SMX Advanced recap: Lies, Damn Lies, and Search Marketing Statistics


At SMX Advanced 2016 in Seattle, Adria Kyne, SEO Manager (North America, Australia, and New Zealand) for Vistaprint, gave a presentation on doing search marketing testing — or any kind of marketing testing — that provides valid results.

Kyne made the point that by not understanding the importance of validity of sample size, we often end up unintentionally lying to ourselves, and we may actually “prove” the opposite of what we think our tests are showing.

Adria Kyne

Adria Kyne, Vistaprint

Common problems with marketing testing

We need to start with understanding the point of our testing:

  1. We want to know what is really happening when people visit our site.
  2. We want to be sure we can use the results to predict likely future behavior.

We also need to understand the basics of hypothesis testing:

  1. We want to know if the variation we are testing is better, worse or the same as the original.
  2. We don’t want to see a positive outcome that isn’t really there (a false positive, or Type I error).
  3. We don’t want to miss a positive outcome (a Type II error).

[Read the full article on Marketing Land.]



[source :-searchengineland]

Bing Ads bolsters Keyword Planner targeting and rolls out access to the UK, Canada & Australia


Many paid search marketers will be pleasantly surprised the next time they go to perform keyword research in Bing Ads. First, those in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia will now have access to Keyword Planner. Second, Keyword Planner will have an additional targeting feature to help users find keyword suggestions based on product categories.

Keyword Planner was launched last year and was only available for folks within the United States. Now those in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia will find Keyword Planner under the “Tools” element in their accounts. Users will also have the ability to show targeting options such as cities, states/provinces and will pull historical search statistics across all of these locations. Stats include average monthly searches, competition, suggested bids, ad impression share and traffic estimates.


With this new change, the Campaign Planner tool will be removed from the Tools tab, as it is being replaced by Keyword Planner.

The enhancement to suggesting keywords within Keyword Planner lets users source keywords based on their products, a landing page or a product category. Any (or all) of these fields can be used to help dig up pertinent terms that are directly relevant to your business. The product category field features high-level categories, along with more granular categories, to help find the best terms.


These changes are now live within the Tools tab in Bing Ads, so give it a whirl today. For more information, see the official blog post from Bing.


[source :-searchengineland]


SearchCap: Bing ads Keyword Planner, SEO dirt & more


Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Bing ads bolsters Keyword Planner targeting and rolls out access to the UK, Canada & Australia
    Jul 7, 2016 by Greg FinnKeyword Planner begins expansion outside of the US and gives users some new ways to discover keywords in the process.
  • SMX Advanced recap: Lies, Damn Lies, and Search Marketing Statistics
    Jul 7, 2016 by Mark TraphagenAre your marketing tests giving you valid results? Columnist Mark Traphagen summarizes insights from a presentation by Vistaprint’s Adria Kyne at SMX Advanced.
  • SEO is as dirty as ever
    Jul 7, 2016 by Patrick StoxSearch engine optimization has built credibility over the years, but spammers and black-hat practitioners still give it a bad name. Columnist Patrick Stox shares his SEO horror stories.
  • Making your content perform beyond just SEO
    Jul 7, 2016 by Janet Driscoll MillerContent that generates traffic is great; content that generates leads and sales is better. Columnist Janet Driscoll Miller offers tips for content performance, from creation to optimization to conversion.
  • SMX Advanced recap: Advanced Google App Deep Linking
    Jul 7, 2016 by Eric EngeHow do you get your app content into Google Search results, and what are the benefits of doing so? Contributor Eric Enge summarizes an SMX Advanced panel on deep linking and app indexing.
  • Google honors Nettie Stevens, the geneticist who discovered XY chromosome
    Jul 7, 2016 by Barry SchwartzNettie Stevens, American female geneticist, gets a Google Doodle on her 155th birthday.

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

  • Yahoo delivers stocks, news, weather & adoptable monkey bots to Facebook Messenger
  • Leadpages buys SMB marketing automation platform Drip
  • Can Google boost Android Wear with new Nexus-branded, AI-powered smartwatches?
  • The 3 types of remarketing you should be trying
  • Leverage your marketing data: 9 FAQs to get you started
  • Inside Google Play’s branded YouTube show that spanned 23 channels
  • ConvertMedia launches DIY tool for standalone video ads
  • A CMO’s View: Stop Hunger Now CMO says social media levels the playing field for nonprofits
  • 6 custom Google Analytics reports you should use for every CRO project
  • MarTech Today: “First automated trend forecasting,” Google’s expanded Now on Tap & more
  • Twitter uses Wimbledon to test live sports streams minus the sports

Search News From Around The Web:

Local & Maps

  • Google maps API changes, Yoast
  • Street View extended coverage and problems: Bangladesh and Mongolia, Google Earth Blog
  • Why Apple’s Transit Maps are rolling out so slowly,

Link Building

  • Imitating search algorithms for a successful link building strategy, Search Engine Watch


  • Exclusive: Google is building two Android Wear smartwatches with Google Assistant integration,
  • Google Separates First Result For Some Queries With Line Breaks, Search Engine Roundtable
  • Google Separating First Search Results for Well Known Entities,


  • How an Error by Forbes Changed the Fortune 500 CEOs Reputations Overnight,
  • How to Get Past the Dreaded SEO Plateau, MarketingProfs
  • Three Ways PR and SEO Can Be Best Friends,

SEM / Paid Search

  • Announcement of Yandex.Audience Custom Audience Targeting, Russian Search Marketing
  • How To Choose Your Google Display Network Audiences, PPC Hero
  • SEM PPC Optimization: How to Maximize the Revenue at a Targeted ROI,


[source :-searchengineland]


Google Search Console bug sends re-verification notifications to users


Google had a bug with their Search Console platform this morning, where it sent out reverification email notifications to many users.

The issue was that the verification method became invalid for a large number of sites in Google Search Console, and then Google had to reverify those sites. So during that process, it resent verification notifications to those users.

The email notification read, “Google has identified that [email] has been added as an owner of [domain name].” If you got these, Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter not to panic — just check to make sure that all those who are verified for your website should be. This is probably a good thing a webmaster should do on a periodic basis anyway. To do so, log in to your Search Console, click on the gears icon, and then click verification details screen. Make sure those email addresses listed there are users you want to have access to your account.

Here is a screen shot showing the verification attempts and then the reverification, followed by those who have access to the account in Search Console.



[source :-searchengineland]

Using automation to execute PPC strategy


Both technology and automation play a huge role in the digital marketing space. Paid search and social functionality is more complex than ever, the number of platforms and networks that need to be managed is constantly expanding and clients are demanding deeper analysis and insights. These convergent dynamics put a strain on the account manager’s ability to efficiently manage accounts.

The right technology provides the ability to automate routine tasks and solve complex problems quickly, which frees up account managers to focus more on strategic planning and exploring new growth opportunities.

Defining automation requirements

The difficult part about automating a PPC account is figuring out where to begin. How do we determine what to automate, and how do we identify the right set of technologies for the job?

The first step in the process of answering this question is fully understanding what an account’s goals are (or should be). You can find out this information through business download meetings, comprehensive data analysis, industry analysis and account audits. Once you’ve clearly defined goals, you must devise a strategy to reach those goals.

A clear strategy brings into focus the types of tasks that need to be completed and the kinds of technologies and automations needed to execute it. Below is an example of how I determined the automations needed to reach goals for an account I manage.

The account has a cost-per-lead goal of $200. Our optimizations primarily consist of pausing non-converting spend, adjusting bids either up or down depending on individual keyword performance, analysis of search query reports for negative matches and analysis of placement reports to identify non-performing sites to exclude.

We complete these optimizations on varying schedules ranging from daily to monthly. Because the account is so large, it takes a ton of time to manually complete these routine tasks and takes away from working on higher-impact growth initiatives.

Based on the above information, we were able to implement a comprehensive set of automation rules to manage standard account optimizations. Here’s a sampling of some of the rules we set:

  • Pause all keywords spending more than $300 without a conversion over the past 30 days.
  • Pause all ad groups spending more than $300 without a conversion over the past 30 days.
  • Reduce bids 25 percent on all keywords with a greater than $500 cost per acquisition over the past 30 days.
  • Exclude all placements with 0 conversions and more than 25 clicks.
  • Pause queries with 0 conversions and more than $300 in spend.

Any automation we put in place should directly support the outcome that we’re trying to achieve. Automation rules that aren’t in alignment with overall account strategy can lead to poor performance. Carefully think through any automation plan, and consider both the benefits and risks before implementing.

What kind of technology should I use?

The answer to this question is, “It depends.” There are dozens of technology solutions on the market, ranging from reporting platforms to bid management solutions to technology that automates creative testing.

Additionally, the advertising platforms themselves offer automated bid management functionality and provide the ability to pause keywords, ad groups and campaigns, based on specifically defined criteria. You can even set up scripts in Google that allow for paid search accounts to be integrated into an organization’s inventory or CRM system.

Budget and account size certainly play a large part in deciding whether to utilize a third-party technology solution or free tools the advertising platforms offer. It’s important to weigh cost vs. time saved in order to focus on big strategic initiatives.

At Hanapin, we utilize a reporting tool called NinjaCat. This reporting tool automatically pulls spend from a variety of advertising platforms and other associated account data such as clicks, impressions and click-through rate. The tool allows you to create dashboards and KPI graphs that track performance vs. your goal(s). It’s well worth the monetary investment, because automating data collection (rather than compiling it manually) frees up account managers to focus on taking action in accounts.

When deciding whether to use paid technology vs. a less powerful free tool, I use the following criteria:

  • Can free automation tools help me meet account goals and execute strategy effectively?
  • Do paid tools offer me functionality that provides deeper performance insights that I can’t get from free tools?
  • Will I save a significant amount of time with a free tool, above and beyond what I would save by using a paid tool?

Having a defined criteria for when to use technology will make it easier to decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to invest in technology.

Final thoughts

You should deploy technology primarily to quickly and efficiently execute strategy and reach goals. Too often, automation is narrowly viewed as a shortcut to reducing workload. While it’s important to make workloads more efficient, it’s more important not to lose sight of the big picture, which is improving account performance.


[source :-searchengineland]

Search in Pics: Matt Cutts body armor, portable farmers market & Google rents out Great America

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.

Matt Cutts in body armor after joining the Digital Defense team:


Small farmers market at the Google Zurich office:

google-farmers market

Google rents out Great America Park:

Google rents out Great America Park

Google self-made display with Facebook thumbs down at GooglePlex:

Source: Google+



[source :-searchengineland]

The perfect local SEO landing page

lead generation landing pages for local businesses

We work with hundreds of local businesses — from hyperlocal, single-location businesses to nationwide, multi-location companies — at the company I run, Bowler Hat.

One pattern we often see is that larger and seemingly more authoritative businesses don’t perform as well in local search as they should. There aremany reasons for this, and having multiple locations amplifies the need for solid local SEO foundations. A common issue we come across is the lack of a well-optimized and well-performing landing page for local businesses.

In this post, we aim to illustrate what we believe to be the perfect location landing page, based on our experience working with local businesses.

We must tick our SEO boxes here, but we must also maximize the leads generated from these pages — to do this, we have to look at the intersection of lead generation and local SEO.

Where lead generation meets local SEO

There are two key elements to consider here:

  1. Local SEO ranking factors
  2. Landing page conventions

We want to create a perfectly optimized page from a Local SEO perspective but also a finely tuned lead generation machine. These pages should allow the user to achieve their goal — much like a traditional lead-focused landing page.

Clearly, there is some synergy here. To create pages that are highly visible, they should also be highly functional and allow the customer to get in touch and generate us those all important leads.

1. Local SEO ranking factors

Last month, I took a look at the local SEO ranking factors from a recent Moz survey. I wanted to break these down and help local marketers understand what exactly needs to be done to optimize for the primary ranking factors. We can further analyze this information in our quest for the perfectly optimized landing page.

The following are the ranking factors that are relevant for local SEO landing page optimization:

  1. City, state in landing page title. Easy enough — let’s make sure the page title is optimized!
  2. Click-through rate from search results. This highlights the importance of relevance and a well-optimized title + meta description.
  3. Topical keyword relevance of domain content. It might be a challenge to make the whole domain relevant for the keywords you are targeting on a single landing page, especially if you are a multi-location business with separate pages for each location. But you can certainly ensure your whole domain is relevant for the service keywords. If you only have a handful of locations, ensure you mention them on the service pages, or at the very least link to your “our locations” pages on all service pages. Create a clear link between service and location for your users and the search engine.
  4. Quality/authority of inbound links to landing page URL. This is a given, and if we have a local link, then we should point it to the local landing page. This is only made easier when those landing pages are of a given quality.
  5. Product/service keyword in landing page title. This is a no-brainer, and the page should be titled for the big terms we want to rank for.
  6. Page authority of landing page URL. Some authority will be inherited from the site, but often it takes some direct link-building to this page to help move the dial — so the better the page, the easier it is to build those links.
  7. City, state in landing page H1/H2 tags. This is just more common sense, and if you can mention what you do and where you do it in your landing page header tags (heading or sub-heading), then it will only help with relevancy.
  8. HTML name, address and phone number (NAP) matching location NAP. More common sense, and if we want Google to trust the address, we should use it consistently on these two key locations.
  9. Load time of landing page. Slow pages annoy users. Whether this is truly a ranking factor matters not, so keep your page fast and lean so it works well on mobile phones and skinny data connections.
  10. NAP in hCard/ on landing page URL. This is really one of those one-percent ranking factors, but if you can mark up the NAP so Google can use it and display it confidently, then it will only help.
  11. Geographic (city/neighborhood) keyword relevance of domain content. This is really outside the scope of a given landing page, but where possible, consider all the locations where you operate in a sensible way throughout your site. Connect the dots between service pages and location pages with consistent usage of your main locations.

This is not to say every one of these is relevant for every job, but we will want to factor in as many of these as possible in our quest to get the SEO signals dialed in for our landing pages.

2. The perfect landing page

Much of the landing page science comes out of the PPC industry. After all, if you are paying to drive traffic to a given page, then you naturally want to squeeze every last bit of performance from the page. There is no absolutely perfect layout, and the right page is going to very much depend on what is being promoted; however, we can take some guidance from time-tested best practices.

  1. Ad copy & context. This is pure PPC perfection, but using landing pages allows for super-tight messaging between the ad and the page. It certainly does not hurt to consider the context here and the language your users will search with before they hit your page. Align the language and pump up the conversion rate. Local SEO has some parallels, as we are generally quite narrow in the targeting, with keywords and location being the key.
  2. Page headlines. Your page headline should lay out your positioning and engage the user. A primary headline can often be backed up with a secondary headline. This should be a clear and concise delivery of your unique selling proposition (USP) and value proposition. Let someone know exactly why they should do business with you over the myriad other businesses jostling for their business.
  3. Product features. We will need to list the specifics of the product or service: exactly what you do. This is to explain to your customer exactly what your service entails and to help cover all variations of how a customer may search. If you are a 24-hour emergency locksmith with no call-out charge, then make sure you detail this on the page.
  4. Product benefits. This is old school marketing sauce: Detail the features, but extol the benefits of your product or service. Really explain how your service will benefit the client. How you will take away their pain and what they will gain. This is the emotional component to your sales copy which pushes the user to get in touch. Ignore this at your peril.
  5. Location map. We are focusing on location landing pages here, so we want a map detailing where you are or at least where you service if you don’t have a local address. Ideally, this map should provide driving directions so the user can be guided in.
  6. Call(s) to action. We need a strong and clear call to action. We want to allow folks to get in touch via a means that best suits them, so a form and a phone number will ensure the best overall results for local business enquiries. I tend to prefer one big CTA (call to action), but we can also use a smaller secondary CTA at the bottom of the page to hoover up those leads for those that traverse the full page length.
  7. Social proof. We need reviews, testimonials, and even case studies where relevant. Prove to your audience beyond a reasonable doubt that you can do what you do and do it well.
  8. Your team. A strength of local businesses can be that the customer gets to deal with a local representative. Not a call centre. So, put your team in front of people. Humanise the landing page and show Tom, Dick and Harry from the office who will be answering your call.

The perfectly optimized local landing page

So it naturally follows that the perfect local SEO landing page is also a finely tuned lead generation page. This ticks the boxes for Google, and most importantly, it achieves what your customer is looking for.

To better illustrate this, we have created the following Infographic that shows how you can implement all of these key SEO and landing page elements onto a killer landing page (click to enlarge):


Embed this image on your website using this code:

<img src=""><p>The Perfectly Optimized Local Landing Page, by <a href="">Bowler Hat</a> and <a href="">Search Engine Land</a></p>

(Note: Feel free to download, use and share this infographic as you see fit, but please drop a credit back to this post or to my site.)

SEO and landing page synergy

It is easy to get trapped in too narrow a perspective — whether that is SEO, PPC, landing page optimization or one of the other myriad digital marketing tactics. My intention here was to illustrate how lessons from one discipline will often complement and improve another.

I would love to see your local landing pages and how you are generating leads from Local SEO traffic, so hit me up on Twitter @MarcusBowlerHat.



[source :-searchengineland]

Report: EU responding to Google antitrust search-quality defense with new objections


According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, regulators at the European Commission (EC) are preparing a “supplementary statement of objections” in the existing shopping search antitrust matter. The EC filed the original “statement of objections” (formal antitrust charges) regarding Google’s alleged abuse of market power in early 2015.

While the EC focused exclusively on shopping search in the original charges, it is widely expected that shopping is a kind of template for other potential “search bias” cases against Google. If the EC succeeds, nearly identical charges will likely follow in other vertical search areas such as local, maps and potentially travel.

The supplementary statement reportedly allows the EC to address arguments and claims made in Google’s formal response to the EC’s original statement of objections. In a blog post reflecting the arguments made to the EC, Google vigorously asserts that the evolution of its search results pages has been about improving quality and the user experience and is not an abuse of market position:

Google has always worked to improve its services, creating new ways to provide better answers and show more useful ads. We’ve taken seriously the concerns in the European Commission’s Statement of Objections (SO) that our innovations are anti-competitive. The response we filed today shows why we believe those allegations are incorrect, and why we believe that Google increases choice for European consumers and offers valuable opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker also argues that the EC fails to consider the presence and impact of companies such as Amazon and eBay in its competitive analysis. The EC’s supplementary statement will respond to these arguments.

In addition to the shopping search action, Google faces a second antitrust front in Europe, regarding Android-OEM contracts. And there may be third complaint soon surrounding AdWords publisher agreements.

If any one of these results in fines, it could mean billions in penalties and a change in business practices for Google. It could also mean the loss of some control over the way Google presents search results.


[source :-searchengineland]

SearchCap: Google Search Console emails, EU antitrust expanded & more


Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google Search Console bug sends re-verification notifications to users
    Jul 8, 2016 by Barry SchwartzDon’t panic, says Google — That verification email from Google Search Console was an accident, but it may be a good time to check to see who is a verified user on your account now.
  • What’s New With Markup & Structured Data
    Jul 8, 2016 by Eric EngeContributor Eric Enge recaps a session from SMX Advanced on structured data markup in its many forms.
  • Report: EU responding to Google antitrust search-quality defense with new objections
    Jul 8, 2016 by Greg SterlingSupplementary statement reportedly being filed to enable European Commission to address Google’s defense against claims of abuse of market position.
  • The perfect local SEO landing page
    Jul 8, 2016 by Marcus MillerColumnist Marcus Miller shares tips, advice and an infographic on creating highly optimized, high-converting landing pages for local SEO.
  • Search in Pics: Matt Cutts body armor, portable farmers market & Google rents out Great America
    Jul 8, 2016 by Barry SchwartzIn this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. Matt Cutts in body armor after joining the Digital Defense team: Source: Twitter Small farmers market […]
  • Using automation to execute PPC strategy
    Jul 8, 2016 by Jeff BaumLooking to automate aspects of your PPC campaigns? Columnist Jeff Baum discusses how to define your automation requirements and choose the right kind of technology.

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

  • SMX Advanced recap: Advanced Google App Deep Linking
  • Making your content perform beyond just SEO
  • The myth of prepackaged “sales-qualified” leads
  • SocialPro 2016 recap: What Your Social Data Should Be Teaching You
  • MarTech Today: Yahoo bots for Facebook Messenger, leveraging marketing data & more

Search News From Around The Web:

Local & Maps

  • 3 Things to Do Today to Get More In-Store Visits from Local Search, BruceClay
  • Apple Maps adds 29 Flyover locations, expands traffic and transit, Apple Insider

Link Building

  • Google Says Penguin 4.0 Still Has Not Launched, Search Engine Roundtable
  • Google Says You Don’t Need To Disavow Links That Are No Longer Relevant To Your Site, Search Engine Roundtable
  • No Google Penalty for Not Linking Out to Other Sites,


  • 3 Server Errors That Drain SEO, Practical E-Commerce
  • Google Says We’re Always Updating & Improving Our Search Algorithms, Search Engine Roundtable
  • Google Search Console and the average position in Search Analytics, Bronco
  • No Google Ranking Boost for Using Both XML & HTML Sitemaps,
  • Using Google Analytics to Look at Just Google Organic Traffic – Were you hit by an algorithm change?, Marie Haynes Consulting

SEM / Paid Search

  • Ask Yoast: Facebook or Adwords advertising?, Yoast
  • Google AdWords Display Banner Specifications and Best Practices, Portent

Search Marketing

  • Advanced New Tail Keyword Research,
  • Managing the Tensions & Tradeoffs Between UX & SEO – Whiteboard Friday, Moz
  • Video: Google Algorithms, Penguin, Search Console Bugs & AdSense Cancellations, Search Engine Roundtable


[source :-searchengineland]

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video]

Like David Ogilvy, mid-20th-century ad man Rosser Reeves promoted a hard-sell approach and thought advertising should do one thing: sell.

And sell he did.

Campaigns for Viceroy cigarettes, Carter’s Little Liver Pills, Listerine mouthwash, and Colgate toothpaste boosted sales and put these brands on the map.

His goal was to get customers to recognize a specific brand proposition — what has become known as a unique selling proposition (USP).

But what exactly is a unique selling proposition? And why is it so important?

Watch our 60-second video about unique selling propositions

With help from our friends at The Draw Shop, we whipped up 12 definitions from our new Content Marketing Glossary into short, fun whiteboard animated videos.

Check out our video for the definition of USP:

Animation by The Draw Shop

And for those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:

In essence, a unique selling proposition (USP) is something that you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not offer.

It’s also known as a “remarkable benefit.”

In the late 1970s, FedEx effectively branded itself as the fastest, most reliable shipping service with its tagline: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

That was the remarkable benefit no other company could claim.

And once you identify that unique element for your business, you’ll know exactly what the theme of your content marketing should be, which will eventually become the big story of your business.

Share this video

Click here to check out this definition on YouTube and share it with your audience. You’ll also find 11 additional Content Marketing Glossary videos.

Additional USP resources

For more information about unique selling propositions, visit these three resources:

  • Your Unique Story Proposition
  • How to Discover Your Hidden Remarkable Benefit
  • Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference

Learn more from the Content Marketing Glossary

Ready to master content marketing essentials? Watch all of our animated whiteboard videos right now by going directly to the Content Marketing Glossary.

By the way, let us know if there are any definitions you’d like us to add to the glossary! Just drop your responses in the comments below.


[source :-copyblogger]