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Why Aren’t Small Business Owners Taking Advantage of Online Marketing?

469994_antique_storeAs I travel around the web each day, I see a variety of ads. Many of them are banner ads reminding me of the effectiveness of cookie based technology. (Hey, look at that ad for Old Navy, I was just on their site this morning. What a coincidence.) Then there are the Facebook ads which I hardly notice and when I do, I find them irrelevant. Also the search results I see in Google (now that’s effective advertising) and the emails and social media updates I get from companies I follow.

That’s a lot of advertising and some of it is working because I’ve been known to click and buy things. But when I think about it, I realize that almost all of the ads I see in a day are for big companies and brand names. The last time I saw an ad for a local store it came out of a Val-Pak envelope.

Infographic Gives Google’s Mobile Push High Marks

Larry Kim of Wordstream published an infographic today that blew my mind. It was all about how Google is using their mobile apps and ad programs to create new revenue streams. Larry grouped the products in categories then graded them based on quality, value to users and marketers and other factors.

Overall, it looks like Google’s doing a pretty good job. But what really made me stop and gasp was the sheer number of mobile products Google has in the works. Who (other than Larry) knew?

how google makes money

 (This clip doesn’t do it justice. You need to click here to see the whole, big and beautiful infographic.)

Building AdWords Accounts With No History, Part 2: Transitioning To A New Account

Ok, so thanks to Part 1, you’re up on AdWords with a basic keyword set that is highly relevant to your business and some performance data. We’re ready to begin the optimization process!

It’s important to get as granular as possible when looking at the data. You can take a look at keyword performance and adjust the bids up or down depending on what is working for you, but a main point to keep in mind with paid search is that it is all about the actual search queries, not the keywords (which are really just sets of queries).

If you take a look in the Dimensions tab, you’ll have the option to see performance data for searches users entered under View: Search terms, as seen below:

ericpost.1

Here you’ll find a list of all actual search queries that you’ve been serving ads for. There are two major action items:

Building AdWords Accounts With No History Part 1: Launch

google-adwords Whether you have a brand-new client who has never used AdWords, are launching an additional product line in an existing account, or starting up a new promotional campaign, starting a PPC account with no history to go on can be tricky. There’s so much going on in paid search, so where’s the best place to start? (Note: stay tuned for a future part 2 post on optimization steps!)

Build out Keywords
Before you can do anything, the first step is to figure out what you are going to bid on. With no historical performance data available, you’ll need to pay for information to find out what works and what doesn’t, so adding thousands of keywords off the bat can be an expensive and ill-advised plan.

Both Sides Claim a Victory in the FTC Case Against Google

googleThe 19-month, FTC investigation into Google’s policies and practices has come to an end and both parties are declaring themselves the winner.

Here’s the announcement from the Official Google Blog:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced it has closed its investigation into Google after an exhaustive 19-month review that covered millions of pages of documents and involved many hours of testimony. The conclusion is clear: Google’s services are good for users and good for competition.

Here’s the FTC’s version:

Google Inc. has agreed to change some of its business practices to resolve Federal Trade Commission concerns that those practices could stifle competition in the markets for popular devices . . . as well as the market for online search advertising.

Twilight Couple and Katie Holmes Top Ask’s List of Most Asked Questions

Earlier this week we learned that Americans have an unnatural fascination for Kim Kardashian but they apparently don’t think about her in terms of a question because she didn’t make Ask.com’s most asked list.

Top question on the Ask list? Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart get back together?

The Twilight twosome weren’t the only celebrity couple to make the list. Folks also wanted to know if Katie Holmes’ marriage to Tom Cruise was fake, and they wanted to know when Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake were getting married.

Other personal questions included, “why did Miley Cyrus cut her hair” and “does Ryan Lochte have a girlfriend.” And many people wanted to know, what exactly is Gangnam Style?

Google To Print: My Ad Dollars Can Beat Your Ad Dollars Anytime!

Let’s call this one a graphical depiction of how the ad business has changed in the last ten years. The graph comes from Statista by way of Cnet and here it is:

According to this chart, Google finally pulled ahead of print advertising in dollars spent. Not surprising, given the state of the newspaper and magazine business, but wait. . . there are a few points to consider.

Earlier today, my son reminded me that numbers can be manipulate to prove almost anything. We were discussing time expansion as it relates to creation, (yes, really) but the point applies here as well. Statista states right off the bat that this isn’t a completely fair comparison. Google’s numbers are worldwide, while the print numbers are US only. If you included international print, I’d guess that the scale would tip in print’s favor.