Monday, 18 June 2012 19:31
Bouncing back from disappointing trends in 2011, total advertising spending in the first quarter of this year inched up 2.6%, compared to the previous year period, according to a new report from Kantar Media.
Expenditures for all media totaled $32.9 billion, Kantar said Monday.
Advertising expenditures increased across every television media type in
the first quarter of 2012. Sports programming was the engine behind
year-over-year gains of 7.4 percent in Cable TV and 7.0 percent in
Network TV spending. More than two-thirds of this dollar volume growth
came from sporting events, led by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
and NFL post-season games. Comparisons were helped by a calendar timing
shift that moved ad money for the NCAA Final Four games out of April and
into the very last day of Q1 2012.
Syndication TV budgets rose 15.7 percent and were aided by more hours of
programming as well as audience ratings gains. Spot TV, benefitting from
a biennial business cycle tied to political advertising and Olympics in
even-number years, saw spending increase 2.5 percent versus a year ago.
The following article is no longer available —Kantar Media Reports U.S. Advertising Expenditures Increased 2.6 Percent in the First Quarter of 2012 – MarketWatch
U.S. advertising spending rebounds in first quarter – latimes.com
Monday, 18 June 2012 15:28
Image search, by one definition, is query results, accompanied by thumbnail graphics and supplanted by contextual information, that best match users’ search queries. Such information can be generated and submitted by the image creator, by site owner where the image resides, or by 3rd party reviewers.
The images you see in Google’s search results come from publishers of all sizes — bloggers, media outlets, stock photo sites — who have embedded these images in their HTML pages. Google can index image types formatted as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG and WebP, as well as SVG. But how does Google know that the images are about coffee and not about tea? When their algorithms index images, they look at the textual content on the page the image was found on to learn more about the image. They also look at the page’s title and its body; they might also learn more from the image’s filename, anchor text that points to it, and its “alt text;” they may use computer vision to learn more about the image and may also use the caption provided in the Image Sitemap if that text also exists on the page. To help Google index your images, make sure that:
- Google can crawl both the HTML page the image is embedded in, and the image itself;
- the image is in one of their supported formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP or SVG.
Additionally, we recommend:
- that the image filename is related to the image’s content;
- that the alt attribute of the image describes the image in a human-friendly way;
- It also helps if the HTML page’s textual contents as well as the text near the image are related to the image.
- Title for Image – Add a suitable descriptive Title for images. Include your keywords in the Title as well.
- Long Desc Attribute – If the image is extremely important and has got some text in it,
- Get Links – Get a few links that points directly to the image itself.
- Link Out – If possible use that image to link out to another page about the image
- Enhanced Image Search – Log in to your Google Webmaster Tools account and activate Enhanced Image Search feature.
- Ranking of the Page – Google image search also considers the ranking of the parent or the linking page.
Places where image search results appear, and are indexable into general search engines’ contextual results, include:
- Major search engines – either within contextual search results or vertical image search
- Photo sharing sites (Flickr, Webshots, PBase, Fotki)
- Social image sharing sites (MySpace, Facebook)
Resource Articles for Google Image Search –
Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: 1000 Words About Images
Optimizing Images for Search Engines – Search Engine Watch (#SEW)
10 Things You Can Do To Optimize for Image Search | Search Engine Journal
Sunday, 17 June 2012 10:39
With scripts, you can:
- Use external inventory data to either change bids or pause/unpause keywords.
- Output account statistics to a spreadsheet from which you can create reports and visualizations.
- Use stats trends over several weeks to change keyword or ad group bids.
Scripts run in the Google Apps Script infrastructure, and in addition Google enabled Apps Script integration with three services: you can use Google Spreadsheets and Url Fetcher to integrate with external data, as well as email results of a script execution from the script itself.
AdWords scripts include built-in support for Google Spreadsheets and HTTP services, allowing you to pull in important data and take action in your account. Additionally, the ability to send email makes it possible to develop advanced reporting and data analysis solutions. Google expects that customers with limited resources or technical expertise will find this a compelling platform for building specialized tools and workflows.
adGroup.createKeyword(“mars”, 0.50, “http://www.example.com/mars”);
Having a simple interface means that not every feature or setting is exposed, but it should limit the need for deprecations and migrations. Scripts can currently operate against campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords, with the possibility of new data being made available based on customer demand. No registration or developer token is required to write scripts and they are free to use.
In the coming weeks Google plans to enable this feature for everyone. In the interim, they are accepting (now available for everyone) applications for access. Applicants will be whitelisted in batches as they ramp up usage in the system. In order to apply, you will need an AdWords customer ID (not a My Client Center ID).
If you are the creator of a news aggregation website, what should you do to protect yourself against lawsuits? Short of licensing all of the content you use, there are certain best practices that you can adopt that are likely to reduce your legal risk.
- Reproduce only those portions of the headline or article that are necessary to make your point or to identify the story. Do not reproduce the story in its entirety.
- Try not to use all, or even the majority, of articles available from a single source. Limit yourself to those articles that are directly relevant to your audience.
- Prominently identify the source of the article.
- Whenever possible, link to the original source of the article.
- When possible, provide context or commentary for the material you use.
Content Curation and Content Sharing Best Practices in General
1. Be Part of the Content Ecosystem
Be part of the content ecosystem, not just a re-packager of it. Often, people think of themselves as either creators or curators as if these two things are mutually exclusive. The most successful curators include sites like The Huffington Post, that embrace the three-legged-stool philosophy of creating some content, inviting visitors to contribute some content, and gathering links and articles from the web.
2. Follow a Schedule
Audiences expect some regularity, and they’ll reward you for it. It doesn’t need to be a schedule that you can’t keep up with. If you want to curate three new links a day, and write one big post a week, that’s a schedule.
3. Embrace Multiple Platforms
It used to be that your audience came to you. Not anymore. Today content consumers get their information on the platform of their choosing. That means you should consider posting short bursts on Tumblr, images on Pinterest, video on YouTube, and community conversations on Facebook.
4. Engage and Participate
Having a voice as a curator means more than creating and curating your own work. Make sure you’re giving back by reading others and commenting on their posts. A re-tweet is one of the easiest ways to help build relationships with fellow bloggers and curators.
5. Share. Don’t Steal.
Take the time to give attribution, links back, and credit. The sharing economy works because we’re each sharing our audiences, and providing the value of our endorsements.
6. Identify Meaningful Topics & Sources
To get started with a content curation strategy, it’s important to start with your audience in mind. What topics and content formats that relate to your business will they find meaningful? You can find content related to your business, such as industry trends and statistics, tips and how-tos, informational or entertaining videos, or community-related sources to curate.
7. Curate Strategically Across Sites
With most social media and content marketing strategies, a variety of sites play a part. So make sure you’re curating content strategically across all your sites. For example, you can schedule tweets and Facebook posts that link to interesting content, but try not to inundate your audience with the same content posted on all your sites at the same time.
8. Quote & Cite Carefully
When quoting or citing someone else’s content, it’s important to only quote a small portion of the work, typically only about 10-15% of the whole article.
9. Share Infographics Wisely
Most of the time, the creators of infographics expect them to be shared on other blogs, websites, and sources that will link back to the original source. This strategy can help a website build inbound links, boosting its relevance in search. So, if you discover an infographic you want to re-post on your site, check to see if it has a copyright notice on the bottom that restricts the resharing of the unique image first.
Resources used for this article:
5 Tips for Great Content Curation
What’s the law around aggregating news online? A Harvard Law report on the risks and the best practices » Nieman Journalism Lab
Content Curation: 5 Tips for Sharing Content Online
“Mark Zuckerberg obviously has an ambitious vision for the future of Facebook, so we thought it would be funny to imagine what would happen if this sudden pressure to make money caused them to focus on the very, very short-term and completely sell-out their users. We wondered, ‘What would Facebook do if they didn’t care about existing a month from now?’”
****** Video no longer available******
But this isn’t the first time that joking claims have been made about how facebook would look in a fee based scenario. Blog site TechTree.com did an April fools joke that said:
“Users will get two account options – Free and Pro. Free accounts will let users post photos and links, but will have size limited to thumbnail only, big banner ads and popups. Moreover, users will have to take a paid survey for each login. However, Facebook reassures that the entire process won’t take more than 10 minutes. The Pro account will let users post, share and view videos without worrying about the size and quality. Facebook said that starting next month, all users will be migrated to free accounts if they do not pay an amount, which is not disclosed as yet.”
But in all seriousness, what would be some great paid features? Give us your ideas and feedback…
What could Facebook make “pro” features that would actually be worth paying for?
Saturday, 16 June 2012 06:22
If you manage PPC campaigns appropriately, then you undoubtedly conduct a lot of tests. Many of these tests probably fail.
One of the most important elements of conducting tests – especially ineffective tests – is communication. You need to make sure that all stake holders understand what was tested; why the test wasn’t successful; most importantly – what was learned.
Testing within the realm of PPC can include launching new keywords, restructuring campaigns and ad groups, trying new or extreme ad messaging, landing page optimization, or experimenting with new tools such as conversion optimizer (CPA bidding) or Google Display Optimizer.
Every new account, every adgroup, every keyword, every ad is a test. There are no guarantees when you start – which keywords will work, which ads, which search networks, and so on. Everything’s a test in the beginning. And no matter how long your account has been running, the way to improvement is always to keep testing- keep what works, throw out what doesn’t, and try to learn from that in the process.
Some of the big mistakes people make in PPC in regards to testing are:
- Not testing at all
- Not having conversion tracking in place so you can measure test results by the right metric
- Running too many tests for your budget
- Running too many tests and lowering account performance
- Not padding tests to reduce the risk of performance decreases
Why test PPC?
1. You’re paying for this traffic. Pages that don’t convert are sucking money on a constant basis. For competitive keywords (high search volume, high competition, high click through and high cost-per-click) the cost can be astronomical.
2. You can predict purchase intent by referring keyword. (This is not possible in Google Website Optimizers and some other testing platforms). When you can control for what the purchase intent is (e.g. “accounting software for small business” vs “accounting software for non-profit”), you can better craft messaging. Both searches may point to the same product, but the highlighted features, headline, messaging and testimonials can all be laser-targeted to the end-user.
3. You can optimize for the medium. Paid search lands directly on the product or offer page, which means the visitor has not navigated through your site and may not be familiar with your value proposition, offering, etc. You can apply the learnings you’ve gleaned from web analytics about paid search vs. rest of site traffic to these pages (use your Advanced Segments in Google Analytics or other platform).
4. When you optimize for the most popular product pages, you’ll drive more traffic to your checkout (and your checkout test, which may speed test completion there as well).
5. You can run unlimited tests concurrently (I’ve said it once before but it bears repeating). Plus, your learnings may be applicable to the rest of your site (e.g. headline A converts better than headline B across a number of tested keywords). This is efficient!
Resource Articles for PPC Testing:
How to Recover from a PPC Test That Crashed & Burned – Search Engine Watch (#SEW)
The 5 Biggest Mistakes in PPC Testing | Search Engine Journal
Why You Should Test PPC Landing Pages First | Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog
Saturday, 16 June 2012 05:42
Could social media become an essential tool in predicting and tracking health epidemics and outbreaks? A recent study from the University of Iowa, found Twitter provided a real-time view into the spread of H1N1, allowing researchers to accurately predict occurrences of the flu before cases were formally reported.
Twitter posts were cross checked against reports at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), revealing a correlation between CDC cases and certain phrases that would pop up related to fever temperature or doctor visits.
After analyzing 17 million mentions of illness in Facebook posts and tweets (separating “Bieber fever” from actual fever) and plotting genuine ailment mentions on a map, founder of Sickweather, Graham Dodge, has noticed trends in how disease spreads throughout the United States.
Everyday thousands of people around the globe update social media sites like Facebook and Twitter when they (or someone close to them) get sick. Posts like “I’m sick,” “the doc says I have bronchitis” and “My son has chickenpox.” When this information is made publicly available by the user and contains location information, Sickweather is able to track and map this data using their patent-pending algorithm. Alternatively, Sickweather allows its members to report directly to our map and forecast anonymously via the input field under “How Are You Feeling Today?”
How Social Media Tracks Disease
Saturday, 16 June 2012 04:56
You want an internship huh? Can you imagine that you posted this video on Friday, and it was viewed on Saturday (it only had 3 views at the time) and the 4th viewer was a Top Internet Marketing Firm in Florida. If you want to intern with us we’d be interested in talking…
Give us a shout..
Video resume for social media internship – YouTube
Thursday, 14 June 2012 18:27
Google’s Matt Cutts announced the other day that Google is considering offering a tool that would let webmasters (aka SEO personel) to disavow certain inbound links. In fact Matt Cutts says “…Some have suggested that Google could disavow links. Even though we put in a lot of protection against negative SEO, there’s been so much talk about that that we’re talking about being able to enable that, maybe in a month or two or three…” Negative SEO (a tactic used by the most unscrupulous individuals/companies) has been a concern of the SEO community for quite some time, and this proposed plan could in fact put an end to their concerns.
Brian Rider SEO Director here at That Company is in fact interested in how Google will determine the difference between legitimate uses of the tool and blatant SEO sculpting.
We definitely look forward to such a tool and believe that it will be of great benefit to us and all of our clients. To learn more about Google’s proposed “link disavow” tool read more here. If you have any questions about Negative SEO feel free to ask us.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 07:30
The conversion path is the sequence of pages visited and links clicked by a visitor to your website that leads to a successful transaction being completed. If you’re spending money to drive users to your site, you should also be making sure that those users are converting. This can be done by optimizing the entire path, from the keyword to the ad to the landing page, in a process I like to call Path Optimization. Path Optimization means that you are optimizing both your acquisition-driven SEM campaigns and conversion-driven landing pages, together. This covers a user’s entire path from the search engine through to the landing page conversion.
Website visitors follow many different paths before, eventually, a frustratingly small percentage will go on to become customers. These paths are hard to visualize, because they rarely represent linear journeys. Many visitors will visit a website several times before making a purchase, probably looping back and forth between pages in what seems, to the website designer at least, a totally illogical pattern.
The key to designing a successful conversion path begins with defining the expectations that you hope to fulfill. Don’t just be aware of the expectations you are setting pre-click; be decisive and blatant about the promises you make and have a plan in place to follow through.
5 ways to insure you are setting user expectations correctly:
- Message match
- Branding alignment
- Be honest
- Uncover the details
- Outline what’s next
Is your ad copy reflected in your landing page headline or sub-headline? Write a headline that reinforces the user’s decision to click into your path.
Does the color scheme of the page match the banner ad upstream? Insure the user doesn’t have to second-guess if they’re in the right place.
Are you getting clicks with tricky link text or deceiving images? The quality of the click is more important than the click itself.
Is your page cluttered with extra navigation and unintentional bailout links? Eliminate any elements that don’t support the next step in your path.
Is it obvious what the user is committing to do? Make clear what’s about to happen, “Get a quote in less than 10 minutes” or “Sign up now to start your free trial” or “3 easy steps to register”
Reference Articles about Conversion Path Optimization
Increase Your SEM ROI: Path Optimization & the Search Funnel | Adobe Digital Marketing Blog
Connecting the Dots of the Website Conversion Path | SeeWhy
Performics’ Common Sense Guide to Conversion Optimization: – Performics Performance Marketing Blog: SEM, SEO, Social & Display
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