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Whether you do SEO for a living or consider yourself a newbie, most people involved in search engine marketing know that there are two ways to go about it.

White hat and black hat.

White hat SEOs are the Jedi. We have tons of midi-chlorians in our bloodstreams and work for the forces of good in the universe.

This means promoting high-value content, engaging in deep keyword research to win in SERPS, and in general, promoting our websites or the websites of our clients using the methods that follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Black hat SEOs are the Sith. They are afraid that doing high-quality work to boost rankings takes too much time, so they take shortcuts that aren’t exactly laid out in Google’s best practices.

And we all know that fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering…

sad dog

Some of these black hat techniques can be attractive to people who are new in the SEO space! Ranking well in search engines takes a lot of time and effort, and finding ways to hack the system is understandably appealing for those new to search engine marketing.

 

When I was starting out, I used a few of the techniques detailed below and guess what? I got no results! My websites were all indexed correctly, but I wasn’t able to get anything to rank for meaningful searches until I learned the ways of the White Hat Jedis.

So what happens when you try to implement black hat SEO strategies? You may make slow progress for some time, but you’ll eventually get hit with a Google Penalty.

If you’ve already been hit with a penalty, it’s time to read The Definitive Guide to Recovering From a Manual Search Penalty.

What Are Google Penalties?

Penguin

The original Penguin update was launched in 2012. Google relies heavily on links from one domain to another to determine a website’s authority. The penguin update crawled the web for any website attempting to game the number of links pointing to their site.

Over 10% of search results were affected, some of which were removed from Google search results entirely.

Since then, website owners and professional SEOs have been keeping a pulse on Google’s search algorithm updates.

Panda

The Panda update is a bit different. Its goal is to filter search results to prevent “low quality” sites’ content from ranking. While the definition of “low quality” is subjective, Google has their own course on creating valuable content, so it’s easy to see what they consider to be high-quality when it comes to digital content.

What Do Google’s Penalties Do?

If your website gets hit with either a Penguin or Panda penalty from Google, the results are the same: the loss of your current ranking position in search results and a huge dip in your organic traffic. All because of a few black hat methods you used to try to promote your website.

 

And if your website relies heavily on organic traffic from Google, a penalty could result in a downward spiral that could put you down for good.

Black Hat Strategies to Avoid

While there are many strategies black hat SEOs use to try to game Google and rank well in search results, these are the most highly used and the most likely to get your website penalized by Google.

Links

Getting in trouble with the internal links in your website or external websites linking to you could result in a penguin penalty. Here’s what you want to avoid when it comes to links.

Buying Links

Why most people do it: Arguably the most important ranking factor is the quality and quantity of links back to a website. It’s logical to think that buying links from websites with high Domain Authorities is the easiest way to get backlinks without putting in a lot of work.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Buying links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It’s an easy way to get on Google’s bad side and receive an automatic or manual penalty. It’s unlikely you’ll get away with buying links without leaving a trail. Google tracks links that are likely purchased and those which are likely natural, so gaming Google is more difficult than you’d think.

Reciprocal Links

Why most people do it: When Website A offers to link to Website B, Website A might think it’s a good idea to ask Website B to link back to them as well. That way, they get a bit of link juice in return.

Why you shouldn’t do it: If there’s a purpose for both websites to link to each other, such as a partnership, then reciprocal links make sense. But if the entire purpose of the two-way link is “link juice,” you run the risk of getting penalized.

Footer Links

Why most people do it: A backlink from the footer of another website is seen as valuable because it’s a link back from every page on their website. Because all pages contain a footer, when you add the link just once, it’s like adding a backlink from every page on that site.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Similar to reciprocal links, if there’s a purpose, like telling readers who built the site, then it makes sense to include it. If the link is purely included to gain authority, is from a completely disconnected website or contains non-branded anchor text, the risk of a penalty is real.

Hidden Links

Why most people do it: By hiding text or links, some people think that you can include lots of links back to your site without Google even knowing about it.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Googlebots are smart and know when your website has any hidden text or links. Having hidden links is bad, but the double whammy comes in the fact that Google crawlers can see a different website than your visitors. That’s a big no-no and is one of the easiest ways to get penalized and drop in the rankings.

Comment Spam

Why most people do it: Some websites allow users to add a comment below a post, and sometimes those comment sections allow links. This is an easy way to link back to your site, right?

Why you shouldn’t do it: Wrong. Linking back to your site in the comment forms of other websites is spammy and something Google doesn’t want to see. In Google’s eyes, links should be earned through quality and valuable content, not posted in a comment form in just a few seconds. If you can add something to the conversation and a link back to your site in a comment is relevant and brings value to the readers, then it’s probably OK to include it. If not, try something a little less black hat.

Anchor Text Overuse

Why most people do it: Most SEO beginners are susceptible to this. When trying to rank a page or post for a specific search phrase, they try to link back to their websites using related anchor text. For example, someone trying to rank “brand new sailboats for sale” would link back to their website with 100 links, all with the anchor text, “brand new sailboats for sale.”

Why you shouldn’t do it: Again, Google sees what you’re trying to do. You’re attempting to rank well for a specific search phrase by using contextual anchor text. In the past, this worked pretty well! But not so much today. Google prefers branded anchor text instead of keyword anchor text — it’s more natural to link back using the anchor text, “Marty’s Boat Emporium,” because it’s more natural and suggests the link validates trust.

Malicious Backlinks

Why most people do it: To be clear, nobody does this to themselves on purpose. Nobody attempts to get links back to their website from malicious websites. Unfortunately, there are many black hat SEOs, spammers, and hackers out there who embrace the dark side and will try to damage another site by linking to it from a site that is spammy or even unindexed.

Why you shouldn’t do it: When a site that Google deems is spammy links to your site, it can hurt your ranking. If you see links from precarious websites coming to your website, it’s most likely they didn’t pick your site specifically, and they link to everyone. If you do find that there are suspicious websites linking to your website, use the Google Search Console Disavow Tool to ask Google to ignore the link.

Content

Publishing content that doesn’t provide any real value to your website visitors is grounds for a panda penalty. Here’s what to avoid when it comes to content.

Duplicate Content / Content Theft

Why most people do it: Producing high-quality, valuable content takes a lot of time and effort. For that reason, some people think they can take content published on another website and reuse / repurpose it on their own. Now your website can have great content without the pain of producing original content, right?

Why you shouldn’t do it: Not quite. Google is very particular about duplicate content and, in general, doesn’t like to see the exact same content spread across multiple domains. If you find a piece of content that you think your audience would find really valuable, it is possible to republish that article on your website as long as you have the permission of the original author and fully disclose the fact that it’s being republished. But if you’re thinking about blatantly copying content from another site, you’ll run the risk of a Google penalty.

Over-Optimization / Keyword Stuffing

Why most people do it: This is another common error for those new to the SEO world. Some people think that the more they optimize a page, the better their page will rank, so they include ten H1 tags and repeat the keyword phrase they’re trying to rank for over and over again.

Why you shouldn’t do it: This actually used to work. In 2000, if you wanted to rank for “purple elephant,” all you had to do was include the phrase “purple elephant” a few times in your title, a few times in your H1 tags, and ad nauseam in your content. But in 2017, Google is looking for the content that provides the most value to searchers. That means over-optimizing is out and focusing on giving the most comprehensive answer to a user’s queries is in.

Hidden Content

Why most people do it: Similar to hidden links, some people think they can include content that’s the same color as the background of the site. They do this to include textual keyword phrases in the website without affecting their users’ experience.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Again, Googlebots know when your website has any hidden text or links. Google’s priority is the users, and hidden content definitely counts as a bad user experience because it’s something bots can see but your visitors can’t. This is a big no-no and is one of the easiest ways to get penalized.

Security

While having an unsecured website can’t technically get you a Penguin or Panda penalty, it could result in the loss of your valuable rankings.

Hacked Website

If your website gets attacked or injected with malicious code and Google finds out, they can block your website for people using their search engine.

Not only will this cause you to lose the trust of anybody who visits your site from organic search, but it will cause your website to drop in the rankings just like a Penguin or Panda penalty would.

While it’s true you may receive a notification through Google Analytics that your site has been hacked, it still could mean a real penalty for your website in search results if Google knows your site contains malicious code.

To Wrap It Up

It should seem obvious that when it comes to black hat SEO, the numbers just don’t add up. Produce high-value content, follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and most importantly, don’t be in a rush.

Do yourself a favor and become a Jedi, not a Sith. It will pay off in the long run.

Author:  Joe Howard

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/11-black-hat-techniques-can-kill-seo-campaign/180601

Categorized in News & Politics

It’s time you know that an Effective Marketing Campaign doesn’t need to be too difficult or expensive. All successful online marketing campaigns should be within the grasp of any business whatever your budget is. An organized, planned online marketing campaign circling through different targeted sites is not too difficult to coordinate, does not have to be too costly and can generate sales and traffic faster than any other online marketing efforts.

Committing to these steps below and following them through can create a cost effective campaign and guaranteed investment returns within a short period.

It’s time you know that an Effective Marketing Campaign doesn’t need to be too difficult or expensive. All successful online marketing campaigns should be within the grasp of any business whatever your budget is. An organized, planned online marketing campaign circling through different targeted sites is not too difficult to coordinate, does not have to be too costly and can generate sales and traffic faster than any other online marketing efforts.

Committing to these steps below and following them through can create a cost effective campaign and guaranteed investment returns within a short period.

1. Make sure to define your customer

Just as important as naming your business or defining your product, it is even more important to define your customer. If you are yet to do your marketing plan within your business plan, you are missing the most important thing. Taking up this exercise now is the best thing to do. Creating your marketing plan should be focused on your unique Selling Proposition via promotions and advertising planning.

 

2. Know your targets

Defining your customer is one thing and knowing where to get your customer is another. Where you post your ads matters – how much customers do you generate from there? The most effective marketing campaign is the coordinated efforts across several venues and sites where your customers always visit. Having your ads on several places retains the strength of your message and your visibility in these sites.

Cross-promoting complementary sites to your visitors will show your visibility in these sites too and this will provide reinforcement to your message. Areas to consider in this regard should be Holiday Specific sites which are often well promoted. You might have a different view too.

Considering websites, newsletter or social media for your ads, your focus should be on the search engine placement, the traffic, external linking to this site, the types of messages in the current ads and the quality of the messages. Having a knowledge of these will reveal to you if;

  • You already have competitors on this site.
  • The advertising is complementing your business.
  • If the ads are completely related or unrelated to your business or calculated traffic of the site. With this, you will know if your message is fit to be on this site.

3. Set and examine your budget

It shouldn’t be surprising when some people think setting your budget should be the first move. But in reality, you can only create a better budget for your online business when you already know what is involved and you have a good idea about what it will cost. You really can’t do this when you have not figured out your targets so you can see why the idea of placing budget first may not work well if you need real online marketing campaign success. The mistake most people make is, they need the best for their budget without any knowledge what the best will cost. If you already have a budget made, going back to your marketing campaign sheet and totaling all your intended ad posts cost will reveal what your chances are, either below your budget or exceeds your budget. Until you have a clear understanding of your overall online marketing campaign cost, don’t be too sure about your budget.

Once you have a clear list of what ads you intend to post, you would be able to prioritize them going with your budget as to where you will get the most exposure if your budget is below the estimated ad posts cost. Also, if you are involved in Pay-Per-Click advertising, it’s advisable to always ‘log in’ daily for the first seven days (1 week) to monitor the results of your ads. This is just to ensure you are paying for results.

 

Make sure to ask if your payments cover ad swaps and bartering and consider this as part of your budget.

4. Organizing your Ad content

It’s true that online marketing works but best when the focus is on one or two things at a time. You may have different kinds of products but choose one of these or two that are attractive enough to your target market and this will do a lot of campaign magic than collecting all items and writing contents all about them. Most of your target customers just want to read something short and interesting with a beautiful image to behold.

Now the question you should ask yourself is “what actually am I selling”? a product or a service. Make sure what you are selling is beneficial and attractive enough to capture the target’s emotional interest. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you are selling beauty and using ads that relate to the customer will have the most success.

Next ask yourself again, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty. Create many emotional words relating to the product- stimulating enough, addictive, relaxing, comforting and fun. You must be able to attract your target or customer.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Your Ads

In maintaining an effective marketing campaign, it’s essential to track and react to your campaign successes. Right from your Website Stats to the PPC Stats, there are diverse ways to check and determine what is really working out for you as planned and which isn’t working. With absolute concentration, you should be able to learn much about your ads and how to sharpen them for best results ever.

The most effective way to track your campaign ads is using tracking services that help track your activities. There are special advertising management services which help you track your ad performances, free or less costly services that are relatively very easy to implement which give powerful ad tracking management and support. Note that some venues such as Facebook ads provide their own ads reports.

The KEY

Ensure that on daily basis for the first 14 days, you keep reviews of your different ads. Make an inventory of this in a tracking sheet and search out for any patterns. Which of the ads are performing, where they are performing and why are they performing there? From here you can easily detect which ads are not working and remove or replace them.

Just as important as naming your business or defining your product, it is even more important to define your customer. If you are yet to do your marketing plan within your business plan, you are missing the most important thing. Taking up this exercise now is the best thing to do. Creating your marketing plan should be focused on your unique Selling Proposition via promotions and advertising planning.

2. Know your targets

Defining your customer is one thing and knowing where to get your customer is another. Where you post your ads matters – how much customers do you generate from there? The most effective marketing campaign is the coordinated efforts across several venues and sites where your customers always visit. Having your ads on several places retains the strength of your message and your visibility in these sites.

Cross-promoting complementary sites to your visitors will show your visibility in these sites too and this will provide reinforcement to your message. Areas to consider in this regard should be Holiday Specific sites which are often well promoted. You might have a different view too.

Considering websites, newsletter or social media for your ads, your focus should be on the search engine placement, the traffic, external linking to this site, the types of messages in the current ads and the quality of the messages. Having a knowledge of these will reveal to you if;

  • You already have competitors on this site.
  • The advertising is complementing your business.
  • If the ads are completely related or unrelated to your business or calculated traffic of the site. With this, you will know if your message is fit to be on this site.

3. Set and examine your budget

It shouldn’t be surprising when some people think setting your budget should be the first move. But in reality, you can only create a better budget for your online business when you already know what is involved and you have a good idea about what it will cost. You really can’t do this when you have not figured out your targets so you can see why the idea of placing budget first may not work well if you need real online marketing campaign success. The mistake most people make is, they need the best for their budget without any knowledge what the best will cost. If you already have a budget made, going back to your marketing campaign sheet and totaling all your intended ad posts cost will reveal what your chances are, either below your budget or exceeds your budget. Until you have a clear understanding of your overall online marketing campaign cost, don’t be too sure about your budget.

Once you have a clear list of what ads you intend to post, you would be able to prioritize them going with your budget as to where you will get the most exposure if your budget is below the estimated ad posts cost. Also, if you are involved in Pay-Per-Click advertising, it’s advisable to always ‘log in’ daily for the first seven days (1 week) to monitor the results of your ads. This is just to ensure you are paying for results.

Make sure to ask if your payments cover ad swaps and bartering and consider this as part of your budget.

4. Organizing your Ad content

It’s true that online marketing works but best when the focus is on one or two things at a time. You may have different kinds of products but choose one of these or two that are attractive enough to your target market and this will do a lot of campaign magic than collecting all items and writing contents all about them. Most of your target customers just want to read something short and interesting with a beautiful image to behold.

Now the question you should ask yourself is “what actually am I selling”? a product or a service. Make sure what you are selling is beneficial and attractive enough to capture the target’s emotional interest. For instance, if you are selling cosmetics, you are selling beauty and using ads that relate to the customer will have the most success.

Next ask yourself again, “What am I selling”? It’s rarely the product or service. You are selling a benefit, something that registers at the emotional level. If you are selling fishing rods, for example, you’re selling the excitement of successfully landing that monster in the lake. If you are selling cosmetics, you’re selling beauty. Create many emotional words relating to the product- stimulating enough, addictive, relaxing, comforting and fun. You must be able to attract your target or customer.

5. Tracking and Monitoring Your Ads

In maintaining an effective marketing campaign, it’s essential to track and react to your campaign successes. Right from your Website Stats to the PPC Stats, there are diverse ways to check and determine what is really working out for you as planned and which isn’t working. With absolute concentration, you should be able to learn much about your ads and how to sharpen them for best results ever.

The most effective way to track your campaign ads is using tracking services that help track your activities. There are special advertising management services which help you track your ad performances, free or less costly services that are relatively very easy to implement which give powerful ad tracking management and support. Note that some venues such as Facebook ads provide their own ads reports.

The KEY

Ensure that on daily basis for the first 14 days, you keep reviews of your different ads. Make an inventory of this in a tracking sheet and search out for any patterns. Which of the ads are performing, where they are performing and why are they performing there? From here you can easily detect which ads are not working and remove or replace them.

Author:  MICHAEL LILY

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/489608/5-steps-to-guarantee-online-marketing-campaign-success

Categorized in Market Research

Americans are heading to the polls to choose a new president after one of the most rancorous election campaigns the country has seen.

Voting gets under way in earnest on the East Coast from 06:00 EST (11:00 GMT), though some villages in New Hampshire have already polled.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump criss-crossed America in a hectic last-minute campaign push for votes.

Results should begin emerging late on Tuesday night, US time, from 04:00 GMT.

Both candidates have held rallies in the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Mrs Clinton urged voters to back a "hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America" while Mr Trump told supporters they had a "magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system".

Polls give Democrat Mrs Clinton a four-point lead over Republican Mr Trump.

A record number of Americans - more than 46 million - have voted early by post or at polling stations.

There are signs of a high turnout among Hispanic voters, which is believed to favour Mrs Clinton.

 

The rivals held the final rallies of their campaigns after midnight - Mr Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Mrs Clinton in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally," said Mr Trump, pledging to reverse job losses.

Earlier, in New Hampshire, he told supporters: "We are just one day away from the change you've been waiting for all your life.

"Together we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again."

Mrs Clinton told her audience that they did not "have to accept a dark and divisive vision of America".

She looked forward to "a fairer, stronger, better America. An America where we build bridges, not walls. And where we prove conclusively that love trumps hate".

Election day follows a bitter campaign during which the candidates have traded insults and become mired in a series of scandals.

At a star-studded event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mrs Clinton was joined on stage by celebrities Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi as well as her husband Bill, President Obama and his wife Michelle.

Earlier Mrs Clinton said in a radio interview that if she won she would call Mr Trump and hoped he would play a "constructive role" in helping to bring the country together.

At his rally in Scranton in the same state, Mr Trump insisted the momentum was with his campaign.

The businessman described Mrs Clinton as the "most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency", referring to an FBI investigation into Mrs Clinton's use of a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.

On Sunday Mrs Clinton's campaign received a boost when the FBI said newly discovered emails sent by an aide showed no evidence of criminality.

Election day voting began just after midnight in the small New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch, where seven votes were cast - four for Mrs Clinton, two for Mr Trump and one for the libertarian Gary Johnson.

Results are expected some time after 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT on Wednesday) once voting ends on the West Coast. State projections will not be available until polling ends - in most states between 19:00 EST (24:00 GMT) and 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

Americans are also voting for Congress. All of the House of Representatives - currently Republican controlled - is up for grabs, and a third of seats in the Senate, which is also in Republican hands.

US election: The essentials

Meanwhile Mr Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway sought to allay international anxiety about the Republican candidate in a BBC interview on Monday.

She said criticism from abroad "does not reflect why Donald Trump is running and who he would be on the global stage".

French President Francois Hollande has said the billionaire made him "want to retch".

 

It follows a series of sex assault allegations made against Mr Trump, which he denies, and the emergence of a recording of him making obscene remarks about women.

Mr Trump has also been accused of stoking xenophobic sentiment after vowing to ban Muslims from entering the US, describing Mexicans as "rapists" and saying he would build a wall along the US southern border to stop illegal immigration.

Source : bbc

Categorized in News & Politics

The new workflow offers more access to features and functionality during the initial setup.

Bing Ads has updated the campaign creation workflow; it’s now designed to make it easier for advertisers to get campaigns set up and activated. Throughout the process, more options are available so you won’t have to go back and remember to update settings and options after a campaign is created. Performance estimates are also built in along the way to help inform your settings from the outset.

The new setup starts with the option of selecting a campaign goal or importing campaigns from Google, importing from a file or researching keywords.

bingads-newcampaign-creation.png

 

If you select a campaign goal, the options available will be tailored accordingly in the remaining setup steps. From the revised Campaign Settings screen, Bing Ads has added the option to copy settings from an existing campaign and has consolidated location targeting options to include radius targeting management, along with other location targeting.

In the updated stage of setting up ad groups and selecting keywords, Bing Ads will automatically group keywords together into proposed ad groups based on a website URL and/or keyword suggestion. The tool shows monthly search volume, average CPC and scale of competition for each keyword in this view. You can add, edit and remove keyword suggestions for multiple ad groups. (Keyword suggestions and estimates are not available yet in all countries or languages.)

bingads-newcampaign-keywordselection.png

 

The ads and extensions step follows. At this stage, Bing Ads now makes your library of extensions accessible and highlights ad extensions that seem to align with the marketing goal selected for the campaign. There are options to set up all available extensions in this view. You can also set up multiple ads at this stage instead of having to go back and add more after the campaign is set up.

 

The final step is to set a campaign budget at ad group bids. Bing Ads shows performance estimates for the ad groups based on the bids and campaign settings

bingads-newcampaign-budgetbids.jpg

Source : searchengineland

Categorized in Search Engine

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is planning its most ambitious push yet into traditionally right-leaning states, a new offensive aimed at extending her growing advantage over Donald J. Trump while bolstering down-ballot candidates in what party leaders increasingly suggest could be a sweeping victory for Democrats at every level.

Signaling extraordinary confidence in Mrs. Clinton’s electoral position and a new determination to deliver a punishing message to Mr. Trump and Republicans about his racially tinged campaign, her aides said Monday that she would aggressively compete in Arizona, a state with a growing Hispanic population that has been ground zero for the country’s heated debate over immigration.

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Mrs. Clinton is “dramatically expanding” her efforts in Arizona, her campaign manager, Robby Mook, told reporters on Monday. She is pouring more than $2 million into advertising and dispatching perhaps her most potent surrogate, Michelle Obama, for a rally in Phoenix on Thursday.

In Indiana and Missouri, Mr. Mook said, the campaign will spend a total of $1 million to drive voter turnout, despite what he acknowledged was an “uphill battle” for Mrs. Clinton in two states that could determine control of the Senate. Mrs. Clinton is also directing more money to a series of presidential battleground states with competitive House races.

The maneuvering speaks to the unexpected tension facing Mrs. Clinton as she hurtles toward what aides increasingly believe will be a decisive victory — a pleasant problem, for certain, but one that has nonetheless scrambled the campaign’s strategy weeks before Election Day: Should Mrs. Clinton maximize her own margin, aiming to flip as many red states as possible to run up an electoral landslide, or prioritize the party’s congressional fortunes, redirecting funds and energy down the ballot?

Thanks to an infusion of contributions in recent weeks, and what aides describe as a war chest they had maintained in case the opportunity arose, Mrs. Clinton is in effect trying to do both.

 

The double-barreled assault illustrates her priorities three weeks before Election Day. She hopes to hand Mr. Trump a loss so humiliating that it jars him and Republicans, removing any doubt about the wisdom of running on a grievance-oriented platform. But she also is demonstrating to the congressional Democrats with whom she may soon be working that she is also is dedicated to expanding their ranks.

“I think it’s an act of good will, because her numbers look good and some of our races are tighter,” said Representative Dina Titus of Nevada, one of the states receiving cash. “But it’s also an important move, because she’s going to need friends to get her appointments approved, to have our help breaking through the obstruction on the other side to get legislation through.”

After nearly eight years in which Democrats on Capitol Hill grumbled about a lack of such support from President Obama, Mrs. Clinton has taken care to stay in frequent contact with Senator Chuck Schumer, her former New York colleague, about down-ballot races.

Mr. Schumer, poised to be the incoming Senate Democratic leader, and the current leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, met with Mrs. Clinton’s top campaign aides in Washington last month and pressed them to offer financial support for the Senate races, according to a Democratic official briefed on the meeting. And Mr. Schumer has not been shy since about his hope that if Mrs. Clinton clearly appeared on her way to winning the race, she would redirect some money to congressional races.

“This is one of many things that the Clinton campaign is doing to help us win a majority in the Senate,” Mr. Schumer said through a spokesman.

While party strategists are glad to have the money that Mrs. Clinton is directing from the Democratic National Committee to voter-turnout efforts in Indiana and Missouri, they have little appetite for Mrs. Clinton to visit those states, where she is likely to lose, because that would make it easier for Republicans to tie Democratic Senate candidates to her.

Mrs. Clinton is also pouring money into two congressional districts, in Nebraska and Maine, that both apportion their own presidential electoral vote and have competitive House races. And she is sending an additional $6 million to seven presidential battleground states with hotly contested Senate and House campaigns.

Democrats are also attempting to unseat Senator John McCain of Arizona from the seat he was first elected to in 1986, but Mrs. Clinton’s late decision to swoop into that state is not related to his race, which few Democratic leaders believe they can win. Her incursion there is about her own campaign — and the Democrats’ desire to focus attention on the damage Mr. Trump has done to Republicans with Hispanics.

In particular, Democrats hope to make an example of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an ardent Trump supporter, by defeating the Phoenix lawman, whose incendiary comments about Hispanics and aggressive tactics with immigrants have garnered attention far beyond his jurisdiction in Maricopa County.

“If Democrats were going to win in Arizona in 2016, you’d need a Republican who turns off Republican women, who really energizes Latinos, and you’d need other races on the ground that can really drive engagement — and we have all that,” said Andrei Cherny, a former state Democratic chairman.

Alexis Tameron, the current state Democratic chairwoman, said Republican stumbles had allowed local Democrats to “jump our own timeline” for when officials expected to make the state competitive on the presidential level.

“I give credit where credit is due,” Ms. Tameron said. “And I have been thanking a lot of people, including Donald Trump.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign did not respond to messages seeking comment on Mrs. Clinton’s plans.

Mrs. Clinton’s team had weighed for weeks how seriously to look beyond core battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, another state that Republicans carried in 2012.

Eager to torment Mr. Trump, and the Republicans straining to navigate his erratic bid, her team has also planned at least faint, attention-grabbing plays in other states with little history of Democratic success.

In Texas, the campaign has prepared an ad highlighting Mrs. Clinton’s endorsement from The Dallas Morning News. And Mrs. Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, has begun sitting for local media interviews in Utah, where Mr. Trump has struggled to break away from Mrs. Clinton and an independent candidate, Evan McMullin, in recent polls. (On a conference call with reporters on Monday, Mr. Mook mentioned Mr. McMullin by name.)

The most brazen push, though, is in Arizona, where the campaign has also scheduled appearances on Mrs. Clinton’s behalf from her daughter, Chelsea, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

 

Mr. Mook added that Mrs. Clinton may appear there herself in short order. “We certainly hope to get her there,” he said.

Mrs. Clinton’s aides were intrigued by both Arizona and Georgia, and they surveyed voters in each state. Arizona appeared more promising, officials said, because of its combination of Mormons, Hispanics and Native Americans and because the officials found white voters in Georgia to be more resistant to Mrs. Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton has more conspicuously emphasized congressional and state races during campaign appearances, taking particular care to mention fellow Democrats on the ballot.

Some Republicans seem inclined to capitalize on the attention. A fund-raising email on Monday from Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican in a competitive re-election race in Florida, went out under the subject line “Hillary wants me gone.”

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign has SO much money on its hands,” the message read, “that they are now focusing on down-ballot races instead of her own campaign.”

Source : nytimes

Categorized in Others

Wondering how to make the most of your AdWords budget? Columnist Brett Middleton shares his formula for calculating search impression share so that you can make ROAS projections based on budget reallocation. 

Everyone running a PPC account typically has a budgeting question they are trying to figure out. For those with a tighter ad budget, the question becomes, “How do I get the most leads for this limited amount of spend I have?”

Larger accounts run into their own problems; finding points of diminishing returns and making small gains in efficiency while maintaining spend levels at a point that generates the growth you need can be a headache.

If you take away one point from this, it’s that search impression share may be the most ignored primary metric for most PPC managers who are up against a budget. Search impression share is the number of impressions your ads actually received, compared to the potential number they could have received. For example, if there were 100 searches for keyword X, and you received 75 impressions, that would mean you have 75 percent search impression share.

This is important to think about because you may be leaving valuable conversions on the table. In this article, I’ll show you a way to look at impression share and do your own calculation for how many potential conversions you are missing out on with your current campaign structure and budget. Those of you who don’t trust Keyword Planner, this is for you.

 

As someone who has managed accounts across a wide range of budgets, I’ve learned a few things along the way, and my search for efficiency with higher spends has led to some observations about mistakes I made managing smaller budgets. Get ready for PPC budget management talking points!

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Build your PPC campaigns “deep” or “wide?”

Deep PPC campaign building: Identifying your best performing campaigns and funneling the majority (or entirety) of your ad spend through them. This often requires not advertising for other products or services your company/client may offer that have lower ROAS (return on ad spend).

Wide PPC campaign building: After creating your initial campaigns, optimize in an attempt to elevate your underperforming campaigns to the level of your top-performing campaigns. Advertise for all of your products or services, even if they are slightly lower on ROAS.

If you have a budget that is smaller than the max ad spend possible for your keywords, you have decisions to make regarding budget allocation. This is a common problem for advertisers with many different products and services, especially when they don’t have much keyword overlap.

For example, let’s say you run the AdWords account for a recruiting firm that specializes in marketing, creative and IT hiring. The keywords for these three services are drastically different, so you have separate campaigns built that run at $100/day each (Your monthly budget was set at $9,000/month). Every campaign is limited by budget. The steps you’ve taken so far are:

  1. Utilize the Search Terms report to find exact/phrase match keywords to increase relevance and make your budget go farther.
  2. A/B test ad copy.
  3. Test sending visitors to different landing pages (e.g., the home page vs. the job listings page).

Performance is trending up slowly. The IT campaign has the lowest cost per conversion by roughly $50/conversion, but you’re working on improving the others. Although the value of a lead to your business is certainly more than $50, does it make sense to continue spending more for these other leads and limiting IT to the same budget?

As advertisers, we need to consider the impact something like this has on our ability to grow revenue (and subsequently our ad budget), as opposed to any benefits that come from uniformity in the sales pipeline. There are potential negative effects if we lower ad spend in creative and marketing, and therefore limit our acquisition of new talent for these positions, but this is when we need to see this as an opportunity for creativity and optimization.

By either a) reallocating spend to IT to increase overall ROAS, or b) Taking steps to project increased revenue from upping IT spend and getting additional budget to reach these goals, we are moving from management to optimization. Although Google Keyword Planner can be a good reference point, there is a relatively quick way that we can do the work ourselves and know exactly how the math is done.

How deep can your campaign be?

What you’re about to look at isn’t brain surgery, and may in fact be less accurate for you than Google’s Keyword Planner; but what it will do for you is provide a way to make your own estimates of how many possible clicks, conversions and impressions you are missing out on due to limited budgets or poor ad rank.

By understanding your search impression share, we can project what may have happened if you were to increase budgets in one campaign vs. another; if you are currently running several campaigns that are limited by budget, you can take important first steps to increasing efficiency and ROAS.

  1. Open your highest-performing campaign.
  2. Make sure Cost, CTR, Cost/Conv, Conversions, Conv Rate, Impressions and Impression Share are selected as Columns. (For a generally useful spreadsheet beyond this experiment, also export Quality Score, Avg Position, CPC, Search Lost IS [rank].)
  3. Export data to a CSV.
  4. Open in Excel/Sheets/Numbers.
  5. Create a “Missed Conversions” column with the following formula:Copy this formula for all keywords.
    • =(((Impressions/Impression Share)*CTR)*Conv %)-Conversions
    • Example: =(((G1/Q1)*P1)*M1)K1
  6. (Optional) Show estimated difference in spend per keyword with =Missed Conversions*Cost/Conv. This would obviously assume a static Cost/Conversion with scaling ad spend, but if you are concerned about this, it can be adjusted to =(Missed Conversions*Cost/Conv)*1.1 which would assume a 10-percent increase in cost per conversion with increased traffic.

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What do you do with this data? First, take it with a grain of salt — it’s a projection. It doesn’t take into account shifts in CTR or CPC with increased budgets. But as you do this over time, you can start to compare your projections to actual data after you’ve made your budget adjustments and see how close you were.

You should also understand the average value of a lead or conversion, to tie results to dollars. This should allow you to get a better understanding of what will actually happen when you do this in the future; if you’re typically overshooting your conversion projections by 10 percent, you can make this a really valuable exercise by bringing that knowledge to each calculation. Being able to go into a meeting and say you’ll generate 50 more leads with an additional $2,000 in ad spend and have it actually happen is how you become a superstar.

Once we reach the point in our PPC management careers where learning the basics of bid management, A/B testing ad copy and other management tasks starts to feel easy, it becomes important to push ourselves and find new ways to push our campaigns. Every exercise like this that you put yourself through will be useful in some fashion.

The absolute worst-case scenario is that you do nothing with this information (or your proposal for budget reallocation or increases is turned down); but thinking about optimization in a way you haven’t before is absolutely crucial to your development as a PPC specialist. There will come a point where your work places far less importance on daily management tasks and requires innovative thinking/ financial analysis. Use this as a starting point.

(BONUS) I’ve narrowed focus, ad position is good. Now what?

When we consider Avg. Position to be a metric of importance, we’ve made a serious miscalculation. This isn’t to say that there’s no place for statements like, “We should increase bids on all keywords with less than x impressions and y average position.” The argument that average position often dictates opportunity isn’t what I’m arguing against. The problem comes when we don’t have an optimization strategy in place after this, beyond A/B testing ad copy or other techniques that often come into play.

When you’ve been managing PPC campaigns, or even if you’ve just researched AdWords’ ranking system, you are aware that the bid is only one component of your positioning. This can feel like the only thing we have control over, though — which is the wrong assumption to make.

When our keywords are in the position that gives us the best ROAS, the next step should be to focus on improving Quality Score. We need to fully understand how Quality Score is calculated and make this our immediate step two after bidding optimization.

 

A/B testing of ad copy should be done for a long enough time that differences in CTR are statistically significant, and Quality Score should be monitored while testing. Your landing page should carefully match ad messaging and needs to get the same attention as your ad copy. This can feel like the most daunting part of all. Enlist your developer to help with landing page edits, or use a builder/optimizer that gives you more flexibility in achieving message match.

The reason this needs to be an immediate next step after bid optimization is that without making Quality Score improvement part of our strategy at the onset of a campaign, it can all too easily fall by the wayside. Every PPC marketer wants their Quality Score to improve, but it’s important to take action and make this part of our routine.

Source : searchengineland

Categorized in Market Research

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