XML and Inbound Marketing

“X” Is For “XML” – How it Helps with Inbound Marketing

A few weeks back, our partner HubSpot, asked for contributors to a new ebook – The ABCs of Inbound Marketing. I didn’t see the message for a couple of hours (thanks, GMail tabs!), so by the time I went to choose my topic, the pickings were slim.  I chose “XML,” not really sure what it was about and with no idea how it worked with inbound marketing. That’s OK! Blogging is always a great way to learn new things.

In keeping with the ebook’s collaborative style (28 companies contributed), and for a bit more of a technical look at XML, I put out a call to some of my peers on Google Plus and Twitter. The reply was almost nothing – but not quite!  Michelle Phillips of Codefetti had some experience and knowledge that she was happy to share,

What is XML?

“XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a standard that evolved in order to retrieve information and data stored on the Web. Although HTML (HyperText Markup Language) was fine for displaying text …

Read More
Improve the #ROI on your #PPC

Improve Your Paid Search Marketing ROI in Five Steps

Paid search is a great way to get visitors to your website NOW. No need to wait months for the search engines to pick up your website and blog posts – just pay, and your listing shows up! When you use Google AdWords, LinkedIn ads or Facebook ads, you’re spending money on each click you generate, so you need to know how much you’re spending to acquire each visitor and each lead, as well as how much of a profit you’re making on that adspend.

You can get some very specific tips on improving the ROI of your paid marketing from our blog.

1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of the audience that viewed your ad and actually clicked on the link provided, calculated by dividing total clicks by the number of impressions.

What to Look For

As you become more skilled with paid search, your CTR will go up.

How to Improve Your Click-Through Rate

Monitoring your CTRs over time will help you determine the quality and effectiveness of your ad. If you want to improve CTRs for …

Read More
Seven Ways to Stop Wasting Money on AdWords

Stop Wasting Money on Google AdWords with These Simple Tips

When I saw a free webinar that promised to double my return in 90 minutes, I was intrigued.   This particular presentation is not available as a recording and won’t be repeated, so I’ll share my notes with you here.

Visit the website of AdWords Trainer Claire Jarrett for more information and updates on future AdWords webinars. She puts on great presentations, and didn’t pay me to say so!

Match Your Keywords to your Ad Headlines

Have you ever searched for something really specific, like, “Should I outsource my social media?” and noticed AdWords sending back sponsored results with that exact question right in the ad headline? Or, maybe the ad asked, “Wondering if you should outsource your social media?” It got your attention, didn’t it? This is not merely a strange coincidence. Someone set up an ad group and an ad based on that exact query – just for you! The idea is to very specifically address what the potential customer is looking for.

Another benefit to the …

Read More
Effective Landing Pages - Elements

Google AdWords – Creating Effective Ads and Landing Pages

If you haven’t learned about keywords and keyword match types, as well as bidding and other factors that determine your ad placement, please read our Google AdWords Getting Started article. Make sure you are also familiar with campaigns, ad groups and bidding before you proceed.

Creating Effective Ads

You are given four fields:

Title – 25 characters. In blue and underlined. Display URL – 37 characters. In green, beneath the title. Not necessarily the destination URL. Description 1 – 35 characters. Description 2 – 35 characters

Use the keywords in your ad group for better click-through rates and increased relevance. Include a call to action in your description, for instance, “Download your free guide now!”

Inspiration for your ads can come from Tweets that have been successful, from testimonials from customers, or from blog posts that created a stir. Often, these, too use a formula that boils down to this template, “We do _______ so that you can …

Read More

Getting Started with AdWords – Ad Groups, Campaigns and Budgets

If you haven’t learned about keywords and keyword match types, as well as bidding and other factors that determine your ad placement, please read our Google AdWords Getting Started article.

Using Campaigns

Let’s say my business provides social media support, but also offers help with content marketing. I might want to organize even more by using campaigns so I can adjust my budget based on what I want to promote more heavily at any given time. Maybe I want to focus on social media in May and content marketing in June. Easy! Campaigns are made up of Ad Groups, which is where you set up your ads and choose your keywords. If you need a visual, you might map it out on a spreadsheet or scrap of paper before you begin.

Campaign: All Social Ad Groups: Social Media, Pinterest

Campaign: Content Ad Groups: Blogging Service, eBook Creation

Using Ad Groups

Now it’s time to look at your keywords and group them together based on the ads they will trigger. For example, within my Campaign called “All Social” I …

Read More
AdWords results for Inbound Marketing Software

Getting Started with Paid Search – Google AdWords Bidding and Keywords

Everyone wants to be number one on Google, right? Well, that may or may not happen for you, but you can up your chances and your ranking, by complementing your current ranking techniques (keyword usage, lots of relevant, quality content) by using Google AdWords PPC.

Already ranking high in organic (non-paid) results? Great! You can still run ads to saturate the market and draw attention to your brand. Look at HubSpot (right). They have the top two organic listings in a search for ‘inbound marketing software’, but they also have a prominent paid advertisement.

Why Use Google AdWords?

Aside from the obvious – getting more brand exposure and website traffic, Google AdWords allows you to test landing pages. Send a user who clicks on one ad to landing page A and a user who clicks on the other to landing page B, and you have enough data to do basic A/B testing! Look at how many conversions each generates to see which is performing better overall. Then adjust your ads and your organic marketing accordingly.

Running AdWords can also …

Read More
Learn to love keyword research in 7 simple steps

Keyword Research in Seven Simple Steps (Updated for Keyword Planner)

Choosing which keywords to use for your website, blog, or other online marketing can seem like a complete mystery. I know it has been to me for years. No more!

Like it or not, keyword research is a must for any business with an online presence.  Not only will it influence your choice of domain name, your content and your social updates, but it will help you get to know your customers better, as well. Let’s learn to love keyword research together, shall we?

#1 Stop Guessing Which Keywords You Should Use

If you are, for example, and independent pharmacy in Wilmington, NC you may think that your best keywords are “pharmacy”, or even “pharmacy NC”, and that would be nice to dominate in search for those who are logged in and see local results. However, that Google search returns 200 MILLION results, and in my results, local results rule.

If you sell boots, you might think you want to rank #1 for “boots”, but do you really?  Someone searching for “boots” is more likely to be browsing than ready …

Read More