How to reverse-engineer your online advertising strategy

Online advertising experts love to talk about the importance of matching your landing page content to your ads. And you’ll get no argument from me — it’s a great way to improve the performance of your online advertising.
I mean, it just makes sense. People click on your ad because the messaging resonates with them. If you have the same messaging on your landing page, that should resonate with these users and cause them to convert, right?
As great as this approach is, the success or failure of a “match your landing page to your ads” approach to advertising rides on one critically important assumption: that you’re using the right ad messaging.
Unfortunately, if your landing page strategy is based on your advertising strategy, there’s no easy way to test this assumption. You are fundamentally limited by your ability to predict what messaging will work for your target audience. If you’re way off-base, there’s no real way to know.
But what if

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Three ways to use a domain name for business today

www.Com
Registering a domain name is one of the first steps to starting a new business. That’s because whatever name is chosen will represent the business’s space on the internet — and, possibly, a customer’s first impression of the company.
But once you have that domain name, what do you do? Don’t stress over building an online space. Start using a domain name right away. Here are three ways to do it.
Set up a company-branded email address
The web address can also be used as an email address. A company-branded email address can give you and your employees a more professional-looking branded channel for communication with customers, as well as free marketing for your company. In a 2015 survey, 74 percent of consumers said they would trust a company-branded email address more than a free email address. It’s easy and cost-effective to set up, too. The provider you use to register your domain name can most likely help you set

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Getting the most bang for your buck: 11 CRO opportunities

Improving marketing performance often involves a lot of spot treatment: you spend some time working on your paid search campaigns, then you spend some time working on your organic search, and so on and so forth. One of my favorite things about conversion rate optimization (CRO) is that so much of it is channel-agnostic. How often do we get the chance to work on one central project that stands to improve the performance of all of our channels at once?! Not often enough!
Plus, no matter how well your channels are already performing, there’s always opportunity to generate more business by facilitating conversion. Check out the suggestions below to uncover pain points and actionable tips for increasing conversion rate.
Put your best foot forward
The likelihood of conversion begins before a prospect even reaches the website. We all know that different keywords are likely to perform differently; that’s why advertisers bid differently on different keywords. But this understanding isn’t often translated

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Dos and don’ts of PPC advertising for universities

If you’re a marketing manager of a post-secondary education institution (or a PPC agency working on its behalf), then you already know that universities, colleges and similar organizations present specific challenges (and opportunities) for online advertisers.
Over the years, my advertising agency has had the pleasure of working with a number of these institutions, and we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way!) some important lessons.
Here are a few dos and don’ts of running PPC advertising for the education vertical market:
1. Do advertise year-round
At most universities and colleges, admission activity peaks and falls at predictable times of the year. Accordingly, most educational institutions bump up their online advertising when application deadlines grow near. And that makes sense.
But that doesn’t mean you should shutter your advertising during less busy periods, for several reasons:

Lead time. The lead time for acquiring new students is long, and students can start researching their options at any time of year. Therefore, you want your online advertising

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SEM continuity: The ROI-boosting digital marketing concept you’ve never heard of

A Google search for “Holism” yields no ads, but the following definition:
“the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts.”
Much of our marketing optimization effort is highly focused in discrete parts of the customer journey. We’ve created specialized roles for these discrete parts, like ad copy writing, SEO, SEM bid management, keyword optimization, web IA, front-end web development, digital graphic design, interaction design, UX… the list goes on.
Yet, when customers travel on that journey, they are experiencing it in a non-discrete, holistic way. And when key parts of that journey aren’t holistically integrated, the customer experience can suffer — and thus, yields from our marketing programs can suffer.
To a great extent, we have accepted the status quo.
In accepting that status quo, we have also become robots,

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3 signs your landing page copy is leaving your visitors high and dry

There are few things more important for conversion rate optimization than your landing page copy. If your landing pages are struggling to turn visitors into leads, there’s a very good chance it’s because of your copy. More often than not, marketers are guilty of making several copywriting mistakes, and they don’t even know it.
In this post, I’ll show you three copywriting mistakes you are probably making on your landing pages — and how to correct them.
1. Your copy focuses on features, not benefits
Features tell your audience what your product is about.
Benefits tell them what your product can do for them.
Although features are important — they educate customers about your product’s specifications — they are purely informational. They don’t really persuade users or tell them how their lives will change by buying your product.
To understand why this works, you need to understand how your customers make purchase decisions. While we’d like to assume that we make rational decisions after

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Bring Your Work Home: How To Use Google AdWords To Improve Your Love Life

If you’re like most online marketers, you know that it can be hard to strike a good work-life balance. Sometimes, that can put a strain on your romantic situation (especially at the beginning of the year when expectations are particularly high).
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably stuck between making sure your campaigns are running effectively and putting a little pizazz back in your romantic life.
But what if there was a way you could do both? A way to put your hard-won PPC skills towards more amorous goals? What if you could get your love life back on track without leaving the comfort of the AdWords campaign manager?
Marketing Yourself
The secret to romance is great marketing.
As a marketer, you’re hoping that you can make your company’s offering attractive enough to win the attention and approval of your target audience. The same idea applies to romance.

You can’t stop after you get the clicks (er, attention of your significant other),

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Re-Examining The Top 10 Paid Search Best Practices, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I cited a really great article here on Search Engine Land on why search marketers should reconsider using broad match that challenges a common best practice in paid search. That article got me thinking about other best practices and if we should reconsider some of other tried and true tactics which most of consider as important to our approaches.
Once again, the idea here is not to try to prove these best practices ineffective. This is an exercise to see what we can learn by taking the counter view and see if anything surfaces that can help us get better as search engine marketers.
6. Big Keyword Lists
At the beginning of search engine marketing, the idea that bigger is better was the dominant strategy. After all, if you could identify keywords that your competitors hadn’t thought of, then you could earn top positions for a fraction of the cost of the most common, highly competitive

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