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.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

jQuery: How to Detect When Mouse Enters Left Third of Window?

I need to detect when the mouse enters the left third (33%) of the browser window and detect when it leaves. I'm assuming it's a combination of either mousemove() or mouseenter() and pageX. Correct? Something like this?

Code:var thirdOfWindow

Httprequst in php

Registered User Join Date Jul 2014Posts 2hello..

I want to pass two variables from page1 as Httprequest to page2 which stored in different location. there with these variables performs some actions, and results have to return to page1. How to do it in php as HttpRequest Post call..

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to make login n change password??

Registered User Join Date Jul 2014Posts 3i already have the system ..the problem is i dont know how to make a login n change password inside my system..

on screen size, resolution etc

dev new to web. How do a design page content for all screen sizes, resolution, window sizes.
I am using createjs and I am developing a gamified content. I am specifying the object layout and sizes as a perecent of the visible window.

But not clear if this is enough and not clear what the visible window is in all environments.

Can you suggest?
Is there a standard document, book or tutorial that discusses this.

Which is the best technology to develop a website for shoe manufacture and seller

I want develop a website for a shoe manufacture and seller with online shopping support in future. It should also provide support for dealers. It should work on desktop (support all browsers like chrome, Firefox, ie, safari and all version of corresponding browsers respectively ), mobile (andriod, ios and its versions) and notepads.

So please help me to chose the right technology to develop the website. Technologies of my choices are
2) .NET
3) Java
4) PHP
5) Java script

This is a dynamic web development, which DB to use.


Football World Cup Final?

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Responsive Design Tips

Registered User Join Date Jul 2014Location BangalorePosts 6Simple layout with easy navigation

Optimize for popular screen size

Use responsive fonts

Openings at m2soft for PHP developer

Registered User Join Date Jun 2014Posts 9Hello everyone...

We have openings in our company for :

Role : PHP developer

NO. of vacancy : 3

Read more at : M2SOFT BLOG

Monday, July 14, 2014

Planet Of The Apes

Registered User Join Date Jul 2014Posts 1Sequels can be a worry when coming from big studios. Greedy cash-ins are all too familiar, where rather than stepping further into the world established by the predecessor and exploring unlimited opportunities in character and themes, they just add more antagonists, more action and more noise.

I want to put a live chat room on my site, any ideas how to do this?

Registered User Join Date Jul 2013Posts 3Hi,

I have a website and quite a few members have suggested that adding a chat room would be a great idea.

I'm searching for something I might be able to integrate well into my site.

Has anyone tried RumbleTalk or C-box?

Scheduled Exports of Specific Data

Registered User Join Date May 2009Posts 233I get nightly dumps of my server data but someone has asked me if they can have nightly cvs exports of specific fields. I know how to make a download button that when clicked downloads specific data to cvs. But i wanted this to happen automatically without a button click.

How do you store state of checkbox in a phpmyadmin database

Registered User Join Date Jun 2014Posts 5Whether checked or unchecked. What I have so far is like this:

in the php site where user inputs I have this

WordPress and PHP Frameworks

It may be the worst question in the forum, but I really need to ask.

If WordPress can do so much so easily, why do we need to learn PHP frameworks, such as Laravel, that seem so hard. What can be built with these frameworks that is in demand.

Please don't be annoyed with the naivety of the question. I would really appreciate some insights regarding this matter.

Bing Reveals U.S. "Fireworks" Search Interest in Time for July 4th

→ Read more on SEOPopularTopicsPopular→ The 10 Best Ways to Generate Traffic Without GoogleJune 30, 2014→ Panda 4.0 Help: Google Clarifies Tremors, 3 Analogies for Diagnosing HitsJuly  2, 2014→ 6 Ways to Make Your Search Results ShineJuly  3, 2014→ SEO Website Audits: Everything You Need to Know Part IIJuly  7, 2014→ Keeping Your Head Above Water in the Google LagoonJuly  1, 2014→ Content Creators Ranking Checklist: How Quality Scores InfluenceJuly  2, 2014TopicsFourth of July • Bing • New Hampshire • Rhode Island • firework • Louisiana • Portland • Mississippi • Oregon • NorthwestPlease enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.comments powered by Disqus

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Yahoo Retires Less Popular Products to Make Room for New Innovation

by Ashley Zeckman,July 3, 2014CommentsIn an effort to focus on developing some of its more popular products, Yahoo has decided to retire some of its not-so-popular ones. However, all is not lost. Many of the features from the newly retired products have been integrated into other areas of its product set.

Yahoo first announced its upcoming changes earlier this year and eliminated products such as Newlook Service, Research Reports, and Bookmarks.yahoo.com in April and May. Yesterday, the company revealed further changes. 

In a blog post confirming the move, Jay Rossiter, senior vice president, Cloud Platform Group at Yahoo writes, "Over the past two years, our teams have been incredibly focused on our mission: making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. This focus has allowed us to launch some new, exciting products while giving us the opportunity to make the core products our users already love even better.

"To achieve this, we took a hard look at our products and have shut down some of the less popular ones and integrated widely loved features from others into core Yahoo experiences."

So, what additional Yahoo products are facing elimination?

People Search: As a user, you want one place to find everything you need. You can use Yahoo Search to find people, blogs, places, maps - anything. That’s why today, July 2, we are closing down Yahoo People Search, a defunct directory site that’s no longer useful. Check out Yahoo Search to find the people you’re looking for.

Xobni: As we announced in July 2013, although we are shutting down Xobni.com and the Smartr Product Suite today, July 2, we have incorporated many Xobni-like features into Yahoo Mail (like compose auto-suggest and people-centric mail search) and the technology behind the product continues to inform our current and future user experiences.

Yahoo Toolbar on Chrome: By July 22, the Yahoo Toolbar will be removed from the Chrome Web store, to comply with recent Google Chrome policy updates. Instead, we now offer the Yahoo Extension for Chrome, which will give you quick access to Yahoo.com whenever you open a new tab. The Toolbar is still available for Firefox and Internet Explorer at toolbar.yahoo.com. Install the Toolbar and sign in to your Yahoo account to access your personalized settings.

Yahoo Shine: We recently unveiled several new digital magazines that dive deeper into the topics our users have come to love on Yahoo Shine and offer unique advertising opportunities for brands. While Yahoo Shine will be closing on July 31, through our digital magazines, like Yahoo Beauty and Yahoo Travel, we will continue to bring these topics to life with stunning visuals, a strong editorial voice and engaging native advertising.

Yahoo Voices and the Yahoo Contributor Network: On July 31, Voices.Yahoo.com will be shut down and at the end of August, Contributor.Yahoo.com closes. Yahoo will be notifying contributors and please refer to this FAQ for more details.

Yahoo is determined to focus its energy on what it calls its "four core areas." Included in this group are Search, Communications, Digital Magazines, and Video. The company will also invest efforts in further developing Flickr and Tumblr.

While Yahoo’s recent changes may not affect marketers directly, it is clear that it will change the way that consumers utilize Yahoo. Do you think that the large number of changes will push users to try other search engines such as Google or Bing? Let us know in the comments section below!

Google 'Forgets' Publisher Articles as EU Takedowns Begin

by Carly Page,July 3, 2014Comments

Google has started taking down search results following Europe's 'right to be forgotten' ruling in May, with both the BBC and The Guardian seeing articles being removed from the search engine.

The BBC and the Guardian reported that pieces have been removed from Google, such as a column by Robert Peston commenting on bankers' woes during the 2007 financial crisis. The Guardian's James Ball said that six of the paper's articles have been removed from Google search.

Ball is calling for publishers to revolt against this, and has asked that media outlets set up Twitter accounts that tweet the links of articles that have been pulled from Google.

Google started removing search results last week, following the European Court of Justice landmark "right to be forgotten" ruling in May.

A Google spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal at the time, "This week we're starting to take action on the removals requests that we've received.

"This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually, and we're working as quickly as possible to get through the queue."

Google didn't sound too pleased about the whole thing, and didn't reveal any further details about the process, which means it's not clear how many requests the firm has received, nor how many it has removed so far. If recent reports are to be believed, takedown requests have topped the 50,000 level.

Bloomberg noted that, as well as articles from the BBC and Guardian, the interrnet search engine has removed a link to a Spanish newspaper that was the target of a court case by Mario Costeja Gonzalez. A Search of Gonzalez's name now shows text at the bottom of the page, which reads, "Some results may have been removed under data-protection law in Europe."

"We're showing this notice in Europe when a user searches for most names, not just pages that have been affected by a removal," Google clarified on its website.

Towards the end of May, Google started offering EU citizens an online tool to fill out if they want a link removed from its search results.

When submitting a request, Google said that users will have to provide at least one kind of photo ID, and stated that links will only be removed if the information is erroneous, misleading or no longer relevant.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

10 Shocking Facts About Content Marketing Today

Every day, more than 27 million pieces of content are shared on the Web. If there was ever a question as to whether content is still king, this statistic speaks volumes. However, the content marketing industry is just beginning to bloom as more people turn to it to exhibit their company brand and message.

Content marketing has revolutionized what it means to showcase your business to the world. With social channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, it's quick and easy to get the word out about your goods and services. Now, content marketing has evolved into an art – every marketing team is attempting to create the next unique, wildly successful campaign to propel their company to the top.

As marketers find new ways to reach their target audiences and technology continues to evolve, the future of content marketing continues to get brighter. Here are 10 shocking facts about this revolutionary marketing strategy that shapes the way we make purchases, evaluate services, and use the Internet each day.

1. Companies with an active blog generate 67 percent more leads per month

This statistic highlights one key factor that anyone who uses the Web can't ignore – people love blogs. They love them even more when they happen to find them on their favorite company's websites.

Why? Because blogging provides consumers with a down-to-earth view of what a business is all about. Furthermore, company blogs can quickly become a go-to resource for other people in the industry, assuming posts are always educational and relevant. Marketers can utilize the company blog to entice readers with calls-to-action and content offerings for lead capture. Why not cast a larger net when there are plenty of fish in the sea?

2. On average, content marketers are using 12 different tactics

Multitasking is an understatement for marketers, as this statistic from the Content Marketing Institute implies. Every year, more channels of communication open up for marketing teams – think of all of the apps and social networking sites that have exploded onto the scene in 2014 alone.

That being said, content marketers are taking advantage of many of them – most have an average of a dozen in their arsenal. Virtual conferences, videos, and research reports are among some of the most popular ones, and they may be worth incorporating into your own strategy.

3. About 86 percent of B2C companies use content marketing

It's no longer just the B2B companies that are taking a stab at content marketing, according to this statistic. With the number of consumers turning to social networking to make buying decisions, B2C companies are viewing content marketing as the key to expanding their client base. The value of content marketing continues to expand across multiple industries.

4. B2B marketing teams spend 33 percent of their budget on content marketing

This statistic indicates one key point: content marketing is valuable – so valuable that it's worth 33 percent of the marketing budget.

Resources such as content management systems and email marketing software come with a price. That being said, you can make up for the cost with the ROI of the product. Automating certain marketing tasks can save your team valuable time that they could put toward other tasks such as lead nurturing.

The value of content marketing continues to prove itself in the number of leads that are brought in, which have the potential to translate into deals.

5. Social media sites and blogs reach eight out of 10 Internet users in the U.S.

This is a large number, even when you aren't taking into account the number of people who may be using these sites to make purchases. Whether your buyer persona is most frequently on LinkedIn or Facebook, content marketers need to have a presence on social media and develop a blog strategy for outreach purposes.

6. Email is the most popular form of communication

Despite the prominence of social networks and their relevance in content marketing, email is still the winner. For this reason, marketers need to continue to place value in their email marketing campaigns, as well as the content that they are distributing to their target audience. These days, email automation and tracking software make it easy for marketing teams to tackle this portion of their job.

7. Approximately 47 percent of B2B marketers regularly use LinkedIn

Even if your target audience primarily uses Facebook or Twitter, it's a good idea to utilize LinkedIn as a marketer. Business professionals turn to this website to make connections with other people in their industry and build their network.

If you still aren't convinced, consider this statistic – top salespeople spend approximately six hours per week on LinkedIn. The social networking site has evolved into a powerful sales and marketing tool that continues to grow in popularity.

8. Nearly 87 percent of B2B companies use social media to distribute content

While it's completely acceptable to offer content on areas of your company website, there's a greater chance of reaching the masses through social media. That being said, publishing your content on websites such as Facebook and Twitter isn't always enough.

Your content marketing team needs to build a following on these social networking websites by providing valuable, insightful updates. This may take some work – and an employee who is dedicated to social networking efforts. However, the ROI will come in the form of more prospects and leads, who may eventually become customers and contributors to your overall bottom line.

9. Companies that blog 15 times per month get five times more traffic than those that don't

This number indicates one simple fact – build a blog, and people will come. Active blogs can create a breadcrumb trail for more leads and set the sales team up for success; pointing to an expert and in-house-written blog post that answers a lead's question thoroughly and intelligently is a very helpful sales tactic. It's up to the marketing team to ensure that the blog is always full of insightful, fresh content, and although this may take some work, the potential benefits are hard to ignore.

10. Only 44 percent of companies outsource their content marketing efforts

While it may be easy to outsource tasks such as blogging and social networking, companies are showing a preference toward keeping content marketing in-house. There are pros and cons to doing so, but the biggest benefit is that in-house teams generally have greater access to primary data, company voice, and other brand nuances that outsourced writers don't. However, in-house teams are commonly more expensive than outsourced solutions.


Content marketing isn't just a fad; it has firmly established itself as a core facet of the marketing industry. Its seemingly sudden increase in popularity is due to its significant benefits to other disciplines of online marketing, such as SEO and social media marketing. Clearly, marketers have embraced content marketing and the statistics prove its value.

Image credit: Stock Monkeys

Implementing the SEO Quality Gate

Brands are doubling down on content and becoming publishers in the true sense of the word. With all this investment in content creation, it’s become critical to have internal processes to ensure content is optimized before it goes out the door. Enter the SEO Quality Gate.

What Is the SEO Quality Gate?

It’s a simple idea – nothing gets published on the website or other digital properties without a check for SEO and inbound tactics optimization. It can take the form of a review by an in-house expert, a third-party agency, or it can become part of the way your editors, writers, and content creators do their job. And while it may be a simple concept, sometimes the simplest things are tough to implement.

The Rise of the CMS

As most sites of any significance now run on content management platforms, non-technical people can have a real impact on the level of optimization a given image, Web page, or video has when it gets pushed live.

Even the most basic CMS configurations allow for the editing of key SEO fields. Given a bit of development resources, the CMS interface can be customized to allow for even greater control – the ability to edit or add Schema.org tags for example – or the ability to add G

SEO Website Audits: Everything You Need to Know Part II

In a follow-up to an earlier column on what a site audit is in general, today I am going to spend a bit more time helping with the understanding of what a good audit is and why you would get with a tools audit vs. a human one.

Website SEO Audits - What Are They?

The term website SEO audit is a very general one that means anything that the auditor wants it to mean. This means I could be spending hours laboring over every detail of your site looking for issues, challenges, and areas of improvement or I could be running a tool that spits out a report and I spend an few hours writing up a few actionable items for you. So which is it?

It Is All of the Above.

Is it wrong if someone just uses some tools and writes up a few actionable items and gives that to you? Is it worth the money to pay for someone to pour over every nook and cranny looking for the slightest detail that might be out of place? The answer is that it depends. Why are you doing the audit? What do you want from the audit? And what is your budget?

Tools Vs. Humans

So when you are getting an audit, the most important thing you need to know is what you are paying for and why you are paying for it. In most cases, your audit reports and costs will be based on who is doing the auditing: tool or human.

Tools-Based Audits

All audits have some level of tool involvement: reports are run, analytics reviewed, links pulled for evaluation. The question is, does the auditor write most of the analysis for you or does the tool?

Vine Your Way to ClickZ Live San Francisco

by ClickZ ,July 7, 2014Comments

Interested in attending ClickZ Live San Francisco in August? Enter to win travel, accommodations, and a Platinum pass to the event by creating your best Vine video clip using your favorite toys. Yep, you heard that right, we did say "TOYS"...after all, who isn't a big kid at heart?!

From the announcement:

We want you to tell us the biggest challenge you've faced in digital marketing in a Vine video, using toys (because, being digital types, we know you've all got a toy cupboard in your office …)

For inspiration, ClickZ has created a few Vine videos of its own, featuring Ken (of Ken and Barbie), Legos, Thor, and Darth Vader.

"Think twice about building unnecessary apps":

"Keep in mind your global audience":

"Too much social":

"Keeping up with Google’s algorithm updates":

To enter, tweet your Vine video using the hashtag #DigitalMarketingChallenges. The favorites will be posted on the ClickZ Live Twitter feed.

The competition will close at midnight (PDT) on Wednesday, July 16. The best five will be put to a public vote, and the winner will be announced on Friday, July 25. Good luck!

This article was originally published on ClickZ.

Lucky Duck: Why Things Are Going Swimmingly for DuckDuckGo

by Jessica Lee,July 7, 2014Comments

DuckDuckGo continues to delight users with new, novel features on top of the foundations the search engine is known for, and why many people choose DuckDuckGo over giants like Google: DuckDuckGo does not track users, and it does not "filter" search results.

Mobile Now Exceeds PC: The Biggest Shift Since the Internet Began

by Rebecca Murtagh,July 8, 2014Comments

If you're still struggling to leverage the website to support goals, you have some catching up to do, as the landscape has recently experienced a tectonic shift.

Mobile Exceeds PC Internet Usage for First Time in History

In early 2014, the landscape in which businesses operate changed forever when Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC usage.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Top Keyword Combos for PPC Retail Ads During Back to School [Data]

The back-to-school and back-to-college retail audience spent an estimated combined $72.5 billion in 2013 – this season is second only behind the holidays for highest spending.

The critical thing about the back-to-school shopping season is that it's long – about three months! This is because school start dates vary across the country, from as early as the first week of August (Hawaii's public schools) to mid-September (New York City public schools).

Shoppers time their back-to-school shopping to the school start date, with 73 percent of shoppers filling their carts three weeks to more than two months before school starts.

Does Advertiser Spend on Keywords Match Top Queries?

To get an indication of the search terms the back-to-school shopper is using, we can look at advertiser spending on keywords that are relevant to back-to-school. Our friends at AdGooroo aggregated this data from both Google AdWords and the Yahoo Bing Network. It shows ad spend and impressions served – giving you a peek into how the two match up:

Google's Matt Cutts Goes on Leave, but Says Don't Panic

Remember a few weeks ago when Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts made himself invisible to prove a point about the importance of having a website? Well, now it seems Cutts is literally going to disappear from his very prominent position as the face of all things Google SEO.

Last week, Cutts announced he would be taking a few months of leave from Google to spend more time at home, returning in November. In his announcement, he made it clear he would not be answering emails or working (instead, he and his wife would be taking up ballroom dancing). 

He did leave a list of resources people can go to in his absence, and reiterated that the SEO community was in capable hands.

“Thanks to a deep bench of smart engineers and spam fighters, the webspam team is in more-than-capable hands. Seriously, they’re much better at spam fighting than I am, so don’t worry on that score,” Cutts said in his post.

We’ll miss Cutts as the star of the Q&A Google Webmasters videos on YouTube, but while he’s gone, here’s a list of resources he gave for webmasters and SEOs to turn to:

Webmaster forumsOffice Hours Hangouts Google Webmaster Central on TwitterGoogle Webmasters on Google

'Delete' is Now 'Remove' In AdWords

announced yesterday a tiny change to the language within its user interface (UI) that could have a big impact on how people view "old" campaigns. In about two weeks, AdWords will replace most instances of the word "delete" with the word "remove" in its UI. 

How to Diversify Your PPC Campaigns – and Your Skill Sets at the Same Time

If you've been managing pay-per-click campaigns for a while, you probably know that the "80/20" rule applies to many accounts. The "80/20" rule means that 80 percent of your traffic/sales are generated by 20 percent of your keywords. Even though this happenstance is commonplace, there is an inherent danger lurking in your account if you don't start diversifying immediately.

Around our office, we call the top-performing 20 percent "Golden Corral" keywords. These keywords provide a solid foundation for your account. However, relying solely on your golden corral keywords is known as putting all your eggs into one basket. If your golden corral keywords' performance ever slips, your entire account will suffer. Diversification insulates you from these fluctuations – because they will happen.

Diversification serves as a defensive tactic by spreading out your traffic to various campaigns. Also, this strategy is proactive because this is how good account managers provide new strategies and leadership. On the flip side, there is also risk with conducting tests and differentiating your traffic sources.

The campaign diversification process is filled with bumps, potholes, and even landmines. Hopefully, most of the tests you launch will achieve a level of success and they will evolve into long-term tactics. Let's face it: many of the new ideas you bring will not work, and that's OK. You need to have a process for launching new ideas, monitoring them closely, and making timely decisions when you have generated enough traffic to make a smart decision. Keep the things that work, and discard the tactics that don't.

If you push to learn and test new ideas, you will diversify your campaigns, which will help your overall performance. But through this process you will grow as a campaign manager as you expand your knowledge and experience. Everyone wins!

Below is a quick plan to get your diversification process started:

Define and Segment Your Golden Corral Keywords

You need to fully understand which keywords belong in your golden corral; segment those terms into specific ad groups and campaigns; monitor and optimize them precisely. If you utilize loose match types like broad match or broad match modified, you should drill down the exact match variations that are truly driving the most valuable traffic.

Develop Your Keyword List

Many accounts I review suffer from lazy keyword strategies. These accounts rely too heavily on broad match to generate the majority of their traffic. There is risk involved in this strategy because you are not truly in control of your traffic; you're allowing Google to match queries to your general keywords.

As you discover keywords that are high-value or high-potential, you need to extract those queries and shift them into exact match keywords in order to maintain tight control over your traffic. This is an evergreen process. This process should be ongoing so that you continuously expand your keyword list.

Designate a Testing Budget and Plan

Once you have a process down for regularly expanding your keyword list, then you need to designate a testing plan. As I mentioned earlier, many tests won't be successful, but you need to test to see what works. However, you don't want these tests to negatively impact overall performance – or at the very least offset the trends that may cause you to make erroneous corrective actions.

The best way to conduct testing while maintaining your core momentum is to create tests outside of your core campaigns when possible, and establish reporting that segments the performance of your core campaigns against those of your testing initiatives.

Also, you should establish a testing budget for each month or quarter. This way, your core budget is not impacted and you continue to optimize that spend – while you are using a smaller budget to find new sources of high-yield traffic.

Promote New Products/Services

I recently reviewed an e-commerce client that has an extension list of products, however only about half of their products were promoted through PPC. Their current strategy was to focus on the "heavy hitter" products that performed the best. This makes total sense and these are their 20 percent golden corral products (golden corral isn't just for keywords), but they were missing out on huge opportunities.

The client decided to devise a plan to begin expanding their promote products via AdWords. Sure, we may find that certain products just don't stack up well and they don't meet our key performance indicator (KPI) requirements, but we may also find a handful of products that do well if we try them out again – especially since these products hadn't been promoted in a few years.

Expand Your Geographic Targeting

The 80/20 rule can apply to numerous aspects of your campaigns; geographic location is one of them. I've reviewed accounts recently that focused heavily on tight niche of metro areas. This made sense because these geographic locations provided the best ROI. However, this exposed a weakness in the account because if a metro area's performance weakened this could have a significant negative impact.

You should test new markets, or perhaps re-test markets that didn't work previously. Also, you may have to establish new KPIs for these expanded markets. As with any expansion, you need to reach beyond your comfort zone, while clearly marketing your point-of-diminishing returns.

Introduce New Distribution Channels

Just within Google's service offerings you have a few distribution channels: Google Search, Search Partner Network, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail Sponsored Promotions. You should review your traffic mix to see where the majority of clicks reside, and then consider an expansion test.

Each of these channels presents opportunities and challenges. Even though each of these channels can be managed through Google, they all require a unique mindset and skill set. For example, if you currently have minimal experience with the Google Display Network (GDN), then you're going to have to do some educational investment before launching any GDN campaigns.

You can link your YouTube account directly to your AdWords account and run video ads. This can be very powerful, but the targeting options for YouTube campaigns are different from standard AdWords campaigns. So, this will also require some research and education.

Launch New Ad Formats

The core of most PPC campaigns is text-based ads. You can diversify your campaign by utilizing new ad formats such as image ads via the GDN or App Ads. As with any expansion tactic, some ad formats will work better than others and App Ads are totally different from everything else because you are driving app downloads. How can you make all of this work?

On average, we find that image ads via the GDN have a higher click-through rate (CTR) but a weaker conversion rate. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be in your media mix. There is inventory on the GDN reserved specifically for image ads so you may new pockets of distribution. Similar to any other expansion effort, you should segment these new ad types. For example, if you launch new image ads, you should create individual campaigns or at least ad groups for these ads. You need to mark them with campaign naming conventions or labels – or both!

Enroll in New Beta Products

Google AdWords and Bing Ads launch beta products frequently. You should work with your AdWords or Bing Rep closely to get whitelisted for these betas.

For example, I have a client that tries most betas within Google (that make sense for their campaigns). Many of these betas under-performed and they weren't a good fit. But many betas have provided supplemental traffic with acceptable results. In fact, just recently we launched a new beta for this client that completely changed how we will manage their account going forward (see graph below). The up-tick in this graph was when we launched the new beta tactic in AdWords.

Publisher Guide for Adding Custom Variables in Google Tag Manager

If you're an online publisher using Google Analytics, I'm sure you've heard this before: you need to use custom variables so that you can really segment and measure your audience.

You also most likely are currently working on migrating to Google Tag Manager in order to make your life easier.

So how do you implement them together? What follows is a step-by-step guide for installing publisher-centered custom variables using Google Tag Manager.

I am going to assume, that you already have Google Tag Manager installed in your site and that one of your tags is the asynch GA js. If you don't, read this first.

Google's Justin Cutroni recommends adding seven custom variables for publishers. This article will go in detail and breakdown how to install four of them:

CategoryContent TypePublication DateAuthor

These four custom variables at the most basic level gets you a good idea of your overall site performance. Once you add these data points, you can also get closer to information that other publisher-centered analytics tools such as Parsely track.

Let's jump in!

3 Things You Need to Know Before You BeginThese custom variables should be implemented on the page level. For all the custom variables mentioned above, the value changes as the user goes from one page to the next. For example, a user might read an article by author one and then click on a link that goes to an article by Author 2. This is true for all the custom variables aforementionedYou're going to need a data layer. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. The best and only way to have these custom variables on your site is via data layer. If you want to read more about this, here's an article that gives a good explanation of how data layers work.You need the help of your front-end engineer. If you don't know this yet, you will, a good analytics person is always good to his or her front-end engineers.

Ask your front-end engineer to create a data layer that contains the four custom variables we want to add: Content Type, Author, Category, and Published Date. Direct them to the developer documentation on adding data layer for Google Tag Manager. There are two key things to check in the developer implementation:

Make sure that the data layer comes before the Google Tag Manager code (we inserted ours before the /head tag).I like keeping my values in small caps, this eliminates any potential duplicate entries that could be created due to any weird capitalizations.

Check out the way we set up the data layer in one of our sites. The data layer in the source code for that page will look like below.

Influential Twitter Accounts Indexed More in Google [Research]

by Jessica Lee,July 10, 2014Comments

Stone Temple Consulting put out findings of research it conducted on the indexation of tweets in Google. What it found was that indexation was low overall, but that influential Twitter accounts with specific types of tweets tended to be indexed more. 

Between two queries, the company found a total of 6.2 billion Twitter pages indexed in Google, "which is a pretty small number when you consider that there are 500 million tweets per day," Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting said in his post of the findings.

Friday, July 11, 2014

4 Ways to Maximize Agency Relationships

I've had the pleasure of working in multiple capacities throughout my career. On the one hand, this includes roles on the brand side of marketing and dealing directly with agencies. The flip side is working within an agency and dealing directly with brand marketing teams. I've enjoyed both and believe anyone in marketing should get perspectives from both sides.

Here are a few tips on how to maximize the agency-brand relationship to ensure the highest return on investment (ROI).

1. Relationships Matter

First and foremost, remember that you're working with people. I've engaged with clients that had no respect for the individuals working on their campaigns, and I can tell you that nothing good comes from it.

There are always situations where lighting a fire is a good thing. However, the vast majority of the time you want the project manager and team to genuinely care about you and your organization.

If that's the case, creativity and passion will happen naturally and campaigns will produce a higher caliber of results. Project managers are more likely to push their team, stick their neck out, and sacrifice their time for clients they liketo collaborate with.

2. Encourage Bold Moves

Taking calculated risks is part of any investing activity. With marketing, this is no different.

Success is achieved through a combination of science and creativity. Sometimes you need to test new ideas, and some of them may not meet expected outcomes.

These "failures" are opportunities to learn and should be seen as such. Without problems, there is no growth. If you're not growing, you're dying.

Learn and grow from campaigns and efforts that didn't turn out as expected. I like the phrase, "test often and fail fast." With that said, don't mistake evolution for incompetence. There's no excuse for consistent failure or testing something with no research or foundation.

3. Collaborate

If you're on the brand side, remember you hired the agency for a reason: take the time to trust its judgment. If you're an agency working with a brand, don't assume you know everything.

The client's experience, connections, and direction are critical to your success. View your partnership as a mutual endeavor that increases the prosperity of a given company. Collaboration and openness are critical to achieving this.

4. Bring the Energy

Nothing is worse than attending a meeting with someone that sucks the energy from the room. You've all been there and know what I'm talking about.

Positivity breeds positive results.This increases opportunities for success. Bring excitement to the table, and you'll be amazed at how different the meeting outcomes will be.


Generating positive returns and getting things done should be motivation for both parties. Ensuring this happens involves effort from both sides. Sometimes a little relationship maintenance is needed to take things to the next level.

How to Implement an Engaging Content Marketing Plan for the Finance Industry

Finance-related information is often dismissed as boring and dry and a pain to read. But it need not be that way. After all, everybody needsgood and reliable information when it comes to money. So it should not be difficult for financial institutes to grab people's attention with the right kind of content.

For an engaging content marketing plan, focus on creating content that helps your customers and provides them with the resources they need to make informed decisions.

Yes, we live in a consumer-driven world now, and not only do you need to understand exactly what content your target audience wants, you need to be obsessed with them to succeed. This post will help you do exactly this.

A Bird's Eye View

Before you dive into a new strategy, it's good to get the basics right. Make a plan and create an overview of your goals and what your content marketing will look like. Here's something to get you started.

Social Channels: Facebook and Twitter are the "must do" channels. But if you have the time and the resources for it, jump into LinkedIn communities or run a Google

3 Tests to Determine if Mobile Ads are Right for Your Online Store

by Mary Weinstein,July 11, 2014Comments

Mobile use is such a part of our lives that 73 percent of people admit they would feel panicked about losing a phone. Mobile use is a pervasive habit for our society- across search, shopping, and social networks.

Consumers spend more than 15 hours a week on mobile sites and apps, a year over year mobile use has grown 25 percent, according to Google. Just as marketers switched from print to television advertising, many marketers are emphasizing a mobile presence for their online store.

Should You Set Up Mobile Ads?

Mobile is big, and getting bigger. But are mobile search ads a good investment for your site?

Below are three questions to ask to help your determine your potential for mobile success, and analytics reports you can run to help answer those questions.

1. How Much Traffic Comes to Your Site From Mobile?

How many of your users are actually coming to your site using a mobile device? Depending on your site and consumer base, this answer will vary widely.

If your client demographic is older, you may have very few mobile visitors. Younger shoppers, or a more tech savvy audience will inversely be more likely to browse and purchase using mobile. Don't assume your site visitors are or aren't visiting on mobile. Look at the data first.

To determine how much of your site traffic comes from mobile, run a device report in Google Analytics. To do this, login to Analytics and select mobile in the left navigation under Audience. Click overview to view the mobile sessions, users, and other user traffic information for mobile:

Google Panda: Understanding the Technical Inner Workings

by Ben Goodsell,July 11, 2014Comments

The concept of a search engine is very simple. Database the location of pages and return the most relevant results.

Primitive search engines only understood words on the pages in their database and returned pages that included those searched words. Google essentially came along with the ability to reorder those search results based on how many other pages on the Internet linked to them.

Since then Google and other search engines have improved these foundational ranking factors and developed thousands of ways to reorder search results so only the most relevant are displayed to the user. For example the "freshness" of content or the location of where the search took place.

Panda is just another way Google reorders results based on the quality of a site's content.

Throughout this article we speculate in detail what can be learned from the "Panda Patent". The verbiage used is often vague and sometimes makes it hard to retain meaning, so here's a quick concept breakdown that should help throughout.

Panda refreshes gathered information about links and queries associated with a site.Upon a user search, each result listing (URL / Page) is given an initial score based on relevance to search and page quality.Calculations of #1 and #2 determine if the result listing (URL / Page) is above or below a threshold.Results are reordered by final values.Looking Back and the New "Panda Rank"

Way back in February 2011, Google released a major change in how they order search results. In it they explain:

This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.

They go on to say:

...it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that's exactly what this change does.

Panda looked at the quality of content as it related to a site.