Tag Archive | "Keeping"

Microsoft Advertising says it’s keeping average position reporting

Position-based impression share metrics are now available.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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3 ad copy mistakes keeping you from paid search success

Although Google provides data on keywords, bids and other aspects of your paid search campaigns, it tends to leave us hanging when it comes to ad copy.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Keeping Your Audience (and Yourself) Engaged

copyblogger weekly

Hey there — welcome back to the Copyblogger Weekly!

This week we’re talking entertainment. Specifically, how you can keep your audience engaged and, just as importantly, keep yourself interested and fresh.

Because if you’re bored … you’re boring. And that’s no fun for anyone.

On Tuesday, Sean D’Souza shared three of his favorite techniques for hooking (and keeping) your audience’s attention.

And yesterday, our Editor-in-Chief Stefanie Flaxman offered 16 ways to squeeze interesting content out of seemingly limited material. (That one goes well with my podcast this week on “quick wins” for content marketers.)

Over on The Digital Entrepreneur podcast, Jerod Morris chatted with Sarah Morgan about how she keeps the excitement going in her business. But the real question is:

Is her business more entertaining than her previous career as a circus aerialist?

She digs into some of the funny things about the life of a digital entrepreneur, like how angry some commenters get when she talks about taking a nap during the day.

Jealousy is a terrible thing.

At the same time, she doesn’t sugarcoat the hard work involved in running a business … or the failures that teach us along the way.

Hope you enjoy this week’s content, and I’ll catch you next week!

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital


Catch up on this week’s content


Fun ways to gamify your content creationWant to Sharpen Your Writing Skills? Try This Fun Challenge

by Sonia Simone


Grab attention from the start3 Eye-Opening Techniques to Wake Up Your Readers with Your First Sentence

by Sean D’Souza


Easy ideas for high-impact contentHow to Write 16 Knockout Articles When You Only Have One Wimpy Idea

by Stefanie Flaxman


How to Enhance Your Membership Site With Live EventsHow to Enhance Your Membership Site With Live Events

by Sean Jackson


How to Be a Great Community Leader, with Chris LemaHow to Be a Great Community Leader, with Chris Lema

by Brian Gardner & Lauren Mancke


The Brilliant Strategy and Backstory Behind Zero to BookThe Brilliant Strategy and Backstory Behind Zero to Book

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor


How One Successful Digital Entrepreneur Stays Entertained by Her BusinessHow One Successful Digital Entrepreneur Stays Entertained by Her Business

by Brian Clark & Jerod Morris


5 Quick Wins for Content Marketers5 Quick Wins for Content Marketers

by Sonia Simone


How Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part TwoHow Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part Two

by Kelton Reid


Host Your First Virtual Conference, with Bailey RichertHost Your First Virtual Conference, with Bailey Richert

by Brian Clark


Brian Clark on the Getting Goosebumps PodcastBrian Clark on the Getting Goosebumps Podcast

by Caroline Early


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Master Class: Pricing Your Products and Services to Maximize Profits

with Sonia Simone and Pamela Wilson

Friday, November 4

Join Sonia Simone and Pamela Wilson for an in-depth session on the smart way to price your products and services online! Discover how the combination of mindset and research will help you find the ideal pricing strategy to maximize your profits.

Join Authority to attend this session

The post Keeping Your Audience (and Yourself) Engaged appeared first on Copyblogger.


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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.

Spreadsheets

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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7 Ideas for Keeping Your Brand’s Content Marketing Fresh & Relevant

 

vegetable dish

Have you ever opened the fridge and realized that all of the produce that you painstakingly picked out at the farmers market had gone bad? Maybe there were a few items that were salvageable but the rest had to be tossed. You wouldn’t want to serve your guests a rotten ratatouille would you?

Today’s content marketers should be using only the freshest of ingredients (tactics) to keep their audience engaged and coming back for seconds.

Keeping an online audience engaged is getting harder and harder. They are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of content which makes it very difficult to hold their attention. In fact, the Statistic Brain Research Institute found that the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds and only 4% of page views on the internet last longer than 10 minutes. Remember that blog post it took you 3 hours to write? Chances are your customers are speed reading and moving on.

However, there are steps that you can take to keep your content marketing fresh, interesting and innovative for your audience. In today’s market, Content marketing can take on many different forms and be published on a variety of platforms. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

Below are some of the ideas for how you can keep your content marketing program fresh and delicious. Bon apetite!

#1 – Study the Works of Other “Chefs”

Today’s foodies love everything from Indian street food, to fine French dining. What has become even more popular over the past few years is the concept of food fusion, which takes notes from different types of cuisines and mashes them together to produce the best possible dishes.

In order to create these tasty recipes, chefs had to go outside of their base knowledge of a particular cuisine and incorporate ideas from other cultures.

It can be easy to fall into a routine of strictly following what other marketers in your industry are doing to help determine your content marketing strategy.

Instead, look for innovative ideas that are outside of your industry and may not even be a part of marketing. For example, take a look at your personal email inbox, is there anything that caught your eye as a consumer or that you found to be an interesting concept? Use these ideas that you find in other industries to fuel your content marketing ideas.

#2 – Ditch the Recipe Book & Try Something New

Some of my best dishes have come from throwing together ingredients that I thought went well together. Other times I have been left with an inedible goopy mess. But at least I knew not to do it again.

Believe it or not, failure can be a good thing. Why? Because if you failed, that means that you made an attempt. One of the worst things you can do as a marketer is to remain stagnant and keep executing on the same old safe, tried and true digital marketing tactics.

Now that doesn’t mean that you should just go chasing after any idea. You should still be mindful of your approach and determine what it is that you expect to get out of it.

#3 – Mother Sauces Require Key Ingredients

You can’t make a bechamel sauce without butter and a hollandaise without lemon just isn’t quite right. While there are variations of these mother sauces, there are core ingredients that bring them together and make your tastebuds sing.

One of the most overlooked opportunities for marketing is combining your different digital teams (either internal or external). The convergence of search, social and content is not a new concept. However, there is a big difference between creating an integrated digital marketing strategy, and getting your different teams together to collaborate.

It doesn’t matter if you have a large team, a small team or are working with an outside digital marketing agency, there is always an opportunity to collaborate. This approach will help each team understand what it is that the other is working on and can lead to some creative brainstorming for content marketing solutions.

#4 – Small Touches Create a Better Diner Experience

Personally, I eat just as much with my eyes as I do with my mouth. There is almost no replacement for a beautiful plate of food that tastes equally delicious. The perfect combination of ambiance, a beautiful table, good parking and alluring food can create a truly epic dining experience.

Similarly, you should always use content marketing to create a good customer experience.

This means:

  • Create Content for Need: Does your content marketing program help solve a business problem or meet a customer need?
  • Optimize for Device: Can your customers access your website, blog and any other assets both on desktop and a mobile device?
  • Incorporate Storytelling: Connect customers to your content by incorporating storytelling into your strategy.

#5 – Do Your Customers Like Their Steak Rare, Medium or Well Done?

Let’s pretend that you went out to the nicest steak restaurant in town and everyone in your party ordered a nice juicy steak. Now imagine that the server assumed that everyone at the table wanted their steak well done without asking? Chances are, there would be some pretty unhappy people at the table.

Many companies are afraid of asking current customers simple questions about the helpfulness of their content. There is the fear of negative feedback or that the customer will decide that they no longer want to do business with you.

Instead of being fearful, consider this an opportunity to improve your marketing program by better providing your customers what they need. They’ll also appreciate your willingness to hear what they have to say. Ultimately, this temperature check will tell you what you’re doing well (and need to do more of) as well as opportunities for improvement for content.

You can either contact customers directly and ask them or survey your community at large through email, social media or other means.

#6 – Add Your Own Flair

Part of what makes celebrity chefs so great is that you get to experience “what they’re really like” simply by tuning in to the Food Network or Cooking channel. In all fairness, their cooking chops is largely what got them to where they are today, but their personalities are what have made them celebrities.

Few brands are able to inject the proper amount of personality and authority into their content marketing. Often, brands are fearful of towing the line and offending the audience. Always err on the side of professionalism but don’t be afraid to use humor, personality and wit where appropriate.

Another option is to provide your audience with a “behind the scenes” look at your organization. This can be accomplished through “candid” videos, images shared on social media and contributions from team members from across the organization on their experience working with the company.

#7 – Throw Spaghetti at the Wall & See What Sticks

While you want your noodles al-dente, crunchy just won’t cut it. Sometimes the only way to tell if they’re good is to throw them at the wall and see if they stick.

The same can be said for creative content marketing brainstorms. It’s better to throw in a bunch of ideas and see which ones end up sticking.

To keep your content marketing fresh, consider adding some impromptu brainstorming sessions when needed. Consider inviting team members outside of the marketing department for a fresh set of eyes, ears and brains.

Provide the team an overview of what you’re hoping to accomplish as well as any relevant information about the target audience. Then, set them loose. Truthfully, you won’t use every idea that is concocted during your session, but there is always something useful that comes out of a brainstorm. Even if it’s just inspiration.

Are You Hungry to Innovate Your Content Marketing Program?

I don’t know about you, but this blog post is making me incredibly hungry. If you’re stuck in a content marketing rut, hopefully this post has helped you think of some different ways that you can innovate your marketing, without getting egg on your face.

What have you found to be the best way to get your creative content marketing juices flowing?

Image: Shutterstock


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Keeping Competitive Analysis Healthy

Whether you’re launching a new vertical or trying to dominate a small niche, analyzing your competitors is crucial. Healthy competitive analysis provides ideas for ways to improve keyword targeting, content quality, link building tactics, and more.
Search Engine Watch – Latest

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Content Marketing: Keeping creative talent on retainer

When putting together a creative team, business as usual is going internal or contracting by the piece.

Read on to find out why one B2B company decided to keep its design firm on retainer and how that arrangement works out for both of them.
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The Art of Keeping Your Audience Coming Back for More

image of Dashiell Hammett quote

We’re starving for stories.

We’re dying to know what happens next.

From those nights thousands of years ago flapping our jaws around the fire, to the hypnotizing work of J.J. Abrams and Charles Bukowski, a particular plot device has hooked us all more deeply than any other.

It’s arguably the most powerful tool ever used to keep fiction, film, and poetic audiences impatient, twitchy, and breaking down the doors for more.

And we see clearly now that it was tailor-made for content marketing on the web.

There’s a lot that goes into a great marketing story, but what we’re talking about here is the ancient literary workhorse called …

The cliffhanger

Traditionally, the cliffhanger is a striking event that happens at the end of an episode, chapter, scene, or season of a story. It leaves doubt in the reader’s mind — usually regarding the fate of the protagonist — and all but forces them to come back to see what happens next.

In terms of online content, you want each “scene” to lead your readers deeper and deeper into the movie of your business.

In this media-cluttered world, your blog, emails, social media outposts, and offline activities have to be undeniably good — but that isn’t enough.

You’ll hook readers with a terrific headline … but you’ll get them to read your next piece with the way you wrap it all up.

Every piece of content has to leave them wanting more.

Arthur Conan Doyle put us (and Sherlock Holmes) through the wringer week after week in the pages of The Strand Magazine.

They couldn’t keep enough issues on the stands.

What if you ended each message in your email autoresponder with a fascinating teaser about all the great beneficial content they’re going to get in the next message?

The writers of Dallas (ask your parents) knew exactly what they were doing when they wrote the line “Who shot J.R.?”

Tortured viewers had to wait all summer to find out if the show’s wicked but charismatic main character lived or died.

What if you built mystery, anticipation, and fever around the release of your next product by building something that does so much for customers that they can’t wait to get their hands on it?

Fans of Lost were so impatient for next episodes of the show that they started posting their own scripts online to try and slake their thirst for it.

What if you sold something so valuable, and with such style, that your customers couldn’t help but become creative partners in the marketing of your store?

If you think you’re in the contracting, software, retail, graphic design, copywriting, or dry cleaning business, you’re wrong.

You’re in show business baby.

All the Internet’s a stage, and all the content creators merely players.

No matter what business you’re in, the best story wins. And one element of a great story is to leave ‘em hanging.

So who did shoot J.R.? Find out next season in the comments below …

About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s resident raconteur and copywriter.


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