The HAWT 11 SEM Articles Of The Week! (7/17/14)

Girl on phone talking about the Hawt 11Greetings friends, and welcome to the “Hawt” 11 SEM Articles Of The Week!

Good lord it’s hot out right now! It makes me want to float down a river in an inner-tube with a cold 6-pack of PBR like the hillbilly that I am. But let’s try to keep it professional here and talk about some articles. I’ve got stuff about SEO, social media, PPC, and just general cool stuff as well! Whoo!

1. Are We Coming to the End of SEO?

by Andrew Edwards at Mashable (via ClickZ)

Oh Lord, another “death of SEO” article. I’m not sure why the author equates SEO with “tricks” and “snake oil”. As Rand Fishkin says, SEO is “any input that search engines use to rank pages”. The old school tricks don’t work anymore, and most people know that.

Granted, there are a lot of shady characters out there giving SEO a bad name, promising impossible results using chicanery. Nothing new there. But there are also plenty of reputable people in the field who understand the changing landscape of search. They know that you have to understand your target market, create content that speaks to their passions and/or pain points, and that you have to promote the hell out of that content.

Maybe the job title of SEO is dying. It probably should. But the goal of achieving a #1 ranking in the SERPS for search queries that convert is alive and well. Actually, I think that SEO is just one skill in the arsenal of a well rounded digital marketer.

2. Does SEO Boil Down to Site Crawlability and Content Quality? (Whiteboard Friday)

by Rand Fishkin (from moz)

What is SEO really? Does it just boil down to making your site easily crawlable and consistently creating good, relevant content? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. According to Rand, SEO is “any input that search engines use to rank pages”. And the practice of SEO is all about the things that people or technology do to influence those ranking elements. This can be anything. The reason SEO is constantly changing is because the search engines are constantly changing and evolving in the ways they rank websites.

I keep hearing that SEO is dying. That will never be true as long as search engines rank websites. What is dying is all of the trickery. SEO is now mostly just straight up marketing and technical stuff having to do with crawlability. As the search engine algorithms become more and more aligned with how humans perceive quality, the practice of SEO becomes more about producing content and websites for humans. That’s right, FOR HUMANS!

And isn’t it nice of him to let me embed the video right here?

3. Everybody Needs Local SEO

by Greg Gifford (from moz)

You know, it’s funny. From the title of this post I figured the author would tell us why everyone needs local SEO. But this article seems to mostly be for businesses with a storefront. Am I wrong?

Anyways, it’s pretty cool post about Local SEO. Plenty of actionable items to say the least. If you are running a local storefront and don’t already have an SEO plan, check it out.

4. No Photoshop? No Problem: 10 Visual Content Tools for Beginners

by Rachel Sprung (from HubSpot)

This is your practical link for the week. The title says it all. You need visual stuff for your content. You don’t have a professional designer on staff. Here’s a few tools to help you out.

5. How Many People Use The Top 600+ Social Media Platforms, Apps, and Tools (Updated Monthly)

by Craig Smith at Digital Marketing Ramblings

Here’s another useful website to bookmark. I came across it because I was writing a proposal and wanted to say “eleventy billion people use Facebook, craploads of people use Twitter, etc.” but I wanted to make it sound more professional using real numbers. This site did the trick. But then I realized that it would be a great resource to use when devising a social media strategy for a client and you’re looking for niche opportunities.

Let’s say you want to turn the tables and get some Nigerians to hand over their bank account number. Why not try 2go? It’s a mobile messaging app with 9 million users in Nigeria. Or maybe your target market is expectant moms. Take a look at BabyBump! It has 2 million monthly users, all pregnant moms. Wow, you don’t say? A nice resource, and it’s updated monthly.

6. Breaking The Time Barrier (Free eBook)

by Michael McDerment and Donald Cowper at FreshBooks

This is a book about pricing, and you can read it in an hour. It uses storytelling to convey the importance of value pricing over time-based pricing. There are so many things wrong with charging an hourly rate. Give your potential client a menu of options to choose from, with a price attached to each option. Price these options based on the value and impact it will bring to the business. Brilliant, a must read for entrepreneurs, freelancers, or any business owner. READ IT!

7.Why You Should Think Meta To Create Success (Podcast)

by Eben Pagan

When it comes to business, you need to think about “orders of existence”. This means thinking about all of the things that come together synergistically to create success. “Success is not a result, success is an emergent property”, says Eben Pagan.

It’s like an ant colony. The colony works together so well that it’s almost like one organism made up of millions of different parts. So Eben is saying that when it comes to business, you need to think about all of the different “causes” that result in what you would call “success”. I know this doesn’t really make sense… I think you just need to listen to the podcast if you’re interested. And it’s pretty short.

Anyways, it’s all about “zooming out” and thinking about things on a higher level. What are all the little things that work together that lead to the emergence of success?

8. AdWords DIY (Destroy It Yourself) – 4 Reasons to Hire a PPC Professional

by Kirk Williams, Owner, ZATO (from PPC Hero blog)

Here’s an article by a guy who does PPC for a living telling you that you should hire a PPC expert to do your PPC. Surprising? No. But, obvious bias aside, he does make some good points.

In the past, many of the PPC accounts that I’ve taken over were formerly run in house by people who had no experience with PPC. Usually they came to us because they had finally thrown their hands up in the air and given up. They realized how important paid search was for lead generation, and how much money and time they were wasting with a DIY approach.

There are a lot of subtleties with PPC. If you’re a marketing manager, entrepreneur, or general advertising person, you probably have a million other things on your plate. You don’t have time to deal with the intricacies of PPC. Seriously, hire someone if you are serious about PPC.

9. In Depth Article Of The Week: Data-Driven Marketing Starts With the Data Layer

by Trevor Fox at Swellpath

Get ready to go to school! Here Trevor takes you on an adventure through the history of the web. It all began with HTML. Then came CSS. Then JavaScript! It may be a bit dense for the non-technical amongst my readers, but it’s nice to get a peek under the hood at how all this crazy stuff works together to create this amazing thing called digital marketing.

10. Digital Dashboards: Strategic & Tactical: Best Practices, Tips, Examples

by Avinash Kaushik at Occam’s Razor

Just another amazing analytics post by Avinash Kaushik. The main theme here is to create a dashboard that contains actionable insights. Most “dashboards” are actually just “custom data pukes”. You need to use the English language to communicate real insights, recommendations, and the impact your recommendations will have.

Never leave it up to the executives to interpret the data. Give them insights and recommendations that they can ponder from a strategic standpoint.

Seriously, this is an essential read for anyone that analyzes and reports on digital marketing data.

11. The 25 Best Albums of 2014 (So Far)

by Josh Jackson at Paste Magazine

The headline says it all. I’m always looking for some fresh music to listen to. And here it is, served up nice and easy. According to Jackson, the best album of the year so far is The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream. I was just getting lost in my headphones with this album a few weeks ago. Hey, if you happen to use Rdio, here’s a playlist with songs from this list. Sweet!

When It Comes to Attribution, Customers Count – Think Insights – Google

See on Scoop.itPPC News, Commentary & Articles

It’s time marketers examined all the opportunities along the customer journey, not just the last click, as brands can establish better connections with customers if they adopt a holistic approach to attribution.

Brent Baltzer‘s insight:

I think we can all agree that last-click attribution is pretty insane… but the sticking point is in the implementation. Not only do you have to have everyone in agreement as to the proper attribution, you have to have the resources to put it together. In other words, inertia is a big sticking point.


However, sticking to a last-click model is suicide. I have so many clients that get clicks for keywords for which they have no organic presence. I know that many of these people are clicking out of the landing page and doing more research before converting! But I’m not doing a good job of showing that to the client (yet).


Like the article says, we need to take a holistic approach. A relationship needs to be formed before a transaction takes place. If we aren’t taking that into account we are optimizing ourselves into oblivion.


Next step: analytics attribution mastery!

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4 Google Analytics Reports Every PPC Manager Should Use | PPC Hero®

See on Scoop.itPPC News, Commentary & Articles

A dive into four Analytics reports that shine a light on PPC beyond what is available in Google AdWords on PPC Hero, the internet’s favorite PPC only blog.

Brent Baltzer‘s insight:

Awesome guide for using Google Analytics reports to better understand user behavior once they get on your site after clicking on your PPC ad.

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The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords Conversion Types

See on Scoop.itPPC News, Commentary & Articles

Which conversion types best suit your business? Google now offers conversion types for nearly every business model, making it easier to attain your goals that much faster. Learn all about the many types of conversions you should be tracking and why.

Brent Baltzer‘s insight:

This is a great primer guide for conversion types in AdWords. One of the biggest pain-points I have as a PPC Account Manager is showing clients how important "assists" are in paid search. A user may find your company through a query for which you have no organic presence. Then they later convert using a branded search or by entering your URL directly.


Showing your client how certain keywords gave you assists can help you demonstrate the true value you are providing as a PPC manager. 

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SCHEME: The Easy Acronym For Pitching Branded PPC | PPC Hero®

See on Scoop.itPPC News, Commentary & Articles

We’ve all heard (or feared) our clients doubting the importance of using branded terms in our PPC efforts. The questions commonly revolve around “Why would I p

Brent Baltzer‘s insight:

"Why should we bid on our own brand name? Aren’t we just wasting money when people would click our organic result anyways?" As an SEM Account Manager, this is a question I’ve heard many times.  Here’s a "cheat sheet" of reasons that brands should bid on their own name when it comes to PPC.

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A Perfect Account Structure: Fact or Unicorn? | PPC Hero®

See on Scoop.itPPC News & Commentary (AdWords, Bing, & More!)

We’ve been working on account structure best practices. It seems there are a number of different methods that different people in the office swear by, so it was a bit of a heated debate when we finally decided to tackle it.


Brent Baltzer – Portland‘s insight:

This (awesome) post is all about account structure. There are a few intriguing ideas here, including:”SKAGs” (Single Keyword Ad Groups) for top performing keywords. Allows you to hyper target your ad and landing page for these top performers. These need to be exact match, and should be added as negatives to all other campaigns.Naming conventions the name of the campaign should tell anyone looking at it what network it was running on, what the topic/service/product etc is, and what the match type/targeting strategy is.Settings some nice “rules of thumb” or “if, then” rules here, if you will… basically, IF you are doing ad testing THEN pick the evenly rotate ad settings. IF you have a lot of conversion data and are not ad testing, THEN pick the “optimize for conversions” setting. IF you do not have sufficient conversion data and are not ad testing, THEN optimize for clicks. So much stuff to try here. My mind is basically blown.

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