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Pre-Suasion Strategies for Better Content Marketing

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

In addition to Cialdini’s bestselling book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, and countless published research articles, he recently wrote a book that explains the power of “pre-suasion.”Cialdini is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to persuasion and influence.Thefollowing is my takeaway not only from my conversation with Cialdini, but also from reading his most recent book and contemplating marketing messages.A word of caution and/or advice: pre-suasion is powerful and should be used only in an ethical manner.It’s about getting attention and causing action, not about manipulation.

1.Make It Personal
After more than a decade in search marketing, I have encountered clients with various preferences regarding content.Some want a formal tone with substantiated facts. Others want content that conveys empathy and appeals to the emotions.Through the supervision of thousands of content pieces over the years — from blog posts to informative guides to landing pages — there is one common factor that results in a high rate of conversion.In “Pre-Suasion”, Cialdini identified a powerful magnet of attention: the self.Cialdini provided an example of this concept that involved the topic of personal health. He explained how messages that are self-relevant and tailored to the audience, such as referring to their age or health history, are more likely to attract attention and be memorable. Furthermore,these messages have a higher probability of being taken seriously and saved for future reference.

2.Create a Mystery
In the world of search marketing, we live and breathe metrics: Traffic, rankings, conversion rates, click-through rates, time on page, etc.There are also many statistics reported on the percentage of content website visitors will read, on average.While that percentage varies based on the source, the number tends to be high and can be discouraging for any content marketer.What if there was a way to keep the reader’s attention from the introduction all the way to the last paragraph?It would no doubt be a content marketer’s dream come true.These debates are centered on one thing: the mysterious.Albert Einstein referred to “the mysterious” as “the most beautiful thing we can experience” and “the source of all true science and art.”Albert Einstein’s quote and the Mona Lisa painting were both examples provided by Cialdini to illustrate the power of mystery.Through Cialdini’s research for one of his books, he discovered that mystery stories were used in successful content.The reason being is our human desire to have closure.We want to know the ending of a story and will give our attention to the mystery until weknow how it is resolved.Apply this concept by weaving a mystery throughout your content.First present the mystery, then deepen it before youprovide alternative explanations and the eventual resolution.Case studies and customer stories would be prime material that could be molded into a mystery.

3.Provide a Linked Association
Every idea or notion is linked within a set of associations.Effective communicators know how to use language to manage the audience’s mental associations to the message.Cialdini referenced recent psycholinguistic analysis that suggested that language directs the audience to areas of reality that are linked to mental associations that are in favor of the communicator’s view.Metaphors are great devices for creating these associations.Tropicana successfully implemented a metaphor into their marketing campaign: “Your Daily Ray of Sunshine.” The message was persuasive and linked the product to a positive association.You can apply this pre-suasion strategy into your content marketing by findingmetaphors or other language that associate your concept with something positive and relatable.

There’s More
I only scratched the surface of the information presented in “Pre-Suasion”.The book is filled with strategies that are backed by research, including the if/when-then plans and a seventh principle of influence (Cialdini’s other book, “Influence”, presents six principles).It is a book that is a must-read for any content marketer.Next time you’re working on a content marketing campaign, why not infuse elements of pre-suasion?


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Google Now is dead, long live ‘the feed’

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Google Now was initially a way to get contextually relevant information based on location, time of day and your calendar.It evolved to become much more sophisticated and elaborate, with a wide array of content categories delivered on cards.For a time it was being called “predictive search,” although that term has faded.Now was billed as a way to get information on your smartphone without actively searching for it.It was heralded by some as the future of mobile search.

The ‘feed experience’ improves
Today Google is officially killing the “Google Now” brand.It’s not getting rid of the functionality, however.That will remain and is being upgraded with an improved design and some new features, including reciprocal connections between search and your personalized content feed.Users will be able to follow content directly from mobile search results and have that surface on an ongoing basis in their feeds.A new “follow” button will appear in some contexts, as the image above illustrates.However, most content that appears in the feed will still be determined algorithmically, based on search history and engagement with other Google properties such as YouTube.There will also apparently be some content from locally trending topics.However,that trending content is not based on user contacts or social connections.At a briefing Tuesday in San Francisco, the Google Team, lead by Ben Gomes, was asked several times about how these changes compared to the Facebook News Feed.The answer was: this is about you and your interests, not topics your friends are engaged with.

Intensity of user interests to be reflected
The specific topics and cards that appear are also being calibrated to reflect the intensity of your interests.If you’re more interested in travel or hip-hop or bike racing than cooking or boxing or art, that will be reflected and emphasized in your feed accordingly.In other words, interest level will be captured.Perhaps most interesting, from a “search” perspective, is that every card will have a header that will be able to initiate a mobile search with a tap.That wasn’t possible with Google Now.Thus there’s a feedback loop of sorts: search results can be followed, feed content can be searched.It’s very much in Google’s interest to build products that keep the brand and some version of search in front of mobile users throughout the day.But Google is also trying to improve upon Now as a product,even as it gets rid of that name.

‘Vast majority’ of queries now mobile
Gomes said during the briefing that the “vast majority of our queries come from mobile.” Obviously, Google has very successfully transitioned to mobile, which wasn’t a foregone conclusion.Now it wants to give users more reasons to check in daily and new pathways into search.It’s not clear how widely Now was being used by the bulk of Google’s mobile audience.Beyond the mobile app experience, Google said that it would be bringing the feed to the desktop version of the Chrome in the near future, though it didn’t show that off.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Using Natural Language Queries Can Get Google Analytics Data

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Untitled-design-17-760x400Retrieving the Google Analytics metrics you care about is now as easy as asking for them using natural language.

Google has rolled out the ability to navigate Google Analytics’ interface by typing queries into a search bar. Queries can also be entered in the form of a voice search.

In fact, this new feature uses the very same natural language processing technology used in Google Search. If you don’t see it now, you will eventually see it in your GA dashboard over the next few weeks.


You’ll know when you have access to this feature because there will be a new “Intelligence” button in the GA dashboard. Click the button, or tap the icon on mobile, and start entering queries.

“The ability to ask questions is part of Analytics Intelligence, a set of features in Google Analytics that use machine learning to help you better understand and act on your analytics data.”

Analytics Intelligence has been developed as a way to enable those who aren’t fluent with Google Analytics to access and take action on the data in their GA account.

Users can more easily take action on GA data thanks to new automated insights. Automated insights will alert users towards recent dips and spikes which may require further investigation. In some instances, these insights may even provide specific recommendations for improving key metrics.

Source: Searchenginejournal

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Keys To Ranking For Multiple Keywords

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Keyword Research

The relevancy of content to the subject matter and the ambiguity of what context really means versus an individual keyword approach have led to looser strategies and a renewed need to stay focused on on-page optimization.While trusting that Google will understand the context of our content as you build a strong brand and positive user experience, you’re still faced with the need to:

The need to optimize and focus on keywords is as important as ever even though the importance of certain optimization techniques has changed.

1.Know Your Current Content

You can find sets of terms on the same topic and group them together.You won’t need to do stemming or use all of the literal variations of the terms and its plural or singular versions, but you need to know which sets of terms are related to a topic.My go-to process is to run a crawl of the existing site structure with Screaming Frog, download the HTML page results into Excel, and then get to work putting topics and terms out to the side of specific pages.Issues with gaps (in terms of pages for the number of topics and keyword terms) often emerge quickly,allowing for the planning of additional content.When you know you have content gaps and need to create more, that’s when you can turn around and quickly search to see which websites own the top of the SERPs for those topics and draw inspiration (without copying them) for ways to fill the gaps with your own content and make decisions based on priority.

2.Optimize Site Architecture

Knowing where you stand with content and having a plan for filling gaps is the start, but won’t get you far before you realize you need to figure out how to organize the content.Balancing user experience, priority of product/service offerings, and topical keyword search volume (audience demand), build out your site hierarchy working top to bottom going from most general to most specific. As noted earlier, most sites are already built this way naturally.However, when SEO isn’t involved, site navigation and structure is often dictated by an internal ororganizational view of what we think is most important rather than what our prospects are searching for and how they are searching.We’re far from the days of targeting a keyword per page, but at the same time you can’t expect to rank for a wide range of topics and terms with a small set of pages and going in the direction of “less is more” when it comes to content.

3.Do Your On-Page Optimization

It is surprising to me how many SEO campaigns I have seen recently that have neglected the basics of on-page optimization.These SEO basics and best practices still apply.You have to go deeper than just trying to produce great content and organize it well top to bottom in the site.When you’re building context for the user and Google, you have to ensure proper categorization.The last thing I want is for pages on my site to provide a bad user experience.If a potential customer is searching for whiskey gifts for groomsmen in their wedding but don’t yet know what type of product they want and they end up landing on a specific whiskey barrel page that outranked the category page, they are more likely to bounce.My client is fine-tuning their tags and single on-page elements, knowing that the right small adjustment to a title tag could mean a lot in terms of improved position and that a higher click-through rate results in more conversions.

4.Don’t Forget the Rest of SEO

You don’t want to stop here and be short sighted in your approach though.It is important to remember the rest of your SEO strategy including aspects of “authority” that work together with the “relevancy” that you have built.When you have a balanced website and great content from top to bottom, you can now attract links to pages other than your homepage, utilizing off-page ranking strategies that are targeted to specific topics deeper within the site without worry of dilution or cannibalization, shifting the intent of a page in the determination of the search engines from one topic or subtopic to another.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Surviving And Thriving At An SEO Conference

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

This is obviously a good question in and of itself, but it got me thinking about a larger issue search professionals often face:how people can make the most oftheir meetups and time together.Having attended SEO conferences since 2006, I’ve learned some strategies to use before and during conferences to help maximize my time while I’m there.Some of these strategies apply to meeting with peers, others to clients and prospective clients, and some to both. Whether you’re attending your first conference or just looking to improve your game, I hope you will find this advice useful.

Be prepared

The initial question about how to avoid an awkward silence is what got me thinking of this topic, as it implies that the person posing the question wasn’t going into the conference prepared.Generally, you’ll know in advance if clients and key industry peers will be attending the conference, so don’t wait until you’re there to figure out how to talk to them and what to talk to them about.Instead, prepare in advance via social media.Both of these are true. Yes, that person probably wants to talk shop with you, but they’ve got plenty of people doing that.The difference will come in the non-shop talk.Let’s say you’re talking to a prospective client; they will likely be talking to a half-dozen other people with offerings like yours.The difference will come in discussing their favorite sports team, a movie they’ve seen, or — one that I’ve found works well — a person they’re inspired by (like Dale Carnegie!).

Connect in advance

We talked above about using social media as a data-gathering tool, but it obviously is much more than that.Connecting with people you want to meet on social prior to an event is a valuable introduction.LinkedIn is an obvious go-to; Facebook is discouraged unless you actually have met.Twitter I’ve found to be probably the easiest way to engage others, as it’s a simple communication point that by its nature discourages pitching.Connect on LinkedIn to be sure, but follow them on Twitter, read their posts and comment when applicable.By connecting with others in advance, you’ll be gathering the data you need from our first discussion point above and allowing your prospect to get to know you in an open and welcome place.You’re showing interest in their activities, and by commenting, you’re showing you’ve read and thought about what they’re saying.I also recommend joining Facebook groups related to the conference you’re attending.This is a great way to interact with others who will be there and perhaps the people you want to meet.Even if this doesn’t connect you with the people you’re specifically interested in, it could provide other valuable contacts.

Use social media during the event, too
If they are, be sure to leverage that by tweeting about their session or replying to or retweeting their tweets.Once again, this is an easy and effective way to illustrate that you’re paying attention, interested in what they do and engaged with their work.We are marketers, after all.If we’re not engaging with the people we want to convert (even if that conversion is just meeting someone), then how good are we?

Look the part
There’s a quote from Socrates, “Be as you wish to appear.” It’s a great quote with a lot of truth, but for our purposes here, we can rephrase it as, “Appear as you wish to be.” I’m not saying,“Fake it until you make it,” as that’s a philosophy I loathe.But if you want to be taken seriously, it’s wise to dress the part.As a marketer, you know that a slight tweak in design can yield big increases in conversions — this is as true for you as it is for a website.If you’re there to meet clients, show them the respect of looking your best.If you’re meetingcolleagues you respect, do the same.

Self-care and time management
For the veterans in the crowd, you’ll know this might be the hardest part.You’re up early for the breakfast, in sessions and working all day, dinner and networking in the evening, and then undoubtedly you’ll be invited out for drinks after that — resulting in a 7 a.m. wake-up after a 2 a.m. bedtime.And that assumes you don’t have emails to power through.Let’s face it, you probably aren’t at your best after a few drinks on four or five hours of sleep, so pace yourself.There’s a lot of networking to do, and it’s better to leave a bit early (at a time when others probably won’t remember how witty you are anyway) and be your best the next day.It’s also crucial to get some time for yourself in between the various parts of the conference, whether it’s simply a quiet place to work uninterrupted (though that’s hardly “you time”), a chance to have a quiet coffee before the sessions start, or some time after the conference but before the evening’s activities.If you want to stay sharp, it’s often wise to take some time to unwind.And if you need to somehow justify it to those around you, then hit the fitness center and do some easy workout like a stationary biking, or make use of the sauna.

Be authentic
If you don’t know something, then be up front about it — mentioning, of course, that you specialize in something different.None of us can know everything (until Google plants a chip in our brains to access all human knowledge), so no one will begrudge you that.If it’s a client or prospective client, simply tell them it’s a good question and you’ll get back to them on it after you look into it or ask someone you trust.Of course, being yourself isn’t just about what you know, it’s about who you are.It’s about being authentic.We all want clients that are good fits, and that means they know who you are and want to work with you.While you want to be your best self at conferences, you should still ultimately be yourself.One can’t sustain being something they’re not indefinitely, so it’s better to simply make friends and clients that want to associate with you knowing who you are.

SEO conferences are a great way to make friends, find clients, meet people you respect, and even learn a great deal about an amazing subject from some amazing people.Take in the experience, and you’ll get even more than you might hope.If you’re not enjoying yourself, and you’re just checking off things to do like a shopping list, that’s going to come across.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Google begins rolling out messaging feature within Google My Business

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

You can now message with your customers directly via your Google local panel in mobile search.

Google appears to be rolling out a messaging feature to Google My Business customers. Both Mike Blumenthal and @AnthonyCGuzman posted that they and their customers are starting to notice the feature within Google My Business. This is a feature Google began testing in November of last year.

Google has confirmed this is now fully rolling out to businesses in the US and I am personally able to test it on businesses that I have access to under my Google My Business account.

When you go to the Google My Business home page, you will see this new section for “Messaging” on the left and an option in the middle promoting it saying, “Message with customers.”

After you click on it the first time, you need to configure the mobile number of the Allo device you want it to connect to.

Then, after you verify the number, it lets you set up an autoreply to customers who use the feature:

Now, once it is set up, when someone sees your company’s local panel in mobile search, they will see a “message” icon, which they can click:

On iOS, it takes the customer to their native messaging app and lets them message the business:

Then the business owner gets a message in Allo or their native messaging app so they can respond:


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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How much does SEO cost?

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

How much does SEO cost?It’s the proverbial, “How long is a piece of string?” question.And if you think about it, this is not without good reason.SEO is not as easy to nail down as, say, sending out a direct mail campaign to 100 recipients.In some ways, it is not always as easy to measure, as many marketing activities may impact organic search traffic.The cost of SEO is also directly related to the potential rewards. Ranking nationally for a highly prized keyword that may be £10 per click in AdWords will have far more costs associated with it than ranking for a locally oriented keyword.But even on a local level, there can be huge variability —and whether you want to rank in a state, county, city, town or micro-area like a borough or village will influence how difficult this will be. This, of course,influences the price of SEO for your unique situation.In this post, I am going to look briefly at the benefits of organic search via SEO to better frame the question, how much does SEO cost? My goal here is to help you make an educated decision regarding how much you should be investing and how you measure results.

SEO prices: What determines cost?

SEO pricing has to consider the following variables:

*Situation. Where are you currently?
*Objectives. Where do you want to be?
*Timeline. How fast do you want to improve?

By analyzing a client’s current situation, understanding their objectives and determining the required timeline, we can calculate a price. There are lots of variables here, and we don’t always know what our competitors are doing, but an attempt should be made to calculate the level of work required and subsequent price.And of course, the industry will in part determine costs.If you make $100 from a new customer, you can expect to pay less than if a customer is worth several thousand dollars.The marketplace, to some extent, regulates price (assuming the work is done properly). It is all about return on investment.The last variable is maintenance and keeping your flag flying once visibility has been achieved.SEO is a moving target.You step up your game, and the competition does the same.It’s tough, and the best approaches need to be tailored to the unique situation and goals of the business.

High-quality SEO vs. cheap and nasty
This week, a local PPC client of ours called us up and detailed a sales call they had received from a local SEO firm.This firm was trying to sell them SEO and detailed the process that they would use to build backlinks.The gist of this process was to find relevant websites that had expired, buy those sites, and then place content on them that links to the target site.Thing is, this client was sold.They wanted it.Afterall, it sounded too good to be true.But when things sound too good to be true, they often are.Really, alarm bells should have been ringing when this supposed SEO company was doing speculative telesales.But that is a whole other story.If you are building a business, you need to play by the rules of the biggest marketing platform out there.And the rules are not always terribly clear.But think in terms of value and common sense, and you won’t fall foul of the thousands of frankly unethical, back-street SEO companies out there.

Enough already! How much does SEO Cost?

What should you be spending?
The prices above are all relative, though.If you are a small but national business in a competitive space, then you are going to need to pay more for SEO than a small business in a localspace.Think e-commerce online store versus a local plumber.The size of your market and potential profit will to some extent dictate what you should be spending to be in the running.So, what should you pay?How do you determine the value of SEO?The only true answer to this question lies in your business and current situation.If profits are big, expect more competition.If profit is low, then typically, there will be less competition.If you have a long way to go,expect to pay more than if you just need a final push into the top three.Ensure that your provider explains to you how they calculated which service(s) you need, and avoid the very low end of the marketplace, as the automation required to deliver SEO at $50 per month or some such will often lead to problems down the road.

SEO & web design
The above mainly looks at the monthly costs of SEO assuming a well-optimized website is already in place.If that is not the case, you may need to consider the costs to build an SEO-friendly website.Your website is your home online and is central to your SEO efforts.A well-optimized website platform that delivers amazing usability for mobile users is crucial.This can be a big investment, but a website that is not built with search and happy users in mind is an SEO wooden leg.

ROI: Why ‘How much does SEO cost?’is not the right question
At the end of the day, return on investment (ROI) is what matters.If a lead costs you $20 from paid search, $15 from social ads or $5 from organic search, then organic is a highly valuable channel which offers the best overall return on investment.Measuring these factors is not always easy but is absolutely essential to understanding what the return is on all your digital marketing activities.And for the manycustomers we serve at Bowler Hat, SEO and organic search still tend to deliver the best overall ROI.This is true when we look at brand awareness,engagement and across the full spectrum of conversions from lead generation to sales.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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SEO Insights that May Change Your Life

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Some SEO insights offer incremental improvement.Others can change your life forever.We need both.But today I want to focus on three life changing insights.As you can probably guess,these aren’t “tactics.”These are fundamental ways of looking at your discipline.

These are three key insights that master SEOs put in practice in their daily lives.

1.The Hustle Matters Twice As Much As The Algorithm
If you don’t put yourself out there, your SEO strategy is doomed to failure.I can pretty much guarantee some readers are scoffing right now. “This is supposed to be a life-changing revelation that will change my life?Get real.I already know this.”For some of you, that may be the case.But for most of you, I think the following is much more likely: you know this is what you’re supposed to do, you’ve heard of it before, but somehow it hasn’t quite sunk in.Somehow, something is holding you back, and you’re refusing to invest in the hustle.This is the only way to cross the bridge from theory to practice.And I guarantee when you start making a habit out of crossing that bridge, you’re going to realize just how much of the theory you come across is a waste of time.No reserve of knowledge is more powerful than your own history of attempts and failures.SEO knowledge isn’t power. It’s only potential.

2.If You Don’t Build It, They Won’t Come
More importantly, of the time you spend using the internet, you probably use a pretty small number of sites. Know why?Because most sites are built to be consumed instead of used.Most sites take lessons from their peers at the bottom, rather than the industry leaders at the top.What I mean is this: the page crosses a threshold.It ceases to be “content” and it becomes a free product.It’s something so valuable that people actually come to use it, not just to consume it.And they will likely use it more than once or twice.These pages aren’t always the highest converting, but they are usually the most heavily linked, second only to the homepage, and they are usually the most heavily trafficked, with the highest return rate.All of these things play a crucial role in rankings, brand reputation, and brand recognition.If you have to choose between “producing content” and “building something,” go with the latter.A tool, a platform, a community, or an “ultimate guide” is almost always going to draw more traffic and links than your next piece of “content.”I strongly believe that you need to produce content and build something.You need both.Most only have one.

3.If It’s Not For Anything Else, It’s Not For SEO Either
Google’s search engine is just a massive collection of interfacing code.It is interacting with a constantly crawled and updated search index. No single engineer at Google can possibly understand fully how their own search engine works.We’re talking about a massive collection of protocols, applications, operating systems,databases, and information retrieval processes.If you’ve ever dealt with complex code, then you know how much one small tweak can change everything else inadvertently.And I’m talking about the kinds of changes that don’t show up as “syntax error.”So if you’ve been studying all of those “ranking factors”hoping to “reverse engineer” the algorithm, you have presented yourself with a task that is quite literally impossible.We can only hope to find statistical tendencies, and you absolutely must treat every site and every SERP as its own entity with different sorts of factors taking priority.The idea that you should only do things that you would feel comfortable sharing with a competitor is laughable, and pretending search engines don’t exist today is even more impossible than it was when the guidelines were first written.But the implications are clear.If your SEO tactics are only helpful for SEO, and do nothing else for you, you’re on uneasy ground with Google’s guidelines.

Final Thoughts
Anybody who has been doing SEO for a long time know that those “pure” algorithmic SEO tactics fade with age.Only SEO rooted solid marketing principles continue to work for you in long term.A masterful SEO always has two eyes open: one on the search engine, the other on marketing. Remember, the SEO mindset is one of cumulative growth.We are looking for lasting improvements.Each incremental improvement is intended to tack more visits, more links, and more revenue to our long-term monthly figures, not just to this month’s figures.That means not just using tactics and strategies that the search engines will always be OK with, but using tactics and strategies that don’t strictly rely on search engines to have lasting, cumulative impacts.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Few Mistakes Made by B2B Paid Search Novices

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Here’s a common scenario in the B2B marketing space:

You’re a member of your B2B company’s marketing team.As part of that team, you’ve become accomplished in a variety of marketing channels, including email marketing, content marketing, organic search, trade shows and so forth.Before you start, you should know that when it comes to PPC, B2B marketers tend to trip up in certain specific areas.To give you a leg up, I’m going to describe five common mistakes that B2B paid search novices tend to make and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1:Rushing to launch
Rushing to launch is a common mistake — and an understandable one.When your company has a big promotion or event on the horizon, you want to have your PPC campaigns in place to support it.This is something I’ve seen many times with our clients.They will set a deadline for launch and insist on sticking to it, even if all campaign elements aren’t in place.Without custom landing pages in place, your conversion rates arelikely to be lower.Sometimes much lower. And this can lead to questions about the viability of your PPC program.Without conversion tracking, it’s impossible to know exactly how well (or poorly) your campaigns are performing.And it’s hard to justify any marketing program when you don’t have numbers to back it up.Failure to integrate with other marketing channels can lead to lost opportunities.And even worse, you might end up pillaging your efforts in other channels.Even if you work with a PPC agency, your marketing and web development teams will still need to take some responsibility for these elements.Yes, we can set up your accounts.We can even select your keywords,write your ad messaging and run them by you for approval.

Mistake #2:Making decisions before the data is in
One of the great things about PPC is the ability to make tweaks and changes on the fly with little effort.Few other marketing channels offer this much flexibility.But this flexibility is also a curse.Sometimes, it’s hard to be patient and wait for more data to accumulate before deciding to change campaign settings and elements.For example, we had a client who wanted to review and update their ad messaging on a monthly basis.For a high-click-volume account, this wouldn’t be unreasonable.But this client was only getting a handful of clicks every month on some campaigns.We simply didn’t have enough data to inform monthly decision-making.So sure, we could make updates every month, but they would be a shot in the dark.

Mistake #3:Not bidding on brand
In PPC, “bidding on brand” means bidding on your brand name as keywords.So, for example, when a prospect searches your name (e.g., “Acme Business Solutions”), your ad displays with the search results.

That’s a common conclusion, but it’s also false. I can think of at least four reasons why you should bid on brand:

*Organic results + Paid results = Greater brand presence.Combining your organic listing with a paid search ad helps reinforce your brand presence.In fact, to have an organic listing without an accompanying paid aid can lead to questions: “If these guys are so prominent in the market, where’s their ad?”

*PPC gives greater control over messaging and click-through pages.While organic listings are great, they’ll never give you the precise control of paid search.With a paid search ad, your marketing team can dictate your exact messaging and click-through pages.

*By not bidding, you open ad space to your competitors.If you decide NOT to bid on your brand, that doesn’t mean your competitors won’t.Why make that ad space available to your competitors?

*Branded keywords usually cost less.If you’re still not convinced that you should bid on brand, know that branded keywords typically cost much less than unbranded keywords — which should make your decision easier.

Mistake #4:Resisting certain ad networks or tactics
Sometimes, B2B marketing teams have biases against certain paid search ad networks, strategies or tactics.For example, it’s not uncommon for B2B businesses to refuse to advertise on the Google Display Network.Or they’ll say they don’t want to run AdWords remarketing campaigns.I’m not sure where these biases come from.Maybe they’ve heard negative things from their associates.Maybe they’ve read something bad online.Or maybe they’ve tried something in the past, got burned and vowed never to do it again.But you need to remember that paid search is an ever evolving channel.It changes all the time. And your business changes,too.Consequently, what didn’t work two years ago might work well today.In addition, every B2B industry, market and business is different.We all have different products, competitors, brand awareness, budgets and regulatory environments.So an ad strategy that was a total dud for one B2B company could be a total winner for another.Quite simply, you won’t know whether specific ad networks, strategies or tactics will work for your B2B business unless your team gives them a try.

Mistake #5:Going it alone
Perhaps the biggest mistake I see B2B paid search novices make is trying to do everything themselves.I understand this, too.Your marketing director wants to keep PPC management in-house.He or she wants to start small and see how things go.And you want the opportunity to prove yourself and grow your expertise.But then something will happen — your ad gets disapproved, or your leads won’t convert — and then things get a lot more complex and problematic.The biggest issue with this approach is that it doesn’t provide a true test of what PPC can do for your B2B.And it might just breed the kind of “PPC doesn’t work for us”thinking that becomes very hard to reverse.Consequently, PPC might be taken off the table entirely —sometimes for years — until someone is brave enough to champion it again.And in the meantime, your competitorsbenefit from your absence.

Don’t let mistakes derail your B2B PPC marketing
So when striking out on your own with paid search, give your marketing and web development teams the time they need to do things right from the outset.Then,resist making changes until you have a data-backed picture of what’s going on.Be sure to bid on your brand, and don’t take any ad networks,strategies or tactics off the table unless you have a valid reason for doing so.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Top 5 Ways to Win – The Intelligent Search Success

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Organic search rank used to be the main concern of businesses seeking to be found online, but a lot has changed in the past few years.

Today’s digital environment of paid ads, maps, shopping options, reviews, and mobile-first commerce has changed how we see what we see, and with it, what drives business to businesses.

If organic rankings are your main focus today, you’re failing fast.


The simple answer is there is so much more to pay attention to than even five years ago that old-school SEO doesn’t cut it.

As mobile has surpassed desktop in search, local packs and knowledge cards have all but replaced the ordered list of blue links as the dominant form of search results. This has changed how you need to think about tracking your success in intelligent search.

Running a search engine is a business – and the Googles and Bings of the world are securing their future relevance by changing what they do to fit the habits of the next generation of consumers.

As Boomers age out of being the prime consumer market for online business and Millennials and Generation Z take over, trust in elements beyond the “organic stack” will come to be a market force that changes what it means to “rank.”

So, what does it take to rank in intelligent search?

1. Cultivate Rich Location-Specific Knowledge for Map Apps -

Map-based queries have risen as people search for specific items and products in map apps.

A natural consequence of a more mobile-savvy consumer base, location-specific searches are going to continue to rise. In fact, almost 40 percent of people say they perform searches only on their mobile device in the average day, according to Google.

Winning in intelligent search is increasingly about rich geo-specific information, like hours, menus, location-specific photos, service or delivery area, and more.

2. Generate & Respond to Reviews -

Not only are reviews used to help determine how a search engine should rank you, but for certain searches, having high ratings may soon be the only way to rank.

For example, if a consumer uses “best” in a map query, some digital services filter for only 4+ star results. If it proves useful to to satisfying searchers, it’s likely that the search engines will cement and expand this trend.

You’d better be cultivating reviews and managing digital relationships with customers now if you want to surface in future map queries.

3. Connect Your Inventory to Your Digital Presence -

Bridging the last mile for consumers looking for a specific item in the moment is going to be paramount.

Inventory data combined with map directions will drive foot traffic.

Consumer expectations are moving toward the day when “40-inch Samsung LED TV” won’t just return electronics stores that carry that item, but those that have it on the shelf in the moment.

4. Structure Your Data for Voice -

Today, more than 20 percent of queries are done via voice.

Consumer behavior is changing fast as voice search catches on across smartphone search and voice-first devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home.

In fact, Google predicts that by 2020, 50 percent of queries will come via voice. And there is often only one result spoken, leaving you with little choice but to structure and markup your content to remain relevant.

5. Integrate Your Digital Knowledge Across the Enterprise -

Until recently, it was plausible that you would silo key business data in certain departments. Now, however, the world is rapidly evolving, and to stay in front requires a rethink of that old practice. You need:

a. The insights that organic search provides into consumer research.
b. The details paid search provides on conversion.
c. The feedback and intent signals social provides across a wide range of locations.

These programs at a minimum need to work together and feed data to each other openly.

On top of this you need to gather internal digital knowledge (products, people, hours, locations, inventory, holiday hours, etc.) and ensure all marketing functions have instant access to it.

Finally, you need to ensure all programs and consumer touchpoints lead with the same messages. One voice, one brand.

The Future of Search Rankings: Trust + Rich Experiences

Source: Searchenginejournal

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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