SEO Services For Serious ROI. Blog Posts For Serious SEOs.

How To Win By Copycatting

It’s a well known fact that many copycats succeed online, but sometimes it’s a risky path to follow. I’d like to share an example or two with you today, and perhaps help you do a better job copy, err, I mean taking inspiration from others. (more…)

Facebook Political Ads – Facebook’s Dumb Ad Blocking Algo

It’s election season here in Israel, and many politicians whose views I oppose are showing me Facebook ads.


Why You Need This Poker Concept To Succeed At Online Marketing: The BankRoll

In poker, your bankroll refers to how much budget you’ve allotted to play, a concept that isn’t thought of in online marketing even though it’s value to online marketers is huge. (more…)

Experiencing PPC: “Placement URLs’ Valid URL format” &

Via illuminea, I’ve been handling the PPC for some clients, and recently came across two interesting problems I thought I’d document because they’re likely common to others: a) the error, “Placement URLs need to be provided in valid URL format” and b) what the heck is.

How To Create AdWords Email Alerts For Emergencies Like Big Traffic Drops

When Traffix Systems launched their new site, their AdWords ads got disapproved en masse, and so traffic tanked. Why should that happen, considering we (the team at illuminea and I) set up redirects properly? (more…)

My Next Facebook Ad Lander, Hat Tip To Ryan Deiss

I recently saw a video on about using a squeeze page (aka email lead generation landing page) on your Facebook fan page, which I’ll be adapting for the Advanced SEO book fanpage.

In it, Ryan Deiss shares a case study on his landing page getting the name and email of 50% of the people who clicked like.

He incentivized the like with part 1 of his free report, and incentivized the email optin by upselling folks to get part 1 AND part 2.

I’m planning to test that, as well, with the following adaptation of Ryan’s landing page:  (more…)

Pause Low CTR Ads In AdWords Automatically With Rules / Alerts

While looking around for AdWords alerts, I discovered a very handy time-saving feature in AdWords called Rules. You can use AdWords Rules to automatically pause low-CTR ads, high-CPA keywords and likewise auto-manage other aspects of your account that don’t require human judgment. (more…)

Why I Love The New Modified Phrase Match And Exact Match

In writing a report for an illuminea client, Traffix Diameter Systems , I wrote the following about the new Modified Phrase Match and Exact Match: (more…)

Weekday vs Weekend Bidding In Google AdWords: The 30 Second Analysis

Should you focus on weekend or weekday traffic in your PPC ad campaigns? If you’re already getting organic search traffic, you have data that can answer that question in 30 seconds. (more…)

Fun Fact: Facebook Ad Review Teams Skew GA Stats & How To Fix It

I launched some Facebook ad campaigns in the past few days and saw traffic skyrocket in Google Analytics.

Problem is, the traffic was garbage – not the traffic I was paying for, which converted decently. It was Facebook’s ad reviewers, tasked with checking the 1000+ ads I uploaded, visiting my site once/ad.  (more…)

View Goals By UTM Campaign, Keyword, Ad Content In Google Analytics

Suppose you’re using Google’s URL building format to mass tag URLs with UTM_campaign, UTM_Keyword, UTM_content and other UTM settings – where do you see the data afterwards? (more…)

How I’m Bulk Creating 200+ Ads With High CTR In Facebook Campaigns

facebook ad
This is the process I’m following to create ad campaigns on Facebook promoting my advanced SEO book.

If you like this, get a free chapter from my book on advanced SEO! Or get my latest posts by email or RSS!


SEO godfather in black hatImages – Royalty free stock ex SXC, plus my own headshots – faces draw eyes so it’s worth starting with those to get a high CTR and low CPC.
Social Ads Manager (SAM) by Brighter Option – bulk ad creation, upload, powerful tracking built in, save targeted interests for reuse, great support by skype and email, cost is % of spend
Pixlr & MS Paint – Cropping, adjusting image brightness and contrast to shout louder, adding text and certain effects. Free! YAAY.
FBAdsToolbox – To add standard effects like image borders in different colors and certain neat image effects like scroll buttons, video play buttons etc. Very affordable at $58/year (save $60+) or $12/mo. (more…)

3 Must-Know Facts On Mobile Marketing In 2012

texting on cell phone
This is a guest post by Pavel Webb, the affiliate manager at TextMagic, a UK based SMS gateway that develops software which enables businesses and individuals to text from computer.

By 2013, more people are expected to use a mobile device than a PC to go online.*

Combine this with Google’s own internal data that mobile searches have increased by 4 times since 2010 (available on their mobile initiative website and you have a pretty strong case for why you need to be optimising your campaigns for mobile. Like, today.  Some facts to guide your optimisation: (more…)

PPC Joke: How Do You Tell A Client 80% Of Their Spend Is Wasted?

Answer: “We have a big win coming up!” hehe ;).

I don’t normally do PPC but have been for my work with illuminea and a client, Traffix Systems, who came to them for web design who also was running AdWords ads… very badly.

It occurred to me you could also say, “We have an 20% conversion rate!”

Got any big win stories of your own in online marketing? I’m always looking for case studies to publish here! Contact me for details, or start by reading the guest post guidelines page.

Advertising Lies: “Engaged Audience” In Advertising

The purpose of advertising is defeated by “engaged” audiences. I came across an old advertising saw in Vanessa Fox’s recent article about the Food Network vs AllRecipes traffic battle, namely that advertisers want an engaged audience. That’s idiotic.


Engaged audiences don't click.

Ask any AdSense publisher who clicks his ads most, and you'll hear that search engine traffic is great. Heck, Chiticka has an ad product exclusively dedicated to monetizing publishers' traffic earned from SEO.

Within blackhat SEO, it's also known that providing a poor user experience - where the item sought for in the search isn't present on the landing page - generates high AdSense clickthrough rates. The AdSense block is the most relevant thing on the page - it best matches the keywords searched for, and is the best next step for the visitor. So they click.

Compare that to direct traffic. People coming to read content are the MOST banner blind visitors within a website's audience. Engaged audiences don't give a damn about the ads. They ignore them the most - they're used to the ad slots, have seen them several times already...

Brand advertisers supposedly want these audiences because they're there for the content, therefore are the most likely to be interested in the topic. OK, fair enough - lots of search traffic is off topic to a site's core topic, in contrast to the direct traffic. But that doesn't help much if those people are ignoring the ads.

The best solution in such cases is social media - you're not ignored, because you're not broadcasting at your target [direct, engaged] audience, but speaking to them personally. Offering recipes, chatting with them on Twitter etc.

Review of PPC Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day

David Szetela has long been one of the PPC experts I most admire, not least of which for his informative presentations at SMX – typically on the Google Display Network (GDN), his specialty. He wrote a book for Wiley/Sybex’s online marketing An Hour A Day series, Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing An Hour A Day, along with his fellow Clix Marketing pro, Joseph Kerschbaum. I was fortunate enough to be given a review copy, and while I’m sadly quite late in writing this review, I figure better late than never!

First of all, since this blog is geared to an intermediate-to-advanced audience, I’ll answer the first question everybody asks themselves: yes, you’ll learn something new. (more…)

News: 1/3 Of AdWords Dollars Are Spent On AdSense!

“Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of $2.43 billion, or 28% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a 19% increase from first quarter 2010 network revenues of $2.04 billion. ”

Google URL Builder: Trick To Bulk Tag URLs for Google Analytics

Ever try creating lots of Facebook ads that you wanted to track using Google Analytics? If so, you probably know Google’s URL Builder, which generates URLs with tracking tags. (See post-script for an explanation if you’re not familiar.) It does this for a spectacular amount of URLs at a time! Exactly one URL at a time, to be precise.

Frustrated by Google’s URL Builder tool? Here’s how to build URLs with tracking tags in bulk.


2 Facebook Ad Creation Programs For SMBs – Replacement for FB Ad Manager

The Problem With Facebook Ads

People buying Facebook ads have been getting progressively more sophisticated and large-scale. The problem with scaling is that the web interface is clunky and that the Bulk Uploader is only available for high rollers spending $1000/day + on Facebook ads. (more…) Review – Should You Join A PPC Coaching Community?

Earlier in 2010 I had the good fortune to be offered a free review membership at in exchange for a review. With the necessary disclosure given, here’s my take on PPC Blog. (more…)

Online Ad Rates: Are You Buying The Traffic You Think You’re Buying?

I was browsing the analytics of one of the top financial sites around. Just about everyone in the financial blogosphere knows this site. (more…)

Who Else Thinks AdSense Is Changing Forever?

What’s The Future of Adsense?

In the past month, I’ve noticed retargeting campaigns on a few quite random websites. Retargeting means targeting ads to people who already visited your site.

The remarkable implications for AdSense may forever change the AdSense publishing industry! (more…)

SpyFu Tutorial & Case Study: See More Data In Domain Ad History

I recently took my own endorsement advice and bought access to Spyfu for a PPC campaign I’m managing, which is having CTR trouble on some keywords.

Besides my use for my own campaign, the Spyfu membership – especially Domain Ad History tool – was useful in critically appraising this post from Epiphany, which discusses how Lego are apparently not buying keywords they’re targeting for SEO, an apparently obvious mistake. (more…)

News! AdWords Freezes All Campaigns Until 2015

Because beating Yahoo and Bing into a necessary merger was just too easy, and because they’re sitting on [Dr Evil moment] MILLIONS (ok….. BILLIONS) of dollars, Google’s AdWords team decided to rest on their laurels and take a few years vacation. (more…)

13 Resources For Mobile Landing Pages And Website Design

Guides – A useful presentation for beginners. The authors created Movitas, which has the most affordable WYSIWYG mobile page creator I found. (Besides the free, uber-basic Movylo.)

Mobile Web Design Galleries – A blog and design gallery with useful resources linked – Another gallery

WYSIWYGs – Another mobile WYSIWYG
Very basic:
Really pricey:

Slice Shops Turn PSD and AI Graphics Into XHTML, WML etc – Seemed to have pretty affordable pricing for slicing up graphics into mobile landers, but it wasn’t clear if they’d do WML either… – A site that will slice your graphics into a working lander, but they don’t do WML. Use them if your target is newer devices that can support 320px wide graphics etc. – Unclear if you need to use Zestadz to get their tool, however.

If you liked this post on mobile tools and resources, add my rss feed to your reader!

Facebook Learns From AdSense

It’s a fairly well know tip amongst AdSense users that (more…)

When Does Reputation Management Grow The Bottom Line?

A: When you rank for coupon terms plus your brand. A guest post by yours truly at my friend Dean Chew’s site, .

Some other recent guest posts of mine: (more…)

16 Content Network Guides & Tips

I’ve been reading up on the Content Network before launching a first campaign there in years. The following’s a list of posts I’ve found useful and the key takeaways. They may repeat and overlap in some ways. That repetition is summarized below. The links are accompanied by notes on what’s unique in that guide. (more…)

Tying Adwords Into Analytics

(We’re continuing our SphinnCon deadblogging, this time with coverage of the web analytics panel. Previously we’d been discussing analytics with a internal search case study from Adi Reguev, and PPC with material from Naomi Sela on the content network, ad writing and split testing with Ophir Cohen and Dan Perach, and mixed link building / ppc notes from my panel/ Dan Sumeruck.)

Michal Neufeld – Google Analytics – Tying Adwords Into Analytics

Some pros of tying the two together:
- Understand the whole funnel, from search to site exit
- Instant and granular view of ROI on AdWords (more…)

International Content Network Ads – Deadblogging SphinnCon 3

Continuing my SphinnCon PPC coverage…

Naomi Sela – Compucall

She blitzed through the early part of her preso on the differences between CPC and CPM bids. One point I caught was that CPC was for ROI driven campaigns and CPM was for brand driven campaigns. [I find it sad that we still talk about advertising as an expense where we don't care if it makes sales - even brand campaigns should be generating an ROI, even if it's only an early stage lead.]

Optimization tips:

- Build and use predefined lists of sites per vertical. If you run an automotive campaign, keep the list of sites that were profitable for the next automotive campaign. Verticals are broadly defined here. EG Economics for adults and sports for kids or social. (more…)

Deadblogging SphinnCon’s PPC Tips

This is the continuation of yesterday’s post featuring my deadblogging coverage of SphinnCon, the recent SMX-affiliated 1 day conference here in Jerusalem, Israel (where I’m currently living).

Ophir Cohen – Compucall Web Marketing (more…)

Deadblogging Lessons From SphinnCon

I didn’t live blog the sessions at SphinnCon, but I did take a good amount of notes. Here’s what I’ve got from my own link building session and from the first PPC session. (more…)

Protected: Brighter Option’s Social Ads Manager (SAM) Review

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Two Highly Valuable WP Plugins For Testing Landers

Get the scoop at Janet’s Search Marketing Sage: “Two Must Have Plugins for Landing Page Testing.” The second one you probably never heard of, but Janet makes a great case for :D!

Affiliate PPC Tip For Mixing Facebook, Shareasale & Prosper 202 Tracking

I just spent a few hours creating and editing an affiliate PPC campaign with Facebook Ad Manager, a Firefox extension that lets you mass-create, upload and split test ads (including split-testing images) on Facebook.

Now, while Facebook Ad Manager saved me a bunch of time, I screwed up with my Prosper 202 tracking setup and so the whole campaign needs to be rebuilt from the start.

Here’s what happened, and how to avoid it happening to you. (more…)

Is PPC Necessary? Why? If So, When Do I Need To Do PPC?

Is PPC necessary? Why is PPC necessary or not? If so, when do I need to do it?

These are questions I recently got in fielding a proposal for search marketing services. For others who might have the same question, here’s the answer, and an explanation. (more…)

People I Want To See At Affiliate Summit East

In no particular order, here are the folks I’m looking forward to seeing at Affiliate Summit East, where I’m on the agenda to speak. (more…)

My Year In Review, Scratchpad Style

Here’s what I’ve experienced and learned in the past year. Feel free to skim, but as with my scratchpad first discussing submarine crawling, what you read here today may be industry-changing search news in 6 months… (more…)

How Link Buying Should Evolve In 2009

Link buying advice often sounds something like, “Get links from relevant sites and pages for the greatest boost to your rankings.” Link buying advice is often wrong.

According to everyone’s favourite content network guru, keyword selection on the content network needs to be based on demographics. That’s why I saw the following weight loss ads on a page that had nothing to do with weight loss, and nor did the site hosting the page. (more…)

When Pirates Share Their Booty, SEOs Rejoice

The Pirate Bay – the world’s largest peer-to-peer site, which focuses on torrent technology – lets you view what people are searching for (Not Safe For Work (NSFW)) as well as its tag cloud (NSFW), which I presume is what people are sharing, in the most literal sense.

At the risk of stating what may be obvious to most SEOs, when pirates share their booty, keyword research is a lot easier. (more…)

A Simple Formula To Easily Create Successful Banner Ads: AIDA

The classic formula for copywriters, AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action – can be applied easily with banner ads. I’m thinking of 125×125 ads and larger here, so microbanner advertisers may find this more challenging – but then, why are you using microbanners to begin with?

Attention: Frame 1: Ask a question that relates to the prospect’s need. “Want more sales, more easily?” (more…)

“Buy” Comes Before “Sell”

Nothing new here for the marketing pros in the audience, but you intermediate guys and newbies will like today’s post on why you need to rank for purchasing oriented terms rather than selling ones, imho… I want to expand on Seth Godin’s bit on making a new market vs taking a share of an existing market. (more…)


… while the Bloc Quebecois are seen on AdSense blocks on Cyberpresse, (more…)

Want to Beta Test WordPress Membership + PPC Plugins?

If you do, let me know in the comments or by email and you’ll be given access to test things out as well as a free copy of both plugins when they’re publicly released. One of them helps make minisites in wordpress for PPC landers, and the other lets you figure out when jerks steal your content and which of your members said jerks are, so you can kick em out.

On a related note, I’m preparing several feature-quality posts, as well as guest posting and contributing to other posts, and they take time. So please be patient – I assure you it’ll be worth it. And if you haven’t seen them yet, check out my best posts and ideas.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of the posts I’m working on to get you salivating:

Internal Link Building – PageView & Time On Site Booster
Sitepoint SEO Forum: A Study on Moderator Behaviour And Its Effects On Membership
PPC Panel Uber-Coverage (Multiple Conference, multiple panel notes)
Growing Online Business Trend: Commoditization of Data
Sue The Bastards! How Porn Sites Could Be The Next Frontier In Class Action Lawsuits

So… get my rss feed. You’re going to come back anyways when they all make the frontpage of Sphinn (maybe not the ppc panel, depends how comprehensive it is and thus worthy of being promoted or not).

The End of The World is Nigh?

(I promise to be back with premium material next week. For now, here’s for your own entertainment…) My friend Nick recently got an apology from Facebook Ads for disapproving his campaign(s) erroneously. A commenter wrote: “Get the same comment from the Adwords team and surely the end of the world is neigh [sic].’ Well, it appears the end is nigh, as I got this in my email: (more…)

The Economics of Success (Or How To Launch A New Site Per Aaron and Giovanna Wall)

In the world of business, lots of figures are thrown around. There’s a whole school of thought in the world of investing that only looks at a company’s financial statements and decides whether or not to buy their stock based on those numbers. The most important factor of all, (more…)

Google Keyword Tool: Now Shares Specific Data

You heard it here first folks: Google has recently updated its keyword tool to share precise volume numbers. Whereas the tool only returned relative numbers before, it now shows the precise amount of monthly search that occurred last month, as well as an average amount of monthly searches. (more…)

Analytics & Attribution: Which Source Gets Credit For the Conversion?

The answer came to me while reading up on advertising. Studies show it takes a certain frequency – most people place it around 7 times – for an ad and its message to be remembered. It would obviously be silly to just credit the last impression for finally getting the target consumer to get the advertiser’s point when the other 6 clearly were part of the process. Yet that’s a question many pro marketers have! (more…)

How To Do Search-Based Retargeting Cheaply and Build Branded Search Demand

At SMX West, one of the most interesting things I learned was that an advertiser who spent $30,000 on banners saw a 20% lift in branded search. When you consider how well branded search converts, that’s good news, especially if that demand lasts (for the caveats on measuring true branded search ROI see “What Every SEO Needs to Know About Branded Search“). This post is going to explain how you can use the link graph to get similar lifts in your branded search, (more…)

What’s the ROI on SEO? Hint: SEO Experts Are Underpaid, Opportunity Abounds!

Update: Check out this “How to forecast SEO ROI” article if calculating the ROI on SEO is the info you want.

What follows is an editorial / research article showing that SEO is valuable – but not explaining how to calculate it.

I was asked what the ROI on SEO is a few times at a recent business event, and decided that it was about time someone spoke up for us organic search marketing experts. The sad truth is that we SEO Experts are grossly underpaid! Let’s look at some stats (or damned lies, if you prefer). (more…)

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