up the wazzu!”
I ask, “well, how many keywords do you have and what sort of CTRs are they getting?”
“Well, I have 100 keywords inside one adgroup and 72 of them haven’t really gotten any impressions…”
“Well, DELETE THEM then!”
And of course, they don’t. I’ll let you in on a lil’ secret, Google hates that. Google hates seeing a bunch of keywords in your campaign that aren’t getting impressions nor clicks. They construe that as irrelevant, and the last thing you want is to come across as irrelevant to Google. That’ll kill your campaign.
The old method of setting up an AdWords campaign which involves throwing mudd against the wall hoping some will stick doesn’t work anymore. Google no longer likes you having hundreds and thousands of keywords in your campaigns in hopes that a few of them will luckily work out for you.
No no… They punish you now. They look at actions like as an affront. They then look at you as a stupid marketer that needs to be slapped - and they are more than happy to do so. So the Google hammer comes down and you all of a sudden see your bids jack up to $5.00 and $10.00. Ouch.
To help avoid this you need to first start by making sure your keywords are relevant to what you are advertising. Take some time an actually THINK about this for a moment. Do some research. Use tools such as WordTracker and SEO Book to help you come up with relevant keywords.
And for the love gawd, be grown up about it and don’t be afraid to clean house once in a while.
A certain keyword hasn’t been generating any impressions for a while now? Get rid of it!
Another keyword gets you load of clicks but no sales? Delete it!
Look, there are two ways to optimize your campaign:
- Add more keywords in search for profitable ones
- Trim away keywords that are NOT performing
This is no AdWords Secret: Do both and you’ll see your campaigns flourish.
Okay, this is coming straight from Russel Wright - he’s got the scoop on what’s shaking over at Google land and here it is:
In July 2005, AdWords introduced minimum bids for keywords based on Quality Score. This system allows us to show very high quality ads to Google users, while also giving advertisers control over their keywords. Since 2005, we’ve improved Quality Score in many ways, such as the inclusion of landing page quality and landing page load time as factors. Along the way, we’ve also received much helpful feedback from both users and advertisers.
Today, we’d like to let you know of further improvements we’ll introduce in the coming weeks — based, in part, on this feedback. First we’ll outline the key points, and then dive into the details:
* Quality Score will now be more accurate because it will be calculated at the time of each search query
* Keywords will no longer be marked ‘inactive for search’
* ‘First page bid’ will replace ‘minimum bid’ in your account
A more accurate Quality Score
Most importantly, we are replacing our static per-keyword Quality Scores with a system that will evaluate an ad’s quality each time it matches a search query. This way, AdWords will use the most accurate, specific, and up-to-date performance information when determining whether an ad should be displayed. Your ads will be more likely to show when they’re relevant and less likely to show when they’re not. This means that Google users are apt to see better ads while you, as an advertiser, should receive leads which are more highly qualified.
Keywords no longer marked ‘inactive for search’
The new per-query evaluation of Quality Score affects you in that keywords will no longer appear as ‘inactive for search’ in your account. Instead, all keywords will have the chance to show ads on Google web search and the search network (unless you’ve paused or deleted them). Keep in mind, however, that keywords previously marked ‘inactive for search’ are not likely to accrue a great deal of traffic following this change. This is because their combined per-query Quality Score and bid probably isn’t high enough to gain competitive placement.
‘First page bid’ will replace ‘minimum bid’
As a result of migrating to per-query Quality Score, we are no longer showing minimum bids in your account. Instead, we’re replacing minimum bids with a new, more meaningful metric: first page bids. First page bids are an estimate of the bid it would take for your ad to reach the first page of search results on Google web search. They’re based on the exact match version of the keyword, the ad’s Quality Score, and current advertiser competition on that keyword. Based on your feedback, we learned that knowing your minimum bid wasn’t always helpful in getting the ad placement you wanted, so we hope that first page bids will give you better guidance on how to achieve your advertising goals.
It’s worth mentioning that the impact of these changes will vary from advertiser to advertiser; some might see no changes to their ad serving, while others may see a noticeable difference. As always, we recommend optimizing ads to prevent them from receiving a low Quality Score.
Putting it all together
Here’s an example to illustrate how per-query Quality Score works:
Nancy’s Dairy advertises on the keyword ‘milk.’ Nancy’s ads perform better on the keyword ‘milk’ in the U.S. than in Canada. Her ads also perform better on the query ‘milk delivery’ than on ‘milk,’ and better on certain search network sites than on others. Instead of one static Quality Score and minimum bid that determines whether the keyword ‘milk’ is eligible to trigger an ad for all search queries, we will now determine eligibility dynamically, based on factors such as location, the specific query, and other relevance factors. For that reason, Nancy’s keyword ‘milk’ will be able to trigger an ad for search queries where it’s likely to perform better, i.e., in the U.S., on ‘milk delivery’ and on certain search network sites.
We’re working to update the AdWords API and AdWords Editor so that, in the future, they will support first page bids. Until then, both the AdWords API and AdWords Editor will continue to show the minimum bid field. However, the information shown in this field will be based on the new per-query Quality Score. You may keep current with upcoming API releases on the API Blog and learn about upcoming AdWords Editor releases via the AdWords Editor Forum.
Finally, please note that we’ll release these Quality Score changes to a very small segment of advertisers within the next day or two, so that we can gather feedback before launching to all our advertisers. We will, of course, post again in advance of the time that these changes go live for everyone.
Here’s a sneaky little trick I discovered. After getting slapped for promoting an affiliate product (despite having a GREAT track record with Google AdWords), having tightly knit relevant keywords in specific ad groups, ads that have the keywords in it, and spending good chunk of change with Google every day… I was forced to scramble and think of something else. Something that’ll get us on the good side of Google.
Well, at first we tried what most marketers will tell you to do, which is just go to GoDaddy (or in our case, Namecheap) and purchase a domain name, then merely have it do a redirect via a Frame to your affiliate site. For some this might work, for others, this wouldn’t (depending on the level of your Google Slap I reckon). And for those that it does work for, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before Google comes around and slaps you again!
What I suggest you do instead is to indeed buy a domain name, but rather then doing a direct redirect/frame, have it point to your server. Within your server, setup your files such that you have an IFRAME that captures the webpage you are interested in. This then allows you not only still have the opt-in box enabled via your affiliate link (as long as you iframe that box at the very least) but also to capture all the other information on the capture page if you wish.
That is… assuming you’d even want to do that. Better yet, I suggest you iframe ONLY the opt-in box (unless there’s a video) while replicating the rest of the capture page so you can custom tailor your message. You can “replicate the rest of the webpage” via merely saving the webpage through our browser. Now you can add in any other content that you want (specifically relevant content) to help improve your AdWords (or “AdWords Overture“) quality score.
Google finally made the change from site targeting to placement targeting. For those of you unfamiliar with what site targeting was in the first place, it is part of Google’s Adsense program but for advertisers (as opposed to bloggers, website owners, etc.) When site targeting was around, it allowed people to run the “content network” aspect of Google but now targeting “sites” per se (as opposed to having Google decide for you based on your keywords and other parameters).
Well, the thing about site targeting is that you were more or less forced to advertise on EVERY page of the site. You can imagine this is not exactly ideal since who in the world would want to appear on say… the “Contact Us” page or even the home[age - you want to be a lot more specific. You can also imagine that this is extra useless if you are opting for the CPM (cost per thousand) model, which is what Google would LOVE for you to do since they get money independent of your good or crappy copywriting skills as they are reflected in your ad writing.
Anyway… their first move to placement targeting is a great one. Now you as the advertiser gets to specify exactly what pages and even what slots of a website you’d like your ad to show. On top of that, Google also allows the CPC (cost per click) model now on content network. This allows you to test your ad copy and your entire advertisement system, jack up your CTR as high as you can, before you switch over to CPM. You’d ultimately want to switch to CPM since you’ll get much more favorable rates there as far as cost per click go.
But this assumes you know what you are doing and has gotten your CTR high to make CPM worthwhile.