Tag Archive | "Campaign"

Unit economics: The foundation of a good SEM campaign

Contributor Kevin Lee outlines how SEM campaigns can benefit from applying smarter business unit economics and asking rational questions.

The post Unit economics: The foundation of a good SEM campaign appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google AdWords Impressions & Clicks May Show After Campaign Was Paused

A Google AdWords advertiser complained on Twitter that two days after pausing a campaign, he is still seeing clicks…

Search Engine Roundtable

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Bing Ads retiring Campaign Planner in favor of Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner will take over at the end of July and offer most of the same capabilities.

The post Bing Ads retiring Campaign Planner in favor of Keyword Planner appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Compare 9 paid search campaign management tools

Marketing Land’s “Enterprise Paid Media Campaign Management Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for paid search and other media campaign management platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software into your business. This 50-page report…

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Don’t Overlook Voice Search in Your Online Marketing Campaign

The popularity of voice-activated smart assistants is gaining traction, especially with Apple hopping on the bandwagon with its Siri speaker due to be released soon. This is why businesses should include voice search in their online marketing campaign, rather than focus solely on text-based searches.

In fact, voice search marketing is described as the new norm, which would have been unheard of just five years ago. One major factor is the increasing efficiency of machine-learning technology in finding user patterns to anticipate their needs.

For instance, Amazon’s Alexa is billed to be capable of performing over 12,000 tasks, which is why it’s still the undisputed king in this increasingly competitive industry.

A Different Beast

In the past six months, 40% of users have tried voice commands in asking questions or searching for products and services. Analysts believe this number will only continue to rise until such time when people won’t even be able to imagine how they survived without voice-activated apps in the first place, similar to how they feel about mobile phones.

When it reaches this critical mass, Google will surely introduce an update to its algorithm that will take into account voice search in order to rank your page.

For marketers, this would be an entirely different beast altogether. Whereas text-related keyword searches are much easier to document, recording how many people are looking for “best pulled pork sandwiches, Lexington, KY” using voice search will be a tall feat.

This will really turn the search engine optimization dynamic—which is the direct result of years of honing and polishing—up on its head.

Better Results

Unlike text queries, voice search will yield more accurate results. It basically pulls down the curtains, allowing internet users to skip one step. Instead of searching for “pulled pork sandwiches,” they can just go ahead and order the food from the best restaurant based on customer and critic reviews.

Instead of searching for a particular song you can’t get out of your head, it may be possible in the future to hum the lyrics and the smart speaker will play the whole song for you. This brings convenience to a whole new level, unlike in text searches where you have to choose and phrase your words in a specific manner to get the most relevant results—and still having to go to that particular website to order food.

Here are some quick tips to cope with the changes from text to voice search marketing:

Mobile Optimization –  As voice search apps are gradually perfected, mobile optimization will become even more crucial. Website built with Flash will need to be redesigned and all websites will need to be responsive. Marketers will need to advise their clients of this major shift from traditional search to voice search. Another way to optimize the mobile experience is to make sure that their sites load fast. There’s no faster way to lose customers than a website that takes forever to display.

Snippets – In voice searches, snippets are short descriptions about the company or the brand. This gives the users a little bit of information before they move along or move forward. Using traditional SEO techniques, you will need to optimize so you end up high on the search engine results page for snippets.

Long-Tail Keywords – Voice search is different from text search in the sense that internet users will often talk normally as they would in a conversation, as opposed to using key phrases or keywords when they type on Google. This is where long-tail keywords are crucial because you can still reach your target market even with this major shift in the way people do their search.  

The post Don’t Overlook Voice Search in Your Online Marketing Campaign appeared first on WebProNews.


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What to look for in a paid media campaign management tool

Paid search, mobile, display/banner ads, and social media advertising lead an expanding group of paid media that are now being managed by paid media campaign management platforms. This report examines the current market for enterprise paid campaign management platforms and the considerations…

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Predicting How Well A Launch Or Kickstarter Campaign Will Do, Investing In Facebook Stock Through eToro, And Tales From The Dot Com Boom

Welcome to this week’s episode of what so far is called the Walter and Yaro podcast show (we still need a name, let us know your suggestions in feedback comments please!). [ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] In our thirty minutes or so chat this week Walter and I talk about… Predicting…

The post Predicting How Well A Launch Or Kickstarter Campaign Will Do, Investing In Facebook Stock Through eToro, And Tales From The Dot Com Boom appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Campaign Tracking Without Going Crazy: Keeping Order in AdWords Optimization

Posted by anthonycoraggio

Pay-per-click advertising generates vast amounts of data, which presents us with tremendous potential for optimization and success. However, this formidable sword cuts both ways—even skilled managers can quickly find themselves adrift if tests and changes are not carefully tracked. Here’s a quick, actionable guide to keeping order in your AdWords account with a simple and professional activity log.

The philosophy of orderly management

Good Adwords management is an exacting science—every tweak and change made should be for a specific reason, with a particular goal in mind. Think in terms of the scientific method: we’re always moving forward from hypothesis, to test, to result, and back again.

When it comes time to evaluate the results of these changes and iterate to the next step, it’s very important to know exactly what changes were made (and when). Likewise, when the numbers break unexpectedly, it’s vital to be able to eliminate as many variables as possible as quickly as possible in our analysis. Many of us operate in collaborative environments, so this information needs to be readily accessible.

To be able to do that, we need a system that defines when and where these changes happened, and clearly explains the nature of the change. Beyond that, we also need to keep it user-friendly for two very important reasons. First, many of us operate in collaborative environments, so this information needs to be readily accessible to teammates, supervisors, and clients that may need it. Second, it’s vital to remember that the most elaborate, brilliantly-detailed tracking plan is going to be useless if you don’t actually use it consistently. To get started building a good system, let’s take a look at the tools we have at hand.

Tools of the trade

AdWords changelog

The first and most obvious tool that might come to mind is the Adwords native changelog, but this should be viewed as a tool of last resort in most cases. Anyone that has had to dig through that information line-by-line trying to diagnose an issue will tell you that it’s less than optimal, even with the improved filtering options Google has provided. The crux of the issue here is that there is no indicator of intent—why was the change made? Was it a considered part of a test? What other changes were a part of the same move made?

That said, the changelog can be a handy feature when it comes to quick refreshers on a former budget cap or tracing a trend in bids—especially when downloaded to Excel. Just don’t rely on it for everything!

Google Analytics annotations

This is our second UI option, and a key one. Obviously this isn’t in AdWords itself (though that would be a lovely feature), but if you spend even half your time in online marketing, chances are you’ve got GA open in a second tab or window already! If you commit the effort to nothing else, do it for this. Placing annotations for major changes or tests doesn’t only help you—it provides a touchpoint for anyone else that might need to look into traffic ups and downs, and can save hours of time in the future.. Note that I said “major”—remember that this is a shared system, and you can easily swamp it if you get too granular.


This is where most of my logs go, as proper coding and some simple filtering makes it a breeze to find the information you need quickly. I’ll get into more detail on practical usage below, but basically this is where the when/where/why goes for future reference. My preference here is usually to use Google Sheets for the simple collaboration features, but you can do just as well with a shared Excel file on OneDrive.

Project management tools

Keeping your test tracking connected to and aligned with your project management tools is always wise. There are myriad project management software tools out there, but I favor agile PM for SEM applications—Trello, Jira, Mingle, Basecamp, and more are all useful. The key here is really that your activity and test logs are easily available wherever you keep project resources, and linked to from whatever cards or items are associated to a particular test. For example, if you have a task card titled “Client-128: A/B Ad Test For {Campaign>Ad Group}”, note “per task Client-128” in your activity log and link directly to that card if your tool permits it. You can also link to the activity log from the card or a project resource file if you’re using a cloud sheet, as in Google Docs Sheets.

Creating a system & putting it all together

Now you know all the tools—here’s how to put them together. To get you started, there are two primary areas you’ll want to address with your activity log: ongoing changes/optimizations, and major planned tests.

Tracking ongoing changes: the standard activity log

The standard activity log is your rock. It’s the one point where the hundreds of changes and thoughts the human brain could never hope to perfectly recall will always be, ready to answer any question you (or your client, or your boss) might come up with down the line. An activity log should, at minimum, tell us the following:

  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Who was involved?
  • Why did it happen?

If I notice an inflection point on a particular graph starting on 9/28 and need more information, I should be able to go back and see that User X paused out Campaign Y that morning, because they had spoken with the client and learned that budget was to be shifted out to Campaign Z. Instant context, and major time saved! If I want to know more, I know who to ask and how to ask the right question for a quick and productive conversation.

Ongoing optimizations and relatively small changes can stack up very quickly over time, so we also want to be sure that it’s an easy system to sort through. This is part of why I prefer to use a spreadsheet, and recommend including a couple columns for simple filtering and searching. Placing a unique sequential ID on every item gives you a reliable point of return if you muddle up the order or dates, and a note indicating the type and magnitude of the change makes searching for the highlights far easier.

Anything you can do with your chosen tool to simplify and speed up the process is fair game, as long as you can reasonably expect others to understand what you’ve put in there. Timestamp hotkeys and coded categories (e.g. “nkw” denoting a negative keyword expansion) in particular can save headaches and encourage compliance. Finally, always keep your logs open. It’s easy to forget early on, and dragging your cursor through just a few extra clicks to open them back up when you’re in the zone can be a bigger obstacle than you might expect!

Formal test tracking

When you’re conducting formal A/B or multivariate tests in your account, a higher standard of documentation is a good idea. Even if you’re not presenting this to a client formally, put together a quick line of data detailing the following for every major test you plan and execute:

  • Purpose. Every test should have a reason behind it. Documenting this is a good exercise in holding yourself to account on smart testing in general, but this is most important for future analysis and test iterations—it’s what sets up the “why.”
  • Hypothesis. Marketers have a reputation for playing fast and loose with statistical methods, but remember that for results you can trust, you should have a falsifiable hypothesis. Again, get this down so you can say what exactly your results do and do not prove.
  • Procedure. Exactly what it sounds like—what did you do in implementing this test? You need to record what the controlled and experimental variables were, so you can appropriately account for what might have influenced your results and what might be worth trying again differently in the future.
  • Results. Again, easy—what was the outcome? Don’t be stingy with the details here; confidence level, effect size, and the actual ad copy or landing page that was tested should be recorded for posterity and later reference.

I like putting at least the hypothesis and results in a combined test results spreadsheet for quick future reference. Over time, as people shift through roles, what was tested a year ago can quickly fade from organizational memory. When planning your next test, you need to be able to quickly go back and see if it’s been done before, and whether it’s worth trying again. I’ve seen a lot of wasted duplication of effort in companies I’ve consulted for this exact reason—don’t let that be you!

I also recommend plugging in a quick line in my standard activity log for each action on a test (i.e. launched, finalized, paused), since these are often pretty high-impact changes and it’s helpful to have this information in your go-to spot.

Make it work

I’ll close with a brief reiteration of what I believe is the most important part of activity logging and test tracking: actually doing it. Internal adoption of any new tool or process is almost always the toughest hurdle (ask anyone who’s ever overseen a CRM implementation). As with any habit, there are a few simple behaviors that can help you make good tracking practices a reliable part of your routine:

  • Start small. It won’t hurt to start by logging just the biggest, most important activities. You’ll have an easier time remembering to do it, and you’ll soon start doing it for more and more tweaks automatically.
  • Be accountable. Even if you’re the only one touching the account, tell someone else what you’re doing and ask them to check in on you. There’s nothing like social accountability to reinforce a behavior!
  • Have a goal in mind. If you don’t feel a sense of purpose in what you’re doing, you’re probably just not going to do it. Make a pact with yourself or your team that you’ll review your activity logging one week from when you start and share thoughts and ideas on improving it. You’ve then got a clear and present point of reference for success and moving forward.

Do you have any favorite tricks or tactics for keeping good track of your SEM campaigns? Share them with us in the comments!

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How to Have a Successful Local SEO Campaign in 2015

Posted by Casey_Meraz

Another year in search has passed. It’s now 2015 and we have seen some major changes in local ranking factors since 2014, which I also expect to change greatly throughout 2015. For some a new year means a fresh starting point and yet for others it’s a time of reflection to analyze how successful your campaign has been. Whatever boat you’re in, make sure to sit down and read this guide. 

In this guide we will cover how you can have a successful local SEO campaign in 2015 starting with the basics and getting down to five action items you should focus on now. This is not limited to Google My Business and also includes localized organic results. 

Now the question is where do you start?

Since Pigeon has now rolled out to the US, UK, Australia, and Canada it’s important to make sure your strategies are in line with this no matter what part of the world you’re in. A successful local SEO Campaign in 2015 will be much more successful if you put more work into it. Don’t be fooled though. More work by itself isn’t going to get you where you need to be. You need to work smarter towards the goals which are going to fuel your conversions.

For some industries that might mean more localized content, for others it may mean more social interaction in your local area. Whatever it ends up being, the root of it should be the same for most. You need to get more conversions for your website or your client’s website. So with this in mind let’s make sure we’re on the same page as far as our goals are concerned.

Things you need to know first

Focus on the right goals

Recently I had a conversation with a client who wanted to really nail in the point that
he was not interested in traffic. He was interested in the conversions he could track. He was also interested to see how all of these content resource pieces I recommended would help. He was tired of the silly graphs from other agencies that showed great rankings on a variety of keywords when he was more interested to see which efforts brought him the most value. Instead, he wanted to see how his campaign was bringing him conversions or meaningful traffic. I really appreciated this statement and I felt like he really got it.

Still, however, far too often I have to talk to potential clients and explain to them why their sexy looking traffic reports aren’t actually helping them. You can have all of the traffic in the world but if it doesn’t meet one of your goals of conversions or education then it’s probably not helping. Even if you make the client happy with your snazzy reports for a few months, eventually they’re going to want to know their return on investment (ROI).

It’s 2015. If your clients aren’t tracking conversions properly, give them the help they need. Record their contacts in a CRM and track the source of each of these contacts. Track them all the way through the sales funnel. 

That’s a simple and basic marketing example but as SEOs
your role has transformed. If you can show this type of actual value and develop a plan accordingly, you will be unstoppable.

Second, don’t get tunnel vision

You may wonder why I started a little more basic than normal in this post. The fact is that in this industry there is not a full formal training program that covers all aspects of what we do. 

We all come from different walks of life and experience which makes it easy for us to get tunnel vision. You probably opened this article with the idea of “How Can I Dominate My Google Local Rankings?” While we cover some actionable tips you should be using, you need to think outside of the box as well. Your website is not the only online property you need to be concerned about.

Mike Ramsey from Nifty Marketing put out a great study on 
measuring the click-through rates from the new local stack. In this study he measured click-through rates of users conducting several different searches like “Salt Lake City Hotel” in the example below. With so many different options look where the users are clicking:

They’re really clicking all over the place! While it’s cool to be number one, it’s much better if you get clicks from your paid ad, organic result, local result, and barnacle SEO efforts (which we’ll talk about a little later). 

If you combine your conversion marketing data with your biggest priorities, you can put together a plan to tackle the most important areas for your industry. Don’t assume it’s a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Third, some spam still works. Don’t do it and rise above it.

There’s no doubt that some spammy tactics are still working. Google gets better everyday but you still see crap
like this example below show up in the SERPs.

While it sucks to see that kind of stuff, remember that in time it disappears (just as it did before this article was published). If you take shortcuts, you’re going to get caught and it’s not worth it for the client or the heartache on your site. Maintain the course and do things the right way. 

Now let’s get tactical and prepare for 2015

Now it’s time for some practical and tactical takeaways you can use to dominate your local search campaign in 2015.

Practical tip 1: start with an audit

Over the years, one of the best lessons I have learned is it’s OK to say “I don’t know” when you don’t have the answer. Consulting with industry experts or people with more experience than you is not a bad thing and will likely only lead to you to enhance your knowledge and get a different perspective. It can be humbling but the experience is amazing. It can open your mind.

Last year, I had the opportunity to work with over ten of the industry’s best minds and retained them for site audits on different matters. 

The perspective this gives is absolutely incredible and I believe it’s a great way to learn. Everyone in this industry has come from a different background and seen different things over the years. Combining that knowledge is invaluable to the success of your clients’ projects. Don’t be afraid to do it and learn from it. This is also a good idea if you feel like your project has reached a stalemate. Getting more advice, identifying potential problems, and having a fresh perspective will do wonders for your success.

As many of the experts have confirmed, ever since the Pigeon update, organic and local ranking factors have been more tied together than ever. Since they started going this direction in a big way, I would not expect it to stop. 

This means that you really do need to worry about things like site speed, content, penalties, mobile compatibility, site structure, and more. On a side note, guess what will happen to your organic results if you keep this as a top priority? They will flourish and you will thank me.

If you don’t have the budget or resources to get a third party opinion, you can also conduct an independent audit. 

Do it yourself local SEO audit resources:

Do it yourself organic SEO audit resources:

Alternatively if you’re more in the organic boat you should also check out this guide by Steve Webb on
How To Perform The World’s Greatest SEO Audit

Whatever your situation is, it’s worth the time to have this perspective yearly or even a couple times a year if possible.

Practical tip 2: consider behavioral signals and optimize accordingly

I remember having a conversation with Darren Shaw, the founder of 
Whitespark, at MozCon 2013 about his thoughts on user behavior affecting local results. At the time I didn’t do too much testing around it. However just this year, Darren had a mind-blowing presentation at the Dallas State of Search where he threw in the behavioral signals curve ball. Phil Rozek also spoke about behavioral signals and provided a great slide deck with actionable items (included below). 

We have always speculated on behavioral signals but between his tests and some of Rand’s IMEC Lab tests, I became more of a believer last year. Now, before we go too deep on this remember that your local campaign is NOT only focused on just your local pack results. If user behavior can have an impact on search results, we should definitely be optimizing for our users.

You can view Phil Rozek’s presentation below: 

Don’t just optimize for the engines, optimize for the humans. One day when Skynet is around this may not be an issue, but for now you need to do it.

So how can you optimize for behavioral signals?

There is a dark side and a light side path to this question. If you ask me I will always say follow the light side as it will be effective and you don’t have to worry about being penalized. That’s a serious issue and it’s unethical for you to put your clients in that position.

Local SEO: how to optimize for behavioral signals

Do you remember the click-through study we looked at a bit earlier from Nifty Marketing? Do you remember where the users clicked? If you look again or just analyze user and shopper behavior, you might notice that many of the results with the most reviews got clicks. We know that reviews are hard to get so here are two quick ways that I use and recommend to my clients:

1. Solicit your Gmail clients for reviews

If you have a list of happy Gmail clients you can simply send them an email with a direct link to your Google My Business Page. Just get the URL of your local page by pulling up your URL and copying and pasting it. A URL will look like the one below:

Once you have this URL, simply remove the /posts and replace it with: 


It will look like this:

If your clients click on this link via their logged-in Gmail, they will automatically be taken to the review page which will open up the box to leave a review which looks like the example below. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. 

2. Check out a service like Mike Blumenthal’s Get Five Stars for reviews

I recently used this with a client and got a lot of great feedback and several reviews.

Remember that these reviews will also help on third-party sites and can help your Google My Business ranking positions as well as click-through rates. You can
check out Get Five Stars Here.

Another way outside of getting reviews is to optimize the appearance of your Google My Business Page. 

3. Optimize your local photos

Your Google My Business page includes photos. Don’t use generic photos. Use high quality photos so when the users hover over your listing they get an accurate representation of what they’re looking for. Doing this will increase your click-through rate. 

Organic SEO: Optimize for Behavioral Signals

The optimization for click-through rates on organic results typically focus on three areas. While you’re likely very familiar with the first two, you should not ignore them.

1. Title tags: optimize them for the user and engine

Optimize your meta title tags to increase click-through rates. Each page should have a unique title tag and should help the viewer with their query. The example below (although fabricated) is a good example of what NOT to do. 

2. Meta descriptions: optimize them for the user

Optimize your meta description to get the user to click on the search result. If you’re not doing this just because Google may or may not pull it, you’re missing opportunities and clicks. 

3. Review Schema markup: add this to appropriate pages

Schema markup is still a very overlooked opportunity. Like we talked about above in the local section, if you don’t have reviews coded in Schema, you could be missing out on getting the orange stars in organic results. 

Practical tip 3: don’t ignore barnacle SEO

I firmly believe that most people are not taking advantage of barnacle SEO still to this day and I’m a big fan. When I first heard Will Scott introduce this term at Pubcon I thought it was spot on. According to Will Scott’s website Search Influence, barnacle SEO is “attaching oneself to a large fixed object and waiting for the customers to float by in the current.” In a nutshell, we know that if you’re trying to rank on page one of Google you will find others that you may be able to attach to. If Yelp results come up for a lot of your search terms you might identify that as an opportunity. But there are three main ways you can take advantage of this.

1. You can try to have the most visible profile on that third party page

If Yelp is ranking for LA Personal Injury Attorneys, it would suit you to figure out how the top users are showing up there. Maybe your customers are headed there and then doing some shopping and making a selection. Or maybe they’re using it for a research platform and then will visit your website. If your profile looks great and shows up high on the list, you just gave yourself a better chance at getting a conversion.

2. You can try to get your page to rank

Hey, just because you don’t own Yelp.com or whatever similar site you’ve found, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort to have it rank. If Google is already showing you that they trust a third party site by ranking it, you can use similar organic ranking techniques that you would use on your own site to make your profile page stronger. Over time you might add this to your bio on interviews or other websites to earn links. If you increase the visibility of your profile on search engines and they see your website on the same page you might increase conversions.

3. You can help your Google My Business

If the site you’re using passes link juice and you earn links to the third party profile page, you will start to see some strong results. Links are a big factor in local since Pigeon this year and it’s an opportunity that should not be missed.

So how can you use this advice?

Start by finding a list of potential barnacle SEO partners for your industry. As an example, I did a search for “Personal Injury Attorneys” in Los Angeles. In addition to the law firms that showed up in the results on the first page, I also identified four additional places I may be able to show up on.

  1. Yelp
  2.  Thumbtack
  3. Avvo
  4. Wikipedia

If you were attorney, it would be worth your while to explore these and see if any make sense for you to contribute to.

Practical tip 4: earn some good links

Most people get too carried away with link building. I know because I used to do it. The key with link building is to change your approach to understand that
it’s always better to get fewer high quality links than hundreds or thousands of low quality links

For example, a link like this one that one of our clients earned is what I’m talking about. 

If you want to increase your local rankings you can do so by earning these links to your associated Google My Business landing page.

Do you know the URL you entered in your Google My Business page when you set it up? That’s the one I’m talking about. In most cases this will be linked to either a local landing page for that location or the home page. It’s essential to your success that you earn solid links to this page.

Simple resources for link building

Practical tip 5: have consistent citations and remove duplicates

Identifying and correcting incorrect or duplicate citations has been getting easier and easier over the years. Even if you don’t want to pay someone to do it, you can sign up for some great do-it-yourself tools. Your goal with any citation cleanup program is this:

  1. Ensure there are no duplicate citations
  2. Ensure there are no incorrect citations with wrong phone numbers, old addresses, etc. 

You can ignore small differences and inconsistencies like St vs. Street. I believe the importance of citations has been greatly reduced over the past year. At the same time, you still want to be the least imperfect and provide your customers with accurate information if they’re looking on third party websites.  

Let’s do good things in 2015

2014 was a tough year in search altogether. We had ups like Penguin refreshes and we had downs like the removal of authorship. I’m guessing 2015 will be no different. Staying on the roller coaster and keeping with the idea of having the “least imperfect” site is the best way to ring out the new year and march on moving forward. If you had a tough year in local search, keep your head up high, fix any existing issues, and sprint through this year by making positive changes to your site. 

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Predicting How Well A Launch Or Kickstarter Campaign Will Do, Investing In Facebook Stock Through eToro, And Tales From The Dot Com Boom

Welcome to this week’s episode of what so far is called the Walter and Yaro podcast show (we still need a name, let us know your suggestions in feedback comments please!). [ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] In our thirty minutes or so chat this week Walter and I talk about… Predicting…

The post Predicting How Well A Launch Or Kickstarter Campaign Will Do, Investing In Facebook Stock Through eToro, And Tales From The Dot Com Boom appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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