Monthly Archives: January 2015

Thursday, 29 January 2015, 02:10 pm Written by 

PPC Management — that is to say, the art of ensuring that a company’s pay-per-click campaigns are fruitful and bring the RoI game — is one thing that we do well here. But we do hear an awful lot of talk about pay-per-click that just doesn’t jive with reality, so we thought we’d do some myth dispelling. Listen up:


If You Think People Don’t Click The ‘Sponsored Links,’ You’re Wrong

For searches that have high evidence of commercial intent — like, searching for “where to buy skin cream” as opposed to “how does skin cream work?” — the Sponsored Ads that are PPC’s playground get up to twice as many clicks as organic search results. By a happy coincidence, if you run a PPC campaign, you’re probably looking for people who are evincing commercial intent — win/win!


PPC Is More Than Just ‘Sponsored Links’

Pay-per-click does more than just put those extra links at the top of your search results, though. There are also ‘content network’ ads, that put text or banner ads up on partner websites that have agreed to host them. Content network ads generally convert less, but also cost less per click, so which one produces the better RoI will depend largely on your audience.


You Won’t Get These Numbers from Facebook

There’s this notion going around that advertising on Facebook can solve all of your problems. But for all of the brags about traffic and exposures, Facebook doesn’t mention one tiny, important fact: in-SERP PPC ads get clicked on slightly more than ten times as often as Facebook ads.


PPC RoI is a Bell Curve

Some people seem to think that if they spent $50/month for a few months and it didn’t work, it means that PPC won’t work ever. But that’s just not true: because of the way that PPC costs multiply (cost per click * clicks) and the fact that popular keywords have a higher cost per click than weak keywords, it’s often the case that increasing your spend will dramatically increase both the effectiveness of your campaign and blast your RoI through the roof.


On the other hand, there is such a thing as overspending on PPC, because the RoI does eventually start to decrease as you spend more and more. There are companies out there that spend literally millions of dollars a month on PPC advertising, but for most of us, somewhere between one and ten thousand dollars per month, we hit the peak of the curve.



Monday, 19 January 2015, 02:06 pm Written by 

There was a time when mobile devices had their own unique languages for websites, their own little mini-Internets that barely interacted with the ‘normal’ one. During that time, being able to design a website for a mobile device was as much art as science, and a rare art for a designer to choose to develop. But that’s not true anymore.

Today, mobile search traffic is upwards of 35% of all search traffic. Almost any modern smartphone can show you a desktop site, albeit with some scrolling and zooming to make it work passably. You can program a mobile website in HTML and CSS, just like every other website. So what’s the deal with mobile website design? If the phones can handle your existing desktop site, why bother?


It’s Not That Simple

The short answer is that it’s totally possible for a smartphone to do more-or-less what a desktop can do in terms of the web — as long as you’re not actually doing anything at the time. If you’re seated, calm, focused, and moderately determined, you can make almost any website work on your phone.

But what happens if you’re on the bus next to a stranger who insists on telling you how the demons in the city water are turning his insides green? Or surfing on your phone while you carry groceries out to your car? Or walking your dog? The entire point of a mobile device is to be mobile. If your websites aren’t designed to be used with one thumb while a young father holds the phone in one hand, burps his newborn over his shoulder, changes the tot’s beanie with the other hand, it’s not really ‘mobile’, is it?

Then there’s the technical issues. Sure, a phone can handle almost any website nowadays — but what about the channels that carry the data to the phone? Unlimited-data plans are still pretty rare, and desktop websites (which assume you’re on a cable connection and thus use thousands of HTML requests and load massive graphics and animations on a regular basis) can simply rob a smartphone browser of their data allowance.

Don’t be that guy. Get your mobile website designed first, and then expand out to desktop. You’ll end up with a single site that works on both platforms, which is kind of the point. 

Friday, 09 January 2015, 02:05 pm Written by 

SEO is something you do to websites. Just stop and let that sink in. Websites need SEO in order to rank on the search engines. But generally speaking, you don’t talk about SEOing other things. You don’t SEO a computer. You don’t SEO a game. So what’s all the hubbub about SEOing a video?

There’s no Title or Description meta tag on a video. There’s no alt text. What does it even mean to perform video SEO in the first place?

Well, really, it doesn’t mean anything different for a video than it does for a website, because if you think about it, every video on the Internet is already on a site. If you want to see a video show up on the SERPs, you have to put it on a webpage, then optimize the crap out of that page.

If you’re using YouTube, for example, you want to use all of the tools that YouTube gives you to tag that video to Tartarus and back. Get your focal keyword and a half-dozen LSI keywords, and rain them liberally down into the Title, Description, and every other field you can find. Don’t be afraid to write a ridiculously long description — this isn’t your Description meta tag, and Google’s not ever going to try to inflict that 140-character limit on your YouTube descriptions.

Those of you that build branded channels are going to want to use them. The same fields that exist for your video exist for your channel, and there’s no reason to not make sure that there’s as least a roughly identical amount of keyword planting going on in the channel level.

If you’re not using YouTube, obviously, you can and should use pretty much every single normal on-page SEO trick that you’d use for any other landing page you build. For self-made pages, the advantage of a video isn’t an SEO-based advantage — it’s that videos convert visitors into sales much more effectively than text and pictures. Essentially, you multiply the SEO by the strength of the content, and a video is some of the best content you can get — so instead of talking about SEO of the video, you’re talking about SEO for the video, which is absolutely 100% just as important.

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