I Must Not Understand The New Math

By far the most popular way to manage a PPC campaign is by ROI. That makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s the new math… $100K Spend X 5:1 ROI = $500K Revenue – $100K Spend = $400K Total Revenue $500K Spend X 2:1 ROI = $1Mill Revenue – $500K Spend = $500K Total Revenue Last time I checked $500K was better than $400K right? So ROI and budgets are not super awesome happy fun measures of success. So why all the focus? Has the math changed? By the way, if you’re thinking of investing, you might want to check out OFOM miner. ADDED: To be perfectly clear I’m talking about a case where increasing a spend that significantly brings your ROI down. Understanding this is harder than playing video games with elo boosting services. The point of my question is that even at a lower ROI with a greater spend if you get more to the bottom line why would you constrain yourself with ROI? Read more about this on FootwearGeek.

Interesting Duplication In bing

I have a minor medical condition called trigeminal neuralgia and it recently started flaring up a tiny bit. Nothing major but it’s been in remission for months and decided to see if bing had any news on new treatments etc so did this search: trigeminal neuralgia. Below is a screenshot of what I saw: <br srcset=” width=”455″ height=”429″ /> The color coding shows the duplication. Not much variety there at all. In my opinion if you get to be listed in the one box that should be your listing for the page. What say you?

Client Communications – The Old Black

In the arms race of SEO it seems to me in the past couple years we’ve forgotten some of the basics. We’re all focused on our cool tools are and fancy monthly reports. I see so many people stumbling over the basics of effective client communications.

It comes up every year in some report or another that customer service is more highly valued than the actual results. That said, don’t be mistaken and think that you’ll keep clients just cuz you write a good email, are good the phone or dog-gone-it people like you. If you’re not getting some level of results you should have your ass fired, and companies as Malaysia SEO services have this present for when they do their work.

Here’s a few things I’ve picked up in past years of SEO communications.

1- Screenshots – If you’re reporting finally cracking the top 10 on Google for a top term for a client send them a screenshot with your email. Rankings fluctuate daily in some verticals and then there’s all the geo crap that Google does so your client may not see it as you see it. Sure screenshots can be faked but if you and your client are actually worried that you’re lying to each other you might as well terminate the relationship right now.

2 – The Bad News Sandwich – We’ve all had to communicate bad news to a client at one point or another. I don’t remember where I learned about the Bad News Sandwich but it’s a very simple concept. Basically you bury your bad news between other items in an email. Ideally the other items are good news. The point is don’t lead with bad news and don’t end with bad news. The good news may be that you’re holding steady on some rankings. No big deal but it’s worth saying.

3 – The Plan – So you’ve had to share some bad news and you buried in the middle of other news. That’s a good start. The next piece of that same communication is that  plan you have to combat the bad news. DO NOT EVER share bad news with out a plan. Even if you current plan is to simply figure out what happened so you can create a better plan tell your client you are working on it and you are working on it RIGHT NOW.

4 – Ownership – You are going to mess up. There’s no way around it. Own up to your mistakes and offer the plans to fix them. If you keep blaming the search engines when results aren’t achieved then you really aren’t a search professional and you should be fired anyhow.

There you go. Four quick points to remember when you are communicating with your clients.

Remember: Results aren’t enough if you’re a jackass.

Just bing it

Last week Microsoft launched bing and invited a bunch of people to hang out in Bellevue for a couple days and get indoctrinated provide feedback. I like a lot of what I saw using both my eyes (one is good and one is evil). I also mouthed off to several Microsoft folks that I would use bing for two weeks and blog my adventure.

So…being true to my word I am now using bing for as much as possible short of google specific searches for client work just like i did for the best scroll saw blog.

Keep an eyeball here for my complaints observations.

Measuring Online Marketing Success – It’s Just Math People

***GUEST POST by Chris Hooley***
As a corporate SEO and marketing guy after I had my plastic surgery with Dr. Benjamin Swartout, I admit I have had to restrain myself from slapping myself (or somebody else) in the head in the executive suite.  It seems like everybody has their own version of what success online actually means. They said, “we need more hits, “we need more clicks, “we need more subscribers, or one of the worst if not properly qualified “We need to be number 1 for [insert your phrase du jour]”.Is that what our goals really are? Clicks? Hits?Page views? To me it sounds like either somebody bought some snake oil, or they’re just trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about. Come on, we’re all business people, we all need validity data integrity solutions  to help manage the complexities of CRM data administration of our business online . Seo agency can help your website make it to top. eterpro Atlanta, a digital marketing agency in Atlanta, will increase the number of customers of your business.  We all should be trying to bring in one thing. More REVENUE. Clicks, Hits, Subscribers, #1 Rankings, Page views,buy Youtube dislikes etc. are all just paths to your goal. It is appropriate to chase all of the above, but the amount of effort and energy you pour into each has to be measured against their actual value. And the problem I most often encounter is that people have a tough time grasping the actual value of different measurable key performance indicators. To increase your company’s productivity thru social media this blog sendinblue review and alternatives can help you. As an SEO guy, sometimes it goes against your gut to tell somebody that best seo hamilton Define Your Multipliers It’s fine and dandy to have reporting, but it doesn’t actually mean much without assigning monetary values to each metric. I like Brink Unlimited SEO a lot, so let’s start with that. Google Adwords provides some neat campaign performance reports. You probably need to pull them daily if you’re handling a budget larger than a shoe string. To the average business person, it looks like a bunch of techie jargon. So you need to be able to quickly assign values to each metric. Here are some common key performance indicators that I like to call MULTIPLIERS:
  • Impressions
  • Views
  • Visitors
  • Clicks
  • Sign-ups
  • Calls
  • Prospects
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Fulfillment, Shipment, Funding, Disbursement, Mailout, Contract, etc etc (final stage)

Calling any of these “conversions” can make things confusing. The web guy might think a conversion is a click to a lead. But the sales guy says a conversion is a lead to a sale. The operations guy thinks conversion is a sale to a fulfillment. And the deacon thinks a conversion is a heathen to a choir boy. So we need to be clear and try to avoid the word conversion unless everybody already agrees on its meaning. Assign Values to Your Multipliers First, you need to know how much revenue you brought in for the time period you are reporting on. Let’s say you have 10 sales in a given reporting period for a PPC campaign. Your revenue is $1,000. You spent $400 on marketing costs so far from the best loans for bad credit. This scenario looks good, because your marketing costs are in the black and you have $600 to pay operating expenses and / or pocket. Divide the number of sales by your cost and you have a cost per sale of $40. Now divide your number of sales by your revenue, and you see your revenue per sale is $100. You’re making $60 a sale, which is a pretty good return in most cases. It’s pretty easy to assign a value per sale. The neat thing is, you can use this same simple logic to assign values to any of your multipliers. To get your cost per action for any action in any campaign, divide the over all cost by the number of each action. So if it took 100 clicks to get those 10 sales, you know your landing page is converting at 10% and you know your value per click is $10.You use that number to guide your bidding. And to kick your web designer in the butt for creating a landing page that only converts at 10%. For those not in the trenches of web marketing, I am over simplifying much of this, but you can also check the awol academy where you will find the basics for marketing. To learn more about the latest marketing strategies today, checkout Chatmeter for more information. There are usually so many other factors to consider. Numerous buckets of keywords, multiple PPC channels, different conversion rates for each. And to make the matrix even more messy, different times of day, different cities, different days of the week, and different seasons will usually yield different conversion rates on each. Not to mention market AND marketplace conditions will affect all of these KPIs. Leads generated from the 3rd ad slot will probably have a different conversions than those from the #1 spot. But that kind of stuff is why I get paid to manage stuff like this. To be really really good, you need to have a strong handle on all of those nuances. Assign Actual Values to Your SEO Campaigns Too It can be frustrating trying to explain the importance, or even play down importance of SEO when talking in generalizations. Some people have it in their head that SEO is a magic bullet. This goes for SEOs and business people alike. But sometimes, let’s be honest, SEO is not the answer. If nobody is searching for your new invention, you’ll have to use other channels to generate market awareness before your natural search rankings will have real value. Or if you’re getting into a super saturated market which will take a ton of effort, time, money, or a combination of all three, then sometimes the return is not worth the investment. When making an argument either for or against SEO for certain verticals or keywords, knowing the approximate true value of those rankings will make all the difference. Fortunately SEO is actually similar to PPC in the way you measure success. If you isolate your search engine traffic, especially keyphrase by keyphrase, you can get an accurate measure of conversion rates on your site. This might not be quite as simple as measuring conversion rates on PPC, but it’s pretty close. Close enough so that you can now take your revenue generated from that traffic, and divide it by the cost of gaining those rankings. Sometimes it’s easy; if you bought 10 links, and that’s all you did for SEO, then you have your true cost. But usually it’s more complex. You may have to take into consideration your time, your co-workers’ time, retained SEO services, publishing costs, content generation costs, and all kinds of other indirect costs that are associated with SEO. But once you have your actual cost, the rest is the same. If your revenue is more than your cost, clearly you’re on the right path. Now that you know what your site’s conversion rate is for similar keyphrases, you can use search volume tools like Google’s keyword suggestion tool, and their trend tool to get click projections.The keyword suggestion tool shows actual search volume per keyword, which is pretty sweet. If you know where you rank for a particular keyword, you can use the data you have now on conversions, then divide the number of searches for that keyword by your actual clicks to get your click through rate. Once you have that, you can use the AOL search data to make some pretty strong guestimates on click volume for each of the top 10 positions. After applying these methods, you should have a pretty good idea of how valuable that keyphrase actually is for your company. When you have a really strong handle on how much SEO will probably cost for new keywords (in both time and money) and you know what it will return, you can make intelligent and calculated decisions on whether or not to attack certain keyphrases. And you can speak in pure numbers, which makes things so much easier. And if your numbers are a wash, just remember if you’re breaking even on SEO costs now, in the future when you peel back, your rankings will still be bringing in business. Sometimes it’s worth the up front investment, especially if your company isn’t cash poor. Again, this is an over simplification of a pretty complex matrix.� There are still a lot of unknowns or in-exacts that you’ll have to have a pretty good handle on.� For example, the higher you rank for a keyphrase, the higher your conversion rate on your site usually is.� Traffic value from each of the search engines will be different.� Your competition’s SEO efforts might not be as easy to detect initially, giving you a false sense of how easy cracking open a market might be.� But these nuances, again, are the reason people like us get paid to manage this stuff. See more info on. // bio thingie- This was a guest post by�Chris Hooley, a�Phoenix SEO. He writes pretty good posts, but really crappy bios. 🙂

Also, a professional company that offers web services is here in Wellington! Kindly take a look at the site here.

Diggin Text Links

What’s next, Google? You’re gonna slap my site as well if I link like this without a nofollow? I don’t think

Why Rand Fishkin Doesn’t Follow You

I love twitter. I mean I really really really love twitter. It’s so much fun and really quite useful. Twitter is fully a part of my days and is quite fully integrated into my life at this point. Being this addicted to twitter makes it hard to step back and understand how others use the service. I’d say it’s a safe bet that applies to a lot of us based on the barrage of crap and criticism Rand Fishkin (@randfish) takes everytime he raises his head on twitter.

Let’s face it, there’s probably nobody else in our little corner of twitter, that gets more crap for not following everybody back. As of right now Rand has 4740 follwers and only follows 9 people himself. What does this mean? Well, it could mean that Rand is using twitter as a broadcast medium and not a conversation medium like the rest of us. Is that true? Let’s look:

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hmmmm – looks like any other twitter stream out there. Actually, it probably has more @s than a random page of my tweets. 

I hopped on IM with Rand today and we got chatting about twitter and how he uses versus how I use it and I think I get it now. Read on for an examination of how we use twitter differently and how I think Rand could engage better on twitter with out it costing him too much time and focus. 

Let’s talk about Rand first because it’s easy to break down his twitter methodology. Rand follows 9 people that important to him personally. He only follows those nine because he doesn’t want to miss anything they tweet and if he were to follow hundreds of people his important 9 would be too easily lost in the flow. Rand also has most everybody he follows sent to his phone. Imagine if he added just one more follower: me. I alone would mess up that system entirely.

Rand also doesn’t use any tools. He used his mobile, and the web interface. If those are the only tools you use and want to actually keep up with anything then yeah, 9 follows is pushing it. 

Rand’s basic twitter philosophy is to follow a handful of personally important people fully and then use search.twitter.com to look up anything else. That’s fine. I get it. It’s just exactly opposite of my philosphy. My philosphy is to follow a ton of people and then go to their individual feeds as necessary to back read and catch up when needed. I use twitter to see what people are talking about right NOW and then jump in. Rand uses twitter to see what his circle HAS BEEN talking about.

I follow a bit over 600 people right now and it’s always growing. I have one rule about following people: If you @ me I will follow you back once I verify you aren’t a bot. It’s that simple.  How do I manage to follow that many people and not miss too much stuff? I’ll tell ya and maybe Rand will even adopt some of these ideas and have more fun with twitter.

First off I use TweetDeck on my desktop and run twitter on a second monitor along with IM and email. Communications is a monitor to itself. TweetDeck rocks because it allows you to group and segment your twitter feeds in a variety of ways and display the custom feeds in side by side panels. My TweetDeck has several panels:

  • All Friends
  • Replies – all @oilman responses
  • Group: Oilman – gotta keep track of what I’ve tweeted
  • Search: MrsOilman – keepin and eye on the wife
  • Direct Messages
I could make it more detailed but that basic config works for me. Here’s how I suggest someone like Rand could use TweetDeck:
  • All Friends
  • Replies – all @randfish responses
  • Group: Randfish- gotta keep track of what he’s tweeted
  • Group: Rand Clan – put your 9 in here 
  • Search: SEOmoz – track mentions of the company
  • Direct Messages
Here’s my TweetDeck:
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ok – let’s move on to Mobile.

When Rand says “mobile” I’m assuming he means SMS only because he has a Windows Mobile phone and there is crap for apps for those things. Possibly he’s using the mobile web version of twitter but is pretty awesome suckage as well. Rand, if I’m wrong let me know and I’ll update this section. Using twitter via SMS alone sucks. I don’t blame anybody that has a low follow count if this is the case.

I have an iPhone and I died a little inside when I bought it but I love it for twitter. There are a ton of decent twitter apps that make using twitter on the road a breeze. I use twitterfon as well as bookmarking some custom search results in Safari. I use the custom search results in a effort to avoid bumping up against twitter’s annoying API limits. I don’t have a single person I follow sent to my phone via SMS but I do have all Direct Messages sent to my phone. I do that mostly so I can entertain you all by tweeting my cell phone number when I’ve forgotten to add the “d username” to the SMS. All in all I much prefer using twitter from the desktop of laptop vs my iPhone but it’s very managable either way.

So why doesn’t Rand Fishkin follow you? Honestly? Cuz twitter simply doesn’t factor into his life the same way it does into yours and mine. If you think that because he’s not following you he’s not paying attention you are sadly mistaken. 

Sorry to all you that thought I was going to slap Rand around hehe. Sure, I’d love to see him engage more on twitter. It often feels like twitter is the bar at a conference and we’re all mixing and mingling and moving around have a good old time and Rand is standing by the entrance trying to decide if he should come party with us. Rand, come on in. The beer is cold and people are friendly. Oh, and my twitter id is @oilman if you ever want to follow me back 😉

Yahoo Search Submit Explained

I’ve been gainfully and happily employed at Position Technologies now for about 5 months and it never ceases to amaze me how few people have heard about Yahoo Search Submit (you might know it as Yahoo Paid Inclusion) let alone understand how it works. I figured it would be beneficial to take some time today and break it down for you. A lot of what you’ll find below has been lifted from www.positiontech.com so I feel pretty ok about flat out copying it hehe.

First off, before we get into the different flavors…what is Yahoo Search Submit? Simply put it is a pay for inclusion program that guarantees review for inclusion in the Yahoo natural search results (Search Submit Basic). Additionally you can pay for on a flat rate cpc basis to gain more control over how and when your site is indexed and how fresh your organic search listings are (Search Submit Pro). Of course, there are no guarantees. Yahoo! Search Marketing has a thorough set of guidelines that must be met for acceptance into these programs. There are basically two types of programs:

Search Submit Basic

The fastest way to promote your Web site!

Yahoo Search Submit Basic assures your content will be included in the Yahoo search index, providing you the largest market reach available from a single service.

Price: $49.00 per URL annually (Limit 5 URLs per Domain)

Benefits include:

  • Quick Inclusion ensures that your content is included within the Yahoo! Search index, generally within 4 business days
  • Weekly refresh updates that allow content to be updated frequently
  • Basic Performance Reports that provide essential insights on how URLs are performing in the Yahoo! Search engine, including number of clicks and the average rank of displayed URLs
  • Tool that analyzes the contents of the submitted URLs and provides feedback regarding metadata and content on the page

Feed Services

Trusted Feed Advantages:

Designed for large or dynamic sites, our Trusted Feed program gives Webmasters ultimate control of their search engine presence by leveraging the advantages of direct data feeds to Yahoo! and the leading shopping engines.

Price: Variable CPC

Benefits include:

  • Guaranteed indexing of every Web page you submit – including deep dynamic pages.
  • Performance-based pricing ensures that you pay only when your URL is clicked.
  • Enjoy the freedom of a rapid, 48-hour refresh – you’ll know that your content, Title or price changes are immediately updated and available to your customers within 48 hours.
Ok so we know there are two flavors. What does that mean product-wise for you? It means your choice is 3 products. Search Submit Basic, Search Submit Pro – Self Serve, and Search Submit Pro. Well, not really your choice. There are monthly minimums and URL counts to be considered. They are as follows:

Search Submit Basic

  • Number of URLs per Domain: Limit of 5
  • Minumum Budget: None
  • Review/Subscription Fees: $49/yr/URL non refundable fee
  • Cost Per Click: None
  • Time For Inclusion: 3-5 days (on average)
  • Average Refresh Rate: 7 days (per Yahoo! guidelines)
  • Customized Titles: No
  • Customized Descriptions: No
  • Support: Online/FAQ
  • Online Reporting: Search Terms, Ranks and Clicks
  • Online Account Management: Yes
  • Dedicated Account Manager: No

Search Submit Pro – Self Serve

  • Number of URLs per Domain: Up to 4000
  • Minumum Budget:  None
  • Review/Subscription Fees: $150/domain, one-time, nonfundable fee
  • Cost Per Click: Based on Content Category
  • Time For Inclusion: 3-5 days (on average)
  • Average Refresh Rate: 48-72 hrs (per Yahoo! guidelines)
  • Customized Titles: Yes (per Yahoo! guidelines)
  • Customized Descriptions: Yes (per Yahoo! guidelines)
  • Support: Email and phone
  • Online Reporting: Search Terms, Ranks, Clicks, Click Cost and URLs
  • Online Account Management: Yes
  • Dedicated Account Manager: No

Search Submit Pro

  • Number of URLs per Domain: Unlimited
  • Minumum Budget: $1500/month
  • Review/Subscription Fees: None
  • Cost Per Click: Based on Content Category
  • Time For Inclusion: 3-5 days (on average)
  • Average Refresh Rate: 48-72 hrs (per Yahoo! guidelines)
  • Customized Titles: Custom Optimization
  • Customized Descriptions: Custom Optimization
  • Support: Email, phone and assigned account manager
  • Online Reporting: Search Terms, Ranks, Clicks, Click Cost and URLs
  • Online Account Management: Yes
  • Dedicated Account Manager: Yes
And there you have it. The basics of Yahoo! Search Submit. Now before all you affiliate webmasters and lead gen junkies get all fired up and think this is a slick way into Yahoo! please read this first: Search Submit Content Guidelines (via Yahoo! Search Marketing)
If you’d like to know more please drop me an email: todd at positiontech dot com.

Affiliate Summit West 2009 – Oilman And A Giant Crab

Wow – was Affiliate Summit already a month ago? Crap. They were super cool to give me a press pass and I’m only now getting around to writing up my thoughts on the show. Sorry Shawn.

I wanted the stir to die down so I could re-engergize the coverage…yeah…that’s my story.

As many of you know I started my SEO career as an affiliate selling Phentermine and Viagra. Back then there was no real affiliate community like we see today. I’ve been out of the game for several years now so you can only imagine my jaw was on the floor when I showed up in Vegas last month. The place was crawling with affiliates, merchants, technology companies, and affiliate network companies. The show floor was packed. I haven’t seen that many booths at conference outside of maybe SES NY in a long time. You literally could hardly move through the aisles. 

The other thing that really struck me was how well attended the vast majority of the sessions where. People were hungry for information and by and large were asking very well thought out questions. I even unoffically joined the SEO panel with some of my good friends (@davesnyder, @cshel, @ericlander and @scottpolk). I ran around with the microphone doing my best Vanna White impression. The panel went really well. We even wound up with this great video review: 


On the last day of the show I was having coffee with Heather Paulsons and ran into a long time friend of mine, Kris Jones, from PepperJam. We talked at length about the lack of crossover between the affiliate conferences and the more traditional confernces. I can safely say I will be working hard this year to make it to ASE09 in NY – maybe even as a speaker – hint hint ;). 

The show was refreshing to me and I’m motivated to use some the that time I spend watching TV in the evenings to get back into some affilaite marketing for a little extra pocket change as well as some new learning opportunities. I’m actually starting to learn how to do some PPC for my own stuff but don’t tell all my SEO buddies – they’ll disown me.

This was my second Affiliate Summit. I went one of the very first shows years ago and I am absolutley impressed with what Shawn and Missy have built over the years. Well done. I’ll be back.

As a parting gift – here’s me with a giant crab at ASW09:


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Martin Schaedel – One In A Billion

A long time friend of mine was tragically killed in a plane crash this week. If you didn’t get the chance to meet the mysterious and charismatic Matin Schaedel then you missed out. I had the opportunity spend a fair amount of time with him over the years at various conferences here and abroad and my life, both personally and professionally, is better for it. 

I met Martin for the first time in London in 2002 and I remember thinking to myself “How did that kid get in here?” Then I spoke to him and found myself speaking to a bona fide business man that had knowledge and ability far beyond his years. For years after that I was constantly amazed and baffled when I would hear about his business exploits. If I can be half the entreprenuer he was I’ll be happy. The connections Martin made over the years are truly impressive and I’ve never met a singler person that didn’t out right love him within 30 seconds of meeting him.  He took us all along with him in some way or another by always thinking of his friends and including us in opportunities at every possible turn.

Martin my friend, I wish I’d had more time and been more intentional with our friendship. Rest In Peace.

Thanks to Brett Tabke for sending me this picture. I’m glad to have it:


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More memories of Martin:

  • Morten Lund
  • Dave Naylor
  • WebmasterWorld
  • Fred Wilson
  • Danny Sullivan
  • LA Times
  • Twitter @martin
  • Silicon Alley Insider
  • Martins Flickr Stream
  • All Things Digital