Hampstead NC SEO

Sanford Web Design provides search engine optimization, search engine marketing, website design and website development which creates high-quality, cost-effective search engine optimized web sites for our clients. We do this by combining our creative and technical skills along with our knowledge of business, marketing and advanced SEO techniques to create high-ranking web sites.

Sanford Web Design is a leader in Organic Search Engine Optimization, meta tag composition, high-quality inbound link network creation, and pay-per-click campaign management. Our strategies have successfully promoted dozens of web sites to the top of their preferred search term (keywords) organic rankings on Google and other search engines. We stake our reputation as an SEO company on the results of our work.

As an SEO company, we’ve also done organic search engine optimization all by itself, without a visual redesign. Let us put our expertise to work for your web site today with a SEO expansion, or at least a meta tag, architecture, current search engine ranking and inbound links review. e

Call us today for a free introductory consultation or fill out our convenient form on the contact page for a complimentary site SEO analysis. Our headquarters is located in Sanford, NC. However we will be moving to the Hampstead, NC and Wilmington, NC area shortly. Please call for an appointment so we can discuss the particulars of your marketing and SEO challenges.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Any tips of web design for a game review site?

Registered User Join Date Jun 2014Posts 7Hey there! :P

I've new to the forum but I'm a Programmer / Web Developer of about 7 years, despite this I am terrible at Web Design.
I have tried numerous tutorial websites and tried to mimic style of many free templates that exist to my own fashion, but to no avail.

So I was wondering, do any of you guys have any tips or even a website that could better teach me some basic skills in web design?
It really hinders your project work when you can't afford a designer and you like doing things yourself!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hostakers - Request for a review

Hello All,

I developed New web hosting Website , we are providing secured and $1 unlimited hosting

Please give me Review of my site

site : http://www.hostakers.com


How Press Release helps SEO

s website. Press release will be found by a user who wants information regarding the topic or type of product or company that you have. People will search for certain information that is related to your company, kind of business or services. A well written press release helps on search engine optimization because it will drive traffic to your site. A press release will not look like an advertisement if it is well written and relates newsworthy facts about your company. Techie Group Inc. has several Press release writers for your needs that will further help you in all your SEO needs.

A press release can get you to the first page of the search engines quickly with your keywords. You can even have multiple spots on the first page of Google because of your keywords sometimes. It is very important to have keyword rich press releases to be more effective. Press releases add the possibility of an increased traffic to a web site if properly optimized from customers and internet users searching for your product and business and provide improved rankings in most of the search engines thus, increasing more popularity. Publicity through press releases can have many advantages because it is free and at the same time, reaches a large coverage that can distribute it in a very wide range of audience through the internet.

A press release can also be known as news release, media release, press statement or video release. The main goal of it is to attract favorable media attention to public relations clients or to give publicity for products or events. It can announce a huge amount of new items like events, promotions, awards, news, products and services, sales and other financial data. Most of the time, they are used in getting a feature story or are sent to announce news conferences or other upcoming events.

Other Creating a new popup window on button click

Registered User Join Date Jun 2014Posts 1Creating a new popup window on button clickHi Everyone,
I hope you all doing good. I want to create a new window on button click and then want to draw something in that new window. Can anybody tell me how can i do that.


Issue with centered buttons

Registered User Join Date Sep 2005Posts 1,626I'm not sure why centered button will not work without old solution like text-align:center;
Notice comment where is removed this line but this will not work.
float: none;
margin: 0 auto;

PHP Code:

How to run my project using codeigniter?

I am just start using code igniter and i donot have much knowledge of it.
I recently get a project to view built in codeigniter. i put this folder in www of wamp and start execution.
first i got error related phpadmin i solved that but now i could not able to go further of this page message.

"Welcome to CodeIgniter!

The page you are looking at is being generated dynamically by CodeIgniter.

If you would like to edit this page you'll find it located at:

The corresponding controller for this page is found at:

If you are exploring CodeIgniter for the very first time, you should start by reading the User Guide.

I just want to know how to come out of this and start viewing my website pages.


Friday, June 27, 2014

lib with dates funcs manipulation

Registered User Join Date Sep 2010Posts 2Hi all,
If there is some php(version 5.3 and later ) , like converting from different formats, difference between dates, etc ...?

Auto selecting item in a drop down list on textbox.text on submit


I am struck with this problem. I have a textbox, submit button and a drop down list populated dynamically from MySQL. Now I require drop down to be automatically select the item which is in textbox. The text in textbox is the result of MySQL query of a database. Can anybody help me.


Other Help to Convert excel formula for adobe acrobat

Registered User Join Date Jun 2014Posts 2Help to Convert excel formula for adobe acrobathi everybody! i would like to convert this excel formula to javascript for adobe acrobat

Queries about SEO types and methods

Registered User Join Date Apr 2013Location BangalorePosts 316I have totally confused in remember the SEO types and methods.Some websites were described the SEO method is 1.ON page 2.OFF page and type as 1.White hat 2.Black hat 3.Gray hat.
But some websites were described the SEO method is 1.White hat 2.Black hat 3.Gray hat and type as 1.ON page 2.OFF
So what is the actual meaning for SEO methods and types?

Queries about Google Algorithm

Registered User Join Date Apr 2013Location BangalorePosts 316All SEO web Masters said Google Algorithm only determines the website ranking position on search result depending on website performance,quality etc...But nobody does not tell about how that algorithm looks like...Its a kind of programming language or kind of formulas and anything else or totally different from this...?

Lead Web Developer

Registered User Join Date Jun 2014Posts 1JOB SUMMARY

The Web Developer is responsible for the development of the sites he/she is handed by the graphic designer. The developer must implement the design using W3C Validated code. The individual must oversee the development team and ensure proper standards are followed. Deadlines will be set that must be kept. The individual must be able to use a project management tool to keep the company up-to-date on his progress on each of his tasks.


Operate effectively as the leader of the development team.Also, operates effectively as an individual for a quick turnaround of enhancements and fixes.Responsible for meeting expectations and deliverables on time and in high quality.Responsible for the development of web sites and components.Effectively develops in a clean, well structured, easily maintainable format.Demonstrates creative, technical and analytical skills.Demonstrates ability to communicate effectively in both technical and business environments.Ability to improvise, troubleshoot, and learn new skills on the job.


1-5 years experience using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and PHP.Desire and willingness to work in a collaborative, innovative, flexible and team-oriented environment.Some exposure using MySQL, Photoshop, Google Analytics, WordPress, and other web tools.Knowledge of Twitter BootstrapKnowledge of DNS, SSL ,and FTPBe able to effectively train clients in the use of the Web Site you built for them.A good understanding around the concept of Responsive Design.
If interested apply for the job here: http://webdesign309.com/careers/
Also take this short knowledge quiz: http://webdesign309.com/web-developer-quiz/

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Facebook debug not display youtube ID

i want your help guys! first of all sorry for my bad english knowladge!

so now about my problem!

i have my own CMS where i have some posts there and i want to parse if
i have image in post i parse first image and put it in the meta og:image, i did it no problem but i olso parse youtube links, if i have some youtube iframe embed code there i want to parse this link and get youtube ID and then put this Id in this link http://img.youtube.com/vi/"HERE YOUTUBE id"/maxresdefault.jpg, to get youtube thumbnail for og:image.

so i did parser and i get youtube ID but problem is a ,when i
put it in the link in sourse code it is display normally but when i go in facebook Open Graph Object Debugger and check this link
debugger says that i have no ID in link

one important thing is that in my CMS i use PHP Code:ob_start(); 
function to display values in .tpl extension files, (i

Serving javascript files from a web server

developer and new to web programming and am using node.js

I need to do this - The browser should make a request to the server and the server will return javascript files, which will then be run by the browser. The javascript files will be generated on the fly and sent to the client.

Browser does the following javascript calls:

Back to School 2014 Trends: How Search Marketers Can Get Ready Now [Study]

by Jessica Lee,June 18, 2014Comments

School may have just got out for some, but that doesn't mean search marketers can take a break. The back-to-school marketing season is in full swing according to data coming from PM Digital's fourth annual "Back To School Trend Report".

Approximately 48 percent start shopping online in preparation for school three to four weeks prior to the first day of school, and about 31 percent do so two months prior. With much of the U.S. going back to school in late August or early September, that puts retailers into prime search opportunity starting in July.

Google: Top Search Ads Increase Brand Awareness by 6.6% [Study]

by Ashley Zeckman,June 18, 2014Comments

Traditionally, the value in search advertising has always been centered on increases in click-through rates and conversions. However, Google and Ipsos MediaCT partnered to study the impact of search ads on brand awareness. The results might surprise you.

How Was the Study Conducted?

Google and Ipsos MediaCT ran over 60 search experiments in 2013 in hopes of understanding how search ads affect brand awareness. As part of the studies, 800 U.S. consumers participated in the simulated search scenarios. Think with Google recently shared further information on how the simulations were conducted:

The consumers were prompted to search for a specific category keyword (for example, "hiking boots" or "small cars") on their desktop or laptop. They were then shown either a control search engine results page (SERP) or Test SERP spotlighting one of the 12 categories: apparel and durables, auto, B2B, classified and local, consumer packaged goods (CPG), education, financial services, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail, tech and travel.

Consumers that were given the Test SERP would see the test brand's search ad present at the top of their Google search results (as pictured below).

Bing Catapult: New Technology Delivers Faster, More Relevant Search Results

Bing has put significant resources behind a new data center project at Microsoft designed to give searchers faster results and results that are much more relevant to the query. Call it Bing's version of Google Caffeine.

The Catapult project is a redesign of the data centers and machines that power Bing search. It began in 2012 and plans to effectively recreate how Bing handles searches in the backend.

The Catapult project technology can also be scaled across many different Microsoft platforms and services, meaning it can provide a faster user experience to their customers outside of Bing search as well.

Like Google and every other web giant, Microsoft runs its web services atop thousands of computer servers packed into warehouse-sized data centers, and most of these machines are equipped with ordinary processors from Intel, the world's largest chip maker. But when he sat down with Lu, Burger said he wanted millions of dollars to build rack after rack of computer servers that used what are called field-programmable arrays, or FPGAs, processors that Microsoft could modify specifically for use with its own software. He said that these chips–built by a company called Altera–could not only speed up Bing searches, but also change the way Microsoft run all sorts of other online services.

What is also unique about the system is that Bing can update and enhance these types of chips, whereas the server system way of doing things has stalled out when it has come to getting the next bigger and faster version, according to a blog post on Microsoft TechNet.

"Going into production with this new technology will be a watershed moment for Bing search," he

Yandex's Sibir Reverse Image Search Technology is Pure Awesome

by Michael Bonfils,June 19, 2014Comments

Yandex users will now have access to reverse image search, "Sibir," which is the Russian word for Siberia and also based on the acronym CBIR, which stands for "content-based image retrieval."

Reverse image search gives results not based on a word search but on a search of visual content. The developers over at Yandex accomplished this creation of computer vision technology, enabling users with a better image search product.

How Sibir Works

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SES Atlanta is Just 3 Weeks Away: Learn Top SEO & Paid Search Tactics, Tips & Tools

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Next Marketing ConferenceMarch 11, 2014Popular→ SES Atlanta is Just 3 Weeks Away: Learn Top SEO & Paid Search Tactics, Tips & ToolsJune 19, 2014TopicsAtlanta • Search Engine Watch • search engine marketing • Topher Kohan • Incisive Media • SEO • organic search • SEMPO • Product Manager • BuckheadPlease enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.comments powered by Disqus

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When Do You Add UX to Your Design?

It seems that user experience (UX) is becoming more prevalent in the website design arena, but some sites seem to get more out of their UX efforts than others.

It's not so much if you add UX to your process, but when you add it that makes the most impact.

Many curious design teams aren't sure about this UX thing, so they sprinkle a little UX in, like salt and pepper, after the dish is done.

Mature design teams treat UX as the main dish, not simply as a seasoning. They start with UX, first.

UX is Proactive, Not Reactive

What immature design teams fail to understand is that UX is a proactive, two-step process, not a single-step, reactive afterthought.

Step one clearly and accurately defines the problem from the users' perspective. Once the problem is well defined, the solutions become almost obvious.Step two focuses on applying UX design practices to create high-performing sites that solve the problem identified in step one. Relying on just the design step won't create high-performing sites.Define, Then Solve the User's Problem

This initial discovery research step is probably the least known, yet most important aspect of UX processes. Typically, companies merely assume they know what problem their visitors need to solve. In my 25 years of UX design, these assumptions have proven to be grossly inaccurate 100 percent of the time (no exaggeration).

I have never worked on a website that was based on an initially accurate problem definition. Knowing the problem is the key to success and UX research provides the most accurate problem definitions. Otherwise, the best you can hope for is to solve the wrong problem, very well.

UX research begins by interviewing (good) or observing (best) real users in their task environment. The focus is not on design, but to understand the users' point of pain they are trying to address.

For instance, with ProFlowers, we learned that guys don't go to flower shops to "build a bouquet." They go there to find a bouquet for a specific occasion. Ahh, but which bouquet? Finding the right bouquet for a given occasion is their real goal.

Imagine what would happen if a husband bought a sympathy bouquet for his wife's birthday. D'oh!

Usability Testing isn't User Research

A common misperception is that usability testing is user research. Testing is useful to validate a design after it has been created, not to define the problem. Testing induces an inherent bias that the design solves the right problem.

Testing provides incremental reactive feedback about the solution, but does nothing to identify the problem. I doubt anyone has ever heard a test participant say, "That's a good design, but it doesn't solve my problem."

Interestingly, many clients have asked why we need to spend so much time defining the problem when they already "know" the problem. As mentioned, they don't actually know the problem, they are just hesitant to "waste" time on user research.

Your clients will be amazed at how much design and development time they actually save by spending the time to clearly define the problem, up front. Moreover, they are even more surprised at what this initial discovery uncovers. It always identifies an important, unmet user need that creates a clear competitive advantage.

Google Censorship Ruling in Canada Has Worldwide Implications

Search engine censorship seems to be a topic that is popping up left and right in countries around the world. This begs us to ask the question: Just how much censorship control should a government have over search engines? One Canadian court ruling would have you believe that global control is the answer.

The latest case involves Equustek Solutions, a Canadian company claiming that a competitor stole their trade secrets and is selling networking devices on Google. Equustek Solutions has requested that Google "remove all search results that link to the rival's more than 300 websites."

While Google had no hand in encouraging use of the rival's product, search results present on Google have proven very useful to the company, as does the advertising they purchase from Google.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favor of Equustek Solutions and issued a temporary injunction. Most importantly, the injunction requires that the results of the competing company be removed not only from Google.ca but instances of Google in other countries as well.

Google voluntarily offered to remove the search results from Google.ca but not for other sites like Google.co.uk, Goofle.fr and Google.com. A Google spokesperson drew attention to the fact that the injunction would result in "imposing Canadian law around the world". The judge's response was, "well, we have to keep up with the times."

Other Recent Search Censorship Cases

Over the last few years we've seen an increasing number of instances where Google was ordered to remove less than favorable results, or where countries have blocked content from their citizens.

Earlier this month China blocked Google results related to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.

In May, Argentinian model Maria Belen Rodriguez took both Google and Yahoo to court to demand the search engines remove images linking her to pornographic sites.

Also in May, European courts ruled in favor of a Spanish man who brought a case against Google due to search results that contained "embarrassing" financial information – the case that has become widely known as the "right to be forgotten." The courts ruled that Google and other search engines to remove results that "appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed."

Many argue that these cases are not only censorship issues, but they alter the documentation of history. Gigaom put it best when they wrote:

Google, today, is like a library catalogue of available knowledge; while different countries may choose not to make certain knowledge available, people should be able to know it exists in the first place – and the best way they can do so is through Google.What is the Potential Aftermath?

A case like the one in Canada opens up the floodgates for all sorts of censorship questions and scenarios. Recent rulings provide ample opportunity for people to abuse a process and begin requesting more and more information be removed from search engines.

Law professor Michael Geist wrote:

The implications are enormous since if a Canadian court has the power to limit access to information for the globe, presumably other courts would as well. While the court does not grapple with this possibility, what happens if a Russian court orders Google to remove gay and lesbian sites from its database? Or if Iran orders it remove Israeli sites from the database? The possibilities are endless since local rules of freedom of expression often differ from country to country. Yet the B.C. court adopts the view that it can issue an order with global effect.

Where do you see all this search censorship leading?

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!

Microsoft Kills Sponsored Post Program After Attracting Matt Cutts' Attention

When your social media campaign attracts the attention of Google's chief spam fighter Matt Cutts, it usually isn't a good sign.

Entrepreneur and founder of TechCrunch Michael Arrington, writing on Uncrunched, revealed that he received an email from the social media marketing company Social Chorus offering to compensate for posts promoting the brand-new Internet Explorer, along with a link to IE. While the campaign wanted personal experiences from bloggers, it was also required that each blogger disclose that it was a sponsored post – using a very specific wording from the company.

Cutts tweeted Gregg Hanano, the program strategist from Social Chorus whose name and email was on the landing page sent to Arrington.

Videos Dominate Universal Search Results 65% of the Time [Study]

by Jessica Lee,June 19, 2014CommentsSince its inception in 2007, universal search results have have morphed to show a multitude of choices for searchers to choose from, like videos, images, maps, shopping results, and news.


How Responsive Design Increases the Results of Your Online Marketing

by Kristi Hines,June 20, 2014Comments

We all hear about responsive design. But as a marketer, sometimes we are only focused on the specific tasks, such as creating content, developing email campaigns, building links, and updating social media networks. The fact of the matter is, if you or your clients do not have a responsive design in place, then all of the online marketing strategies we implement will not bring the full potential of results.

This post will cover the points you need to make to your boss or your clients when it comes to adding responsive design into the marketing mix.

A Quick Rundown of Mobile Statistics

So how does mobile play into content, email, search, and social media marketing? Here are just a few of the stats.

60 percent of Internet access is made on a mobile device. (InMobi)51 percent of emails are now opened on mobile devices. (Litmus)The majority of mobile consumers use search in the shopping process. Forty-eight percent start on search engines. (Google)70 percent of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour. That's assuming that the website is mobile-friendly, otherwise 40 percent will choose another result. (iAcquire)60 percent of social media time is spent on smartphones and tablets as opposed to desktop browsers. (Business Insider)

What do these statistics mean? They mean that every aspect of our online marketing efforts – content, email, search, and social – is affected by mobile. People are reading content, opening emails, performing searches, and engaging with brands on social media – all on their mobile devices.

If statistics do not convince you that getting mobile-friendly with responsive design is important, then hop into your Google Analytics and go to the Mobile Overview in the Audience portion. Chances are, if you do a traffic comparison between this year and last, you'll notice that your mobile users have grown, potentially significantly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6 Reasons for Your Lack of Content Marketing Success

Content marketing is the phrase of the moment. Everyone in the marketing industry now seems to "do content". Several brands and agencies boast its success, and a growing number of "experts" claim that content marketing is an effective and relatively easy way to drive awareness, sales, and advocacy.

Is it too good to be true?

Excellent results in content marketing can certainly occur. And there are several agencies or brands where it has actually happened.

But content marketing is not as easy as one would think. It often requires a lot of education, the art of convincing and having to break a lot of old marketing habits.

If you have invested a lot of energy (and money!) in content marketing and despite all that the results are not meeting your expectations, perhaps the reasons that led to this failure are apparent. If not, here are six possible explanations to your woes in content marketing.

1. Lack of Planning

Like the saying goes "Fail to Plan is Plan to Fail". Creating a strategy that is clear and with foresight is essential for your success. From editorial calendars, training and managing of editors and authors, content approvals, performance measurement... there is a lot to manage!

Success in content marketing begins with having a well-detailed content strategy that clearly defines objectives, terms, and roles and responsibilities. Your plan needs to be bullet proof! The slightest flaw in planning will compromise your success from the starting point.

2. Lack of Listening

Ego-centric content is another content marketing fail. Create content for customers, not your boss.

Taking time to understand what your customers really want to see or read, you'll be able to focus your efforts on creating content indisputably useful for them. Listening and anticipating the needs of your customers is the key to a more effective content marketing strategy.

3. Lack of Agility

You know that the success of your marketing strategy content depends on the fact that you should be able to post relevant content on a regular basis, but management insists on approving every piece of content, jeopardizing the momentum and limiting its impact.

The lack of agility generated by a very complex chain of command (legal, PR, engineering), can really kill any good content marketing strategy. Leaning as much as possible the levels of decisions (and a more convincing buy-in from C-level) can greatly increase the success factors.

4. Lack of Focus on Loyalty

Rebecca Coggan, from Matter Inside, illustrates really well one of the reasons why content marketing tends to fail: Brands tend to put too much emphasis on sex (sales) and not enough on love (loyalty) when creating content.

Although many of us admit that quite a few relationships were born out of sexual intercourse, the secret of a healthy and lasting marriage lays in nothing else but love. It is kind of obvious to say that when focusing on loyalty you decide to invest in your most profitable customers – the returning ones.

Be loyal to your consumers. Prioritize gradual constant action over one time high risk, big budget campaigns that often become ephemeral. The famous viral video campaign launched by WestJet for the past Christmas holidays is a good example of a big campaign that quickly fell into oblivion.

It's better to spread your energy (and money) into a lot of smaller but precise actions. By doing this you have a greater chance of maintaining a closer relationship with all of your consumers and engaging them in content that will rekindle the flame of love.

5. Lack of Modesty

Your consumers aren't stupid. Millennials are THEtech-savvy generation. Bombarded by the most advertising ever in history, they know what to look for with a sharpened ability to detect whether a brand's approach in content marketing is genuine.

Therefore, the only way to succeed is telling a real story that supports the promotion of your brand and your products. This will also help you stand out of the crowd from boring and commercial competitors who use typical "product-talk" that draw in little to no interest from consumers. By creating a narrative you will both entertain your audience and be more accessible and valuable to your customers.

6. Lack of Testing

Andy Nulman, from Just For Laughs, once said that successful content the fruit of rebellion and religion. Don't be afraid to test something different and pray that it works!

This is a good lesson of humility for brands that are alas often too afraid to shock consumers (or their legal department). Experimenting and taking chances with your content might be revealing for your marketing department and who knows, provide unexpected results. The key is to constantly test and to fail quickly.


Success in content marketing depends on many factors, but these are the most obvious pitfalls. Avoiding them can be a hard task, but being aware of your weaknesses is always a good step toward bettering your content marketing performance.

Francis Bedard of iProspect contributed to this post.

Image credit: Imgur

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!

PPC Budget Forecasting 101

As pay-per-click (PPC) professionals, we're often asked to play with our numbers, to shift our budgets, and essentially to predict the future. A daunting task, I know. Some common questions we get from our clients about our search accounts cover the following:

Could you spend an extra $20,000 this month? What would that look like?How many clicks or conversions are we leaving on the table with our current budget?Are we maximizing our impression share?What's the potential that we could spend without impacting our CPA?

Surprisingly, I've learned that many advertisers don't have a quick and efficient way to answer these questions. They get caught up on which data sets they should pull, which campaigns are performing best, what their tipping point is, their average positions, etc.

Instead of spending a ton of time thinking about the details, I'm going to walk you through the simplest form of budget forecasting, dubbed "Budget Forecasting 101."

In this example, we'll pretend that our client is an online-only electronics store, called LightningElectronics.com. Their products are considered "luxury" and come with a significant price tag.

Our current CPA from our search account over the last month is about $39 per purchase (or conversion, which typically ranges from a $3,000 to $10,000 sale). We have limited budget for our current campaigns, and have spent $2,300 in the last 30 days.

It's 9 a.m. Monday morning, at the start of a new month. The client sends an email:

Hey John,

Great job on all the PPC work you've been doing! I've talked with my manager and we're open to spending a bit more this month. So, I have a few questions for you:

Do you think you can spend an extra $3,000?If so, what would that look like?How many more conversions can you get and at what CPA?Looking forward to hearing back by tomorrow afternoon.



Now, don't flinch! You've got more than enough time to create a rough forecast that will help answer these questions.

To do this, we'll take a really simple route and recalculate your search account's potential using "Lost Impression Share." Essentially, we're going to ask ourselves, "What is possible if we had 100 percent impression share for all of our active campaigns?"

Step 1: Login into AdWords

Navigate to your "Campaigns" tabs, add in the "Impression Share" and "Lost Impression Share (budget)" columns. Then, download the last 30 days of your data (or even 14 days if you feel you've made significant changes recently).

Step 2: Organize Your Data

Open your data spreadsheet in Excel, ensure you're looking at live campaigns, and line up your columns so that they look like the screenshot below (delete anything that's unnecessary). Keep in mind that I've changed some titles (i.e., "Conversions" was "Converted Clicks" and "CPA" was "Converted Clicks/Cost").

Google Updates Shopping Feed Requirements

Google has announced new shopping feed requirements.

Google AdWords ads (both text and image) are created from inventory information that sellers communicate to Google through a feed.

Google's feed specifications, or what Google requires merchants send in the inventory file, is changing to match Google Shopping's recent updates.

Sept. 30 is when Google will start enforcing the new feed format, which is designed to accommodate Google's recent mobile ad format update and Shopping Campaigns (coming in August).

2014 Google Shopping Feed Specifications Update

Google's new feed specifications include updates to mobile links, bundle attributes, availability specification changes, and changes to apparel identifiers.

Mobile Link Attribute: Retailers with mobile landing pages can submit a mobile link attribute through the data feedMerchant Defined Bundles: Allows retailers to identify products that are sold in bundles. Bundles fall under Google's unique product identifiers for the product feed. Note that bundles aren't the same as multipacks.Availability: Google is updating quantity labels to lump all quantity labels in with "in stock" and updating availability to include an "availability" attribute to note when pre-ordered items will be available.Apparel Attributes: Apparel is a notoriously difficult category for Google to categorize. The recent feed update includes details to help retailers share more information using new labels such as "age group" and size attributes "size system" and "size type".Landing Page Content Policy: Google's destination URL policy is getting updated with new background details and implementation guidelines for landing page URL submitting.Image Quality: Google also updated its image recommendations to help retailers submit higher quality product images.

For more details on Google's Feed Specification update, you can view the new specifications and enforcement policy.

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!

Google Adds One-Click Music App Integration

by Ashley Zeckman,June 20, 2014Comments

If you're like me, you've often found yourself quietly singing the couple words to a song that you heard on the radio. Once you get frustrated that you can't remember the song or the artist, you bring up Google on your phone and enter the few words you remember. From there you'll need to open up whatever music application you use and search for the song.

Thanks to Google, the whole process just became a lot simpler. Starting this week, users can now Google a musician or song, and tap a link to open the music right into a music application on their phone.

Bing Ads Bid Landscape Tool Comes to Ad Group Level

Bing Ads has announced that their Bid Landscape tool can now be used at both the keyword and ad group level by all U.S. advertisers. The bid landscape tool, which was originally released in March, is similar to Google AdWords' Bid Simulator Tool.

The estimates show how ad performance would change with different bids, covering the previous seven days. However, Bing Ads warns that while it is accurate for the previous seven days, it can't be used as a guarantee for performance, as the bid landscape along with quality scores are always changing.

The Bid Landscape tool can be used in two ways:

Default mode: This will help you adjust bids for keywords without changing anything you have set custom bids for. This helps you find better performance for all keywords, but without worrying that the tool might change the keywords you have previously adjusted on an individual basis with their own bids.Uniform mode: This is a quicker and less micro-managing mode, which shows advertisers if there is a single "sweet spot" bid to get better performance. However, it's only usable for those ad groups that have less than 1,000 keywords in the group.

For non-U.S. advertisers, Bing Ads also announced that the keyword level bid landscape is now available, and plans to expand the ad group level features "soon".

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!

Google Kills Google+ Direct Connect Feature

Direct Connect quietly slipped away, Search Engine Land reported.

Here's a reminder of how that functionality worked, from Google:

When it launched in 2011, Direct Connect linked search and social in a whole new way. It isn't clear when it went missing, officially.

A Google spokesperson told SEL: "That particular feature is not a focus for us moving forward."

It also appears the Google

Monday, June 23, 2014

7 Ways Content Marketing is Like a Relay Race

Earlier this month, I laced up my sneakers and hit the road with 11 teammates to run the Ragnar Relay from Madison, Wisconsin, to Chicago, Illinois, covering 196 miles in just more than 34 hours.

As I've written previously, I think you can find a lesson in just about any scenario, and the Ragnar was no exception. Here are seven takeaways that relate to content marketing that crossed my mind before crossing the finish line.

1. Start With a Training Plan

One does not simply walk into Mordor; similarly, one does not typically up and run any type of race without some training. The same preparation is required to execute effective content marketing.

Successful content is born out of a well-planned strategy. Map out your future content through an editorial calendar and note the key milestones for your projects. Having a goal in sight will keep you and your team focused on the task at hand. But remember, if you’re not seeing results you want with your content, take a step back and review your plans and processes. You may find that a piece puzzle is just not working.

2. Coordination is Key

Twelve people in two vans running three legs each across 36 exchange points requires a lot of coordination. We held several meetings before race day to sync up on logistics and calculated our pacing time and handoffs to make the experience as smooth as possible.

In the same vein, content marketing has many moving parts that need to be synchronized in order to properly execute. To ensure your execution is not hindered by workflow barriers, assign roles for each project.

Identify one person to act as the primary lead and have him or her develop a work-back plan with critical checkpoints to connect and inform the other stakeholders: the contributors, reviewers, and approvers. Spreadsheets are an easy way to organize workflows, but as your content marketing program grows, you may need to consider investing in a tool to improve organization and help you manage the steps of your program.

3. Rally Around the Team and Community

A relay race calls for trust and teamwork – runners must have faith that their team will be waiting at the next stop, ready to receive the baton. The running community is very strong, so we felt supported beyond our own team. The race organized social communities to connect teams and foster that trust and camaraderie.

Within content marketing, have confidence that your team members can deliver their pieces on time and meet quality standards. Set clear expectations up front and develop standards for new contributors. If enlisting new bloggers, for example, provide guidelines on tone/voice and style so they have a framework to reference.

When you feel like you’ve developed tunnel vision or can’t see the end in sight, turn to your community for inspiration. Scan social media to see what topics influencers are talking about. Talk to your sales, support, or products teams to get a fresh perspective and new feedback.

4. You Can’t Prepare for Everything

We took to this challenge armed with race guides, packing checklists, and maps. We prepared as much as we could, but we couldn’t control everything. In the days leading up to the event, a runner got injured; we had to think on our feet (quite literally) and make it work, having a few runners take extra legs.

Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned. Last-minute roadblocks may come up that impact your deliverables – this could be anything from internal hold-ups on approval to external factors such as influential breaking news.

Sometimes the hiccups may be minor and you have a solid plan and process in place so the impact is minimal. Other times, you may need to revisit your message or deadlines to adjust for these unexpected changes.

5. Every Role in the Process is Valuable

There were so many people involved in this event besides just the runners. Our drivers made sure we got to all our checkpoints. Volunteers corralled runners and provided water.

Stations were set up to take care of injuries. Local organizations provided food and in some cases, sleep arrangements and hot showers. The runners may have been the focus, but the event could not have happened without all those involved.

Just because someone doesn’t have "content marketing" in their title, doesn’t mean they won’t provide valuable perspective. Tap into other team members who are subject matter experts and are eager to contribute.

Not everyone’s a writer so find an output the person feels comfortable with - maybe that’s an interview or a webinar. Don’t forget to acknowledge your contributors - from the person who provided research or a set of reviewing eyes to the designers involved. Show your appreciation and it will pay off with future projects.

6. Enjoy the Ride

At the end of the day, Ragnar was about the experience – the journey, rather than the destination. Content marketing is the same.

Don’t get too focused on the final content type. It shouldn’t matter too much if the delivery mechanism is a blog post, infographic, report, or video; what matters is the story being told. Have confidence in the story, and it will deliver.

7. Finish Strong

Each runner had three legs to run so it was key for everyone to pace themselves and make sure they had enough fuel left in the tank to finish. On the content side, it’s common to fall into the trap of putting a lot of time and effort into content creation, but don’t forget to save some energy to take a piece across the finish line.

Promotion and distribution are big parts of the equation. And of course, the race isn’t really over when you cross the finish line. Be sure to continually evaluate your content to understand how it’s performing, if it’s hitting your metric benchmarks, and if it needs updating.

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!

Links Should Only Be a Surprise? Nonsense!

Google's Matt Cutts is the superhero of combating webspam. Certainly he doesn't work alone at the offices of Google; he has what is known as the webspam team. But this isn't "The Avengers"; Cutts is the star of his own movie.

Of course, there are more people fighting webspam. Duane Forrester is one of those people; he's the Cutts of Bing.

Forrester's name recognition is much less widespread than Cutts'. This is simply due to the fact that Google hoards such an inordinately large share of the search market. This also might be due to the fact that Cutts releases an average of two to three videos per week, videos in which he takes the time to answer burning SEO questions. Even though he is a regular at conferences and is hardly averse to doing interviews, Forrester simply doesn't have Cutts' visibility.

A lot of what Forrester says can get lost in the shuffle, but every now and again he will make a bold pronouncement that pricks our ears.

What he said on May 9 of this year is as good an example of that as any. Let me draw your attention to myth number seven in particular.

Links are all I need

While important as a vote of confidence for the content they point to, there is simply so much link spam these days that it’s tough to know where to turn. Obviously buying links is a dead end, and it doesn’t matter how you split this hair: sharing, encouraging, incentivizing, buying – it’s all the same. You want links to surprise you. You should never know in advance a link is coming, or where it’s coming from. If you do, that’s the wrong path. Links are part of the bigger picture. You want them, but you want them to be natural. If an engine sees you growing tem naturally, you’re rewarded with rankings. If they see you growing them unnaturally, you’re rewarded with penalties.

First off, let me say that I concur that "links are all I need" is a ludicrous myth. I myself am a link builder, and I certainly can't overemphasize enough the value that link equity provides in attaining visibility in the SERPs, but they are far from the only ranking factor. There are some 200

7 Outstanding Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses have historically been slow to adopt the content marketing strategies that corporate marketers use. But as SEO has evolved significantly in recent years, it has become clear that small businesses need to include how-tos, e-books, comparison guides, and other content marketing techniques to remain competitive in the rankings.

Whether the content is created in-house or outsourced to an agency, there will be a time when creative ideas for interesting new content become scarce. Here are seven tips for creating outstanding content.

1. Create a Content Marketing Calendar

Having a calendar that documents a content strategy is a great way to ensure timely content creation, but this strategy is too often overlooked. Sixty-one percent of marketers say that their biggest difficulty with content creation is that it takes too much time, but only 44 percent are reported to have a documented content marketing strategy.

Putting together a calendar of content scheduled for the month is a great first step that provides a set amount of time to strategize, brainstorm, create, and publish.

2. Find Out What Works

BuzzSumo: The Heavyweight of Content Discovery?

Before we get started, I have a confession – I was initially a little reluctant to write this review, because BuzzSumo has become nothing short of my secret weapon when it comes to keeping on top of what's going on in our industry. It's so good, it's revolutionized how I create, share, and read content relating to SEO, PPC, and Internet marketing.

Something else I want to point out before we go any further is that this isn't a paid review, and I have no relationship to BuzzSumo other than the fact that I'm an enthusiastic user. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into why BuzzSumo is such an awesome tool and why you should make it a part of your Internet marketing arsenal.

Real Insights

I'm always on the lookout for new tools that will help me do my job more effectively, and BuzzSumo more than fits the bill. But what is BuzzSumo, and what does it do?

Simply put, BuzzSumo is a Web-based software program that trawls the Web for content based on search queries, and provides you with lots of interesting data based on your results. I use BuzzSumo for three primary tasks:

Discovering hot new industry topics and interesting news.Identifying key influencers in my industry for networking purposes.Researching other websites.

Let's look at each task in a bit more detail.

Content Discovery

Content curation can be kind of a pain. Even highly customizable services like Feedly can be difficult to use, especially if you don't have all day to sit around reading articles and news stories.

With so many sites republishing the same old stuff, I need to know which articles are worth reading, and fast. BuzzSumo makes this easy.

First, simply enter a topic in the search field. For this example, I chose "PPC" because that's the nature of my business. You can also filter your results using the list of content types listed on the left.