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Archive for Internet Marketing’ Category



$50 Free Linkedin Advertising Coupon

I guess that every single Linkedin member will be getting one of these by email, but if anyone else hasn’t got one already, and they want mine, please leave a comment…

Small Print:-

Offer Expiration: You must create your LinkedIn Ads account before the expiration deadline of 11:59 p.m. GMT on 1 March, 2012

LinkedIn Ads customers are subject to a one-time USD $5 activation fee.

You are responsible for all charges in excess of the promotional credit. (Control how much you spend by setting a daily budget and ending date for your campaign. You can turn off your ads and campaigns at any time.)

English is currently the only supported language for advertisements.

This promotional offer is only valid for new LinkedIn Ads customers. One promotional offer per LinkedIn member. This promotional offer can only be used once, may be forwarded to another LinkedIn member, but cannot be sold or bartered. Promotional credit will be applied during the creation of a new Ads account, when you enter your billing information. All Ads are subject to the LinkedIn Ads Agreement and the LinkedIn User Agreement. This offer may be revoked at any time for any reason by LinkedIn prior to your creation of an Ads account and entering the voucher code by you. All prices are in US dollars. Please be aware that your bank and/or credit card company may charge you a currency conversion fee. Please check with your banking institution for any fees you may incur prior to placing your order as we are not responsible for any additional fees charged to you by any third party.

If you need assistance or have questions, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.
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©2012 LinkedIn Corporation, Inc. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, and InMail are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All rights reserved.

LinkedIn Corporation, Inc. 77 Sir Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland

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Microsoft Search Alliance In UK Delayed Until June 2012?

I would post a link to this – but it appears to be broken at present.

The crux of the matter is, not so long ago, the MS / Yahoo search advertising alliance was due in January 2012. But the last official news on it (on 7th November 2011) was that it was now due in ‘the second quarter of 2012’ which means it could be June 2012 before you have the luxury of managing your Yahoo and adCenter campaigns from the one interface (if you’re lucky)!

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Landing Pages Now Affect AdWords Quality Score!

Previously to this announcement from Google:-

It was a common misconception that your landing page affected Quality Score.

It didn’t. What it did do was affect your minimum first page bid estimates. This discouraged people from having rubbish landing pages, but if you could create fantastic ads, bid high to start with and get a great CTR, then this was a minor inconvenience.

Not any more apparently…

When searching on Google, users appreciate results that are relevant and deliver a great experience after they click. In August, we announced trials in Brazil, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Spain, and Portugal1 that increased the weight given to relevance and landing page quality in determining Quality Score and how ads are ranked on Google. The goal was to improve the user experience with search ads. Based on the results we’ve been seeing, we’re now rolling these changes out globally over the coming weeks.

This is one more nail in the coffin for affiliate marketers who want to use AdWords to sell other peoples products and services (Google clearly wants to be the only affiliate allowed to use Google).

They also explicitly state landing pages should :-

Feature original content that can’t be found on another site. This guideline is particularly applicable to resellers whose site is identical or highly similar to another reseller’s or the parent company’s site, and to affiliates that use the following types of pages:

Bridge pages: Pages that act as an intermediary, whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company
Mirror pages: Pages that replicate the look and feel of a parent site; your site should not mirror (be similar or nearly identical in appearance to) your parent company’s or any other advertiser’s site

Provide substantial information. If your ad links to a page consisting mostly of ads or general search results (such as a directory or catalog page), it must also provide additional, unique content.

So they are clamping down on people who have more than one (similar) web site, and more than one AdWords ad on the SERPs at any given time. Again – Google want to be the only firm allowed to ‘double dip’ in AdWords.

They also now state that user reviews are important i.e. you must :-

Honor the deals and offers that you promote in your ad.
Deliver products and services as promised.
Only charge users for the products and services that they order and successfully receive.

So, for anyone who has one web site, that sells their own stuff, and has good reviews from customers – will this have any major effect? I don’t think so.

Everyone else – I would start getting worried!

For anyone wanting basic information on Quality Score this is quite a good little video:-

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Why Google Places Reviews Are *Even More* Important For Your Business Than They Were Before

In a previous post about

Why Google Places Reviews Are Important, And Will Become Even More Important In The Future.

I touched on what Google Places reviews mean for the restaurant business in Northern Ireland.

Since that post, Google have stopped using reviews from third party web sites, and are now only showing reviews posted from Google accounts.

Here is what happened on my Android phone previously when I looked for ‘Restaurants’ :-

Google Places Local Restaurant Reviews, Northern Ireland.

As you can see, there were 71 great reviews for The Cuan.

But here is what the search results look like now :-

Oh no….  There is only one review for the Cuan now, and it has moved down to second in the results.

To make matter worse:-

The one review I am shown is only 4 stars!

What does this mean for the local restaurant business (and all local businesses across the UK to an extent)?

It means there is a huge opportunity to make sure your customer service is as good as it can be, and make sure that customers add positive reviews to your listing in Google Places.

If you miss the opportunity to do this right now, you will be playing catch-up for a very long time to come…

*Update – 17th August 2011* – Here is yet another reason why you really, really need to take notice of Google Places reviews – Google Related – finding related content as you browse.

*Update – March 2012* – Here is another piece of research which backs up how important customer reviews are on local listings :- 72% Of Potential Customers Trust On-line Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations.

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How Accurate Is The Google AdWords Traffic Estimator?

Hint – the short answer is “not very”.

While logged in, using a max. CPC of £5, and targeting the UK, here is the estimate for keywords that I am already bidding on :-

No matter how much I adjusted the bids and budgets, the AdWords Traffic Estimator insisted that I could not get more than 9 clicks per day, and if I set the max. CPC at a more realistic 50 pence, it reckoned I could only expect a max. of 3 clicks per day.

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) *:-

Average CPC = £0.22

Total Clicks = 31

Total Cost = £6.80

So as you can see – to say it is is not very accurate is a bit of an understatement!

*This campaign / ad group is using CPA bidding, and has relatively good keyword Quality Scores, and fairly good ad text – but all the same, I am still getting 4 times the number of clicks at around on eighth of the estimated CPC.

Just in case this was a fluke – lets look at estimates and actual figures for another ad group from another campaign.

(I’ve set the max CPC to £1 this time)

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) *:-

Average CPC = £0.33

Total Clicks = 12

Total Cost = £4.07

Again, more clicks and much better value were had than the traffic estimator would have you believe.

The above 2 examples were based on ad groups that had fairly specific, product related keywords. So let’s try an ad group that has more ‘generic’ keywords…

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) :-

Average CPC = £0.07

Total Clicks = 35

Total Cost = £2.49

At this point, you either start to believe that the traffic estimator is always pessimistic or PPCNI are absolute magicians when it comes to writing compelling ads, and optimising bidding strategy (OK – there may a *little* bit of truth in the latter :-)

OK – one final try on a completely different account, that has not been managed by PPCNI for 12 months yet* (This time I have adjusted the max CPC to get the estimated average CPC close to the actual CPC:-

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) :-

Average CPC = £0.37

Total Clicks = 318

Total Cost = £117.10

Well, there is a turn up for the books – the estimates are actually fairly accurate in this case. Possibly, this is because these search terms are much higher volume than the other ones …

I’d like to add some more observations from other ad groups, but I don’t have any other ad groups that have had a lot of traffic over the last 12 months and have not been extensively tinkered with…

So with the limited amount of data I have I would say that it *seems* if you are good at setting up AdWords, and you are targeting keywords that don’t have massive search volume, then the AdWords Traffic Estimator is usually pretty pessimistic.

If anyone has any similar experiences (or if you have ever found the traffic estimator to be accurate), I’d love to hear from you…

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Why Google Places Reviews Are Important, And Will Become Even More Important In The Future.

If there is one thing that pretty much all tech commentators can agree on is that smartphones are radically changing how people use the internet, and with over 500,000 new activations every day, the Android operating system already has the largest market share, and it is conceivable that at some point it will have more market share than all the other smartphone operating systems combined – Android market share to surpass 40 percent this year.

Here is a screen-shot from my Samsung Galaxy S Android phone after I tap the ‘internet’ icon:-

Here is what happens when I tap ‘Restaurants’:-

If I’m visiting the Portaferry area, and I’m looking for a restaurant, what do you think the chances are of me visiting the Cuan?

How much do you think this will affect restaurants in Northern Ireland when 40% of the population not only has an Android phone but knows how to use it?

Here is another scenario – someone has mentioned the Cuan might be worth visiting, and I decide to search for “The Cuan” on Google on my phone – here is the result :-

Do you think the 39 5 star reviews, and the wonderful comment will sway me at all?

I contest that it doesn’t matter so much if the Facebook Page for your restaurant has thousands of fans, and your Twitter account has thousands of followers. Good reviews for local businesses are far more important.

For the record – I also give The Cuan 5 Stars if anyone values my opinion in any way (and in the interests of fairness, if you are in the area, The Saltwater Brig and The Quays are also 5 out of 5).

While on the subject of local (Northern Irish) reviews, check out the local review site that was developed, and run by local people – It’s a great site, and if you add your review there, it will generally get scraped by Google and make it’s way into Google Places…

PS – for anyone wondering how to get a screen-shot on their Galaxy S (As I was until 5 minutes ago) – see How to take Screenshot with Samsung Galaxy S without Rooting, no PC. (Although I has to press the home key twice for some reason).

Android market share to surpass 40 percent this year

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The Google Display Network

When it comes to a direct return on your investment – in the vast majority of cases, the Google Search Network will easily beat the Google Display Network.

But that is not to say that the Display network is never worth using.

With that in mind – here are some pre-recorded webinars by Google that will be of interest if you want to use it for Branding or Re-Targeting/Re-Marketing (and perhaps even *sometimes* for getting a great direct return on your investment):-

Creating Effective GDN Campaigns:

Advanced Optimization Techniques:

Remarketing on the GDN:

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