June 2011 -
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Archive for June, 2011

Why we do what we do

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords, Quality Score, Uncategorized

Friday, June 17th, 2011

“In service to the searcher”

The first priority of AdWords is to create the best quality SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to serve the searcher. AdWords controls 50% of the most valuable Internet real estate on the planet and our job is to pursue SERP perfection. We are not fools so we are very aware of the fact that obtaining perfection is impossible, but it is the pursuit that is important.

You might think something like “I am paying for AdWords and I want it to serve my needs first.” This is a nice thought, but a failed concept. The value you get is from the interaction with the searcher. You can only get there if you serve their informational need first. The value of traffic is created by the engagement of the searcher with the value statement of your business.  We must serve the searcher before that value can be created.

We get calls from people all the time that are trying to control the market and the reality is that the market is a thousand times more powerful than the business. Control is an unlikely outcome in a mismatch like this. The strategy needs to be in service to the market, not in an attempt to control the market. You cannot win if you try it the other way around.

There are lots of system manipulations, some of them work once in a while, but none of them work long term. You can trick a person into clicking on an ad with deceptive copy, but it is unlikely you will hold the upper hand all the way to the finish line because they hold all the power. I will be the first to admit that there are businesses that work on a one-sale model, but our clients need the recurring business and the long term relationship to build a good business. For that reason they need to get the right traffic to their site and that means serving the searcher first.

To be in service to the searcher we need to make sure that the ads on the SERP are the highest quality match to the searcher’s query. The magic of AdWords is the keyword model of both positive and negative words to connect directly to the searcher’s need. Since 1994, when I started working in web marketing, I have yet to meet a person that did not know their keywords. It is a rare person however that knows their negatives. To serve the searcher the ad needs to appear when it serves their informational need but no other time. You might think that there is no cost to the extra impression of your ad, unfortunately that is not true. That impression goes into the quality score which is multiplied by your bid to calculate your rank so it really does cost you in the long run.

We like to think about the search process as the start of a conversation. The searcher enters a few words as a clue of their interests and we match that to the keywords related to the ad copy which is our response to their query. You say hello and I say Good Morning, it really is that simple. The really tough part here is when they click on your ad you need to continue that conversation on your landing page or the only thing that will happen is a charge to your credit card.

Privacy Policies

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

First it was Microsoft and now Google is getting into the Privacy Policy Enforcement business.  Microsoft has been rather heavy handed and inconsistent on their policy enforcement shutting down accounts for what it deems to be a problem. It seems if your page takes input from the visitor there is very exact language required in your privacy policy.

Here is Google Blog Posting from Inside AdWords on this:

If your site requests payment, financial, or personal information from visitors, please review the new requirements and make any needed changes to avoid having your ads suspended.

  1. Clear, accessible disclosure before visitors submit personal information
    Our existing policy requires you to clearly describe how any personal information you solicit will be used. Soon, we’ll require that your description must also be easily accessible before site visitors submit their details.
  2. Option to discontinue direct communications
    In the same description of how personal information will be used, you’ll also be required to describe how people can opt out of future emails, phone calls, or other direct communications.
  3. SSL when collecting payment and certain financial and personal information
    Many websites use what are known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to encrypt sensitive information that travels between the user’s browser and the website’s servers. To help ensure user safety, AdWords policy will require all advertisers to use SSL when collecting payments and certain financial and personal information (like bank account and social security numbers).

Source: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/05/upcoming-adwords-policy-changes-to.html

Microsoft’s policy appears to be very similar especially on item 2. We had a situation with them where they shut down two accounts over the exact words in the privacy policy. It seems that the magic words are “You may opt out of any future communications including but not limited to emails, phone, or mail. By sending a notice to via email to <email address> or by mail to <business name and address>.

Both Google and Microsoft are requiring that the advertiser states in their privacy policy that they will obey the law. The CAN-SPAM law specifically requires that you honor an opt-out request within 10 days. It seems that Microsoft and Google are now assuming the role of the Government in this area. The timing is such that I wonder if the Government is pulling the strings on this one.

For the SEO only people in our audience you have to wonder. What they will do to your organic score, if you do not have a privacy policy? My gut tells me that it will not be very pretty.

The bottom line here is if you have no privacy policy and have any input on your site you need to fix this before something bad happens to your site. If you have no policy http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/ can generate a policy for your site and it’s free.