Creating an SEM Sidekick that Would Make Batman Jealous!

By Taylor Pratt.

Being the best usually means working with the best. Where would Johnny Carson have been without the support of Ed McMahon? You think Batman had a serious chance against Two-Face without Robin (assuming he isn’t played by Chris O’Donnell, of course)?

Creating a sidekick with Chewbacca caliber seems impossible, but what if it was as easy as installing a few lines of code or typing in a username and password? Wouldn’t it be great if you could figure out what keywords people actually are typing into the Search Engines and clicking through to your site? And how about what pages they are clicking through to the most? Hallelujah! It really is that easy to access this kind of information.

Most websites today have some type of analytics installed that their SEM is overlooking (Holy missed opportunity Batman!) While your eyes are glazing over at the thought of reading an article about analytics, I’d like to make an argument that they are more than just numbers. Analytics tell a story, and they just might be the sidekick you’re looking for.

I like to consider my customer’s analytics data as a story, with 4 major chapters that build off of one another:

Chapter 1: Keyword Analysis

Chapter 2: Tracking Your Visitors

Chapter 3: Page Analysis

Chapter 4: Measuring ROI

Chapter 1: Keyword Analysis. Looking through the thousands of keywords (hopefully) that visitors clicked through to your site on, can provide you with a wealth of information that should strongly impact your SEM campaign. At the beginning you can use these keywords as suggestions as to what you should be targeting. It is a great way to dive into the mind of the customer and get a better understanding as to what language they use when describing your product or services.

Your internal search engine is like a golden ticket into the mind of your customer. You know they are interested in your services, and now you get to see what they think right keywords are. Closely analyze these keywords, and see where you could be targeting them and if they would bring in enough traffic to merit such a focus.

During your campaign, these keywords are a great measurement to determine how effectively you are using your targeted terms on your site. Analyze the long tail keywords, and make sure you are focusing on the best terms. But how can you tell which terms are the most important? We learn that in Chapter 2.

Chapter 2: Tracking Your Visitors. What good is ranking number 1 in Google for “Batman” if none of your visitors take action or “convert.” Your best keywords are the keywords that lead the visitor to your page, and once they get there, they click through to the rest of your site. Your analytics make it simple for you: 50 visitors came from Google searching for “Batman,” and 0 clicked through. 15 visitors came from Google searching for “batmobile die cast car” and 10 of them clicked through. Data like this tells us we need to refocus our SEM campaign to focus on the language the customer is using, not just the terms that bring in the most traffic.

Don’t overlook what keywords your visitors are coming in on from the other search engines either. Obviously most search engines have their own ranking algorithms. Use that to your advantage by analyzing the keywords your visitors are coming in from on each the engines. I’ve found great keywords that I didn’t even know I was ranking for in MSN, but I was nowhere to be found in Google. Once I knew it was important, I was able to work it into my SEM campaign.

Also included in Chapter 2, is tracking where your visitors came from. Are your paid links actually sending targeted traffic to your site? Are your links doing anything more than improving your rankings?

Chapter 3: Page Analysis. Your Analytics sidekick also gives you the invaluable information of learning at what point the customer leaves your site. Was it something they didn’t like on the page? Did they think your shopping cart process was frustrating? If you find enough people leaving your site at the same point, you should put up a red flag and take another look at your page. Your best option might be to do some user testing. Regardless, you want more than traffic, you want conversions.

Looking at the pages that your visitors are clicking away from should also raise a few eyebrows. Are they finding their answers on this page? Should we expand on our content? What relevant internal pages should we be linking to in order to make it easier for the customer to find what they want?

And while you are tracking your visitors click path, you should be able to calculate the ROI of your current SEM strategy.

Chapter 4: Measuring ROI. Identifying which keywords, search engines, links, and even e-mail marketing campaigns are generating the highest conversions from the traffic they send, is a great way to measure your campaign ROI. If conversions are down, or aren’t improving the way you want them too, then you might want to consider modifying your current campaign.

Are the costs of your SEM project justifying themselves? If you’re like P.Diddy and writing lots of checks and still aren’t going platinum, then you should be reconsidering your strategy and your investment in general.

Having the ability to see which keywords and sources are bringing you the best traffic is an invaluable resource. You need to know where to increase spending and where to focus.

Analytics are a constant measurement resource identifying which search strategies are working and which strategies are failing (or making no impact at all.) Don’t try and fight your competition shorthanded, you have an invaluable sidekick just waiting to help you. Don’t ignore your analytics. There are plenty of great free resources and great analytics blogs to keep you from being frustrated, and to maximize your analytics potential.

The first 100 impressions: What your paid keywords can tell you

By Stephanie M. Cockerl.

How often do you check the status of your search engine marketing (SEM) and/or pay-per-click (PPC) keywords? Do you check them every month, every week or everyday? What about checking the status of your keywords after the first 100 impressions or ad views?

What if there are no clicks for a keyword after 100 impressions? This could also apply if the click-through rate (CTR) for a particular keyword is below 1%. Since the likelihood of having direct contact with the users who viewed the ads is nil, the next best thing is to deduce why searchers have not clicked.

Increase Conversion Rates with the Google Website Optimizer?

By Jeff Horsager.

Testing is critical to the success of any marketing campaign. Testing provides actionable data that translates into increased ROI. It is results oriented and provides insights that allow you to improve any marketing campaign in ways that are measurable.

Split Testing and Multivariate Testing

Basic testing of ad campaign elements (such as ad copy) is often done through what is known as split or a/b testing. Split testing is simply testing two advertising elements against each other under similar conditions to see which performs better.

An example of split testing is taking identical PPC ad copy and driving it to two different landing pages to see which page converts better, or creating two PPC ad copy variants and sending them to the same landing page to see which variant gives you a higher CTR (click-through rate).

10 Biggest Master Baiters in the Search Industry

By Dustin Woodard.

Link baiting is all the buzz these days in the SEO industry. It’s really nothing new, people have been baiting for years. In fact, I’d say 98% of us would admit to baiting from time to time—and the other 2% are lying.

What does it take to be a master baiter? Besides hands and a keyboard, a master baiter should have a creative mind, marketing skills and, obviously, be web savvy. I also believe link baiting should be intentional—none of this my-hand-slipped-and-I-got-lucky crap.

Below is a list of people I think are the biggest Master Baiters in the search industry. These are the people who seem to be able to hook even those who know they are baiting them. I’m sure there are other private baiters out there, hidden under a corporate brand that might be able to rival these guys, but they don’t bait in public like these guys do. I admit that I’ve been baiting in private until this post.

The 7 Deadly Sins that Hurt You as an SEO or SEM

By Daniel Tynski.

1.) Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your viewers.

It is not an uncommon mistake for many marketers, both on and offline, to inaccurately assess the intelligence of their target audience.  While it seems that bad estimations run in both directions,  it is a grave error to assume you know more about your visitors than you actually do — more than anything, you must not assume your visitors are stupid.  Its easy to clump your visitors into a large nameless blob, to think of them as cattle, susceptible to your clever gimmicks and likely to fall into the traps you’ve set.  The reality is that your readers are individuals.  If anything, they’re especially single minded on the net.  Many people feel empowered by the web, not only to be who they are, but also to assert themselves, their opinions, and their way of doing things.  To this end, your visitors are about as far from a herd of followers as you can get.  And while it may be prudent to make certain predictions about their behavior, it is a major mistake to assume too much about those you intend to draw to your website.  This is why analytics are so important to your efforts. The following sites can help you get an idea about what your visitors are actually doing on your site.

Have Your Top Competitors Do Some Of Your SEO For You

By CK Chung (aka Kid Disco).

What if I was to tell you that you could cut the amount of time spent on a certain element of SEO by half and, at the same time, double your production for it. Is that something you might be interested in?

If so… read on, grasshopper. :P

SEOs will generally kick-off an optimization campaign by examining analytics, performing keyword research, checking on-page elements, analyzing links, and so on and so forth. However, there exists an extremely useful tactic that is often underutilized or left out completely from the SEO’s arsenal. What am I talking about? Ladies and gentleman, I present to you… Competitive intelligence.

What is competitive intelligence? As it relates to search marketing, I would define it as the process of performing research to gather information about your competitors’ websites and analyzing that data for the purpose of extracting methods used and formulating strategies that you may use to optimize your own website.

Competitive intelligence can open your eyes to many things, including:

  • What your competitors are doing.
  • How you compare to your competitors.
  • Predict what your competitors will be doing.

There are plenty of resources and tools on competitive research and analysis that are readily available for you to utilize. Simple searches on the SEM Search tool for competitive intelligence, competitive research, and competitive analysis will return a barrage of blog posts and articles that will lead you to a slew of more resources and tools you may incorporate.

Marketing Pilgrim en Español

Quisieramos dar la más cordial bienvenida a los lectores del resumen de las mejores noticias de mercadeo por internet de Marketing Pilgrim en Español. Como nos encontramos en etapa de prueba, nos encantaría escuchar sus comentarios y en especial que nos indiquen si encuentran valor en él. Muchas gracias.

(For our non-Spanish speaking readers, the following is a recap of the top marketing stories from last week, translated – using humans, not computers – for the benefit of our Hispanic audience.)

Citizendium pretende construir una version mejorada de Wikipedia sin el vandalismo.

Entre las cosas que la mayoría de nosotros detestamos sobre Wikipedia, están la capacidad de agregar contenido de forma anónima y el hecho de que los vínculos tienen la propiedad “no-follow”. Sin embargo, Citizendium parece ser una respuesta propuesta por Larry Sanger. Sanger, de 38 años de edad, formó parte del equipo original de Wikipedia. Él considera que Citizendium mejorará la propuesta de Wikipedia pues forzará a los autores y editores a responsabilizarse de su trabajo y les impedirá escudarse en el anonimato.

Citizendium sale al aire oficialmente esta semana con 900 autores, 200 editores y 1100 artículos. La pregunta que todos se hacen es: ¿Puede competir realmente con Wikipedia? Ciertamente habrá que esperar para ver si Citizendium gana el momentum y la audiencia necesarios con este modelo mucho más “elitista” que Wikipedia.

Sin duda alguna, Wikipedia continuará disfrutando de niveles de crecimiento únicos gracias a las contribuciones de mercadologos y escritores improvisados; características que esta Citizendium no podrá ofrecer.

¡La prensa escrita está muerta, Viva la prensa escrita!

Existe un encarnecido debate con respecto al futuro de la prensa escrita empezado por un rumor de Tim O’Reilly. El debate se enfoca en si la prensa escrita está en decadencia o no. En este artículo Andy exhibe la opinión de ambas partes y finaliza con una recopilación de consejos por parte de Dave Winer y Doc Searls para los periódicos que quieran sobrevivir la era digital.

Algunos piensan que todavía existen miles de personas que se subscriben a la prensa escrita y que consideran que eso sucederá por décadas. Otros menos optimistas aseguran que la preferencia por la prensa escrita va en disminución, y esa tendencia continuará.

¿Qué opina usted?

¿En busqueda de trabajo? Asegúrese de tener una identidad en la web.

Para muchos es una realidad que la falta de una identidad en línea tiene consecuencias negativas e importantes para aquellos en busqueda de trabajo. De acuerdo con Computer World, los empleadores ahora utilizan los buscadores web como Google para “conocer” de sus candidatos antes de continuar con el proceso de contratación o de concertar una entrevista.

Andy en este artículo incluye valiosas recomendaciones de como proteger su reputación personal en línea y de como crear el mejor impacto ante los potenciales empleadores. De acuerdo con Andy, comprando el dominio web de su nombre propio, comprendiendo su perfil en Google, apropiandose de sus marca y finalmente destruyendo la evidencia, usted estará mucho mejor en términos de manejo de imagen en la web.