Google has incredible free programs for non-profits. Here is the home page for their programs that includes everything from free software to free advertising. This is huge for any nonprofit. Get started today. -Ken
Today, Google is rolling out a brand new Paid & Organic report in AdWords that gives advertisers at-a-glance insights into query performance across the Google landscape. This is pretty big news from a reporting viewpoint.
Ken Dickens's insight:
We get this question a lot, "Why should I advertise on my Brand name". Google did a big study on this and found that you get 50+% more visitors by doing so. But this new Adwords feature shows you exactly. Plus, it shows where you are getting Organic Search specifically, and where you're not. Really helpful! -Ken
Article points out that your Google Gant Ads must point to your primary domain or a subdomain of that primary domain. This has always been the case so it is not news, but is a good reminder.
Ken Dickens's insight:
This is really not a change, it has always been the case. What is not mentioned here and is important is that Google now has an automated system to get a separate Grant for a different website thant has a different purpose under the same EIN number. See your google.com/nonprofits account for details. We have secured multiple Google Grants under the same EID for a number of clients. Let me know if you have questions. -Ken
We give you the lowdown on Google Grants, and tell you how and why your nonprofit should be taking advantage of this golden online marketing opportunity. (What are the benefits for your #nonprofit organization of using #Google #Grants?
$120,000 in free advertising from Google. We've discussed this before, but this is a good reminder. We have a Non-Profit Google Grants client that is selling over $20K/month using their Grant. Non-profits, run don't walk to this opportunity and let us know if you need help. -Ken
Google knows all. They are the man behind the curtain, the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. They just released their data on what we searched for this year: Whitney Houston, Kate Middleton, Hurricane Sandy, and BBB12 and One Direction (What the hell are these?). Take a look, fascinating.
Robin Good: To create an effective landing page you need to pay attention to a lot of critical factors. From the layout and positioning of the graphic and text elements on it, to the language and communication style to use.
Frequent mistakes include wanting to include too much stuff, providing too many links going off into different directions and not paying enough attention to small details which can make or break your credibility and reputation on the web.
Excerpted from the original article:
"If you are searching for conversion-focused landing page best practices, then look no further than our latest infographic.
We’ve highlighted twenty-five tips you can incorporate into your landing page optimization strategy immediately.
From creating targeted, cohesive campaigns to testing strategies that get results - this infographic covers it all."
How social context is playing a role in SEO and how marketers can adjust their strategies to match the changing character of search.
"More and more, search engines have begun to incorporate social context into their search results. And it's high time we dive into what role social context is playing in SEO, and how marketers can adjust their strategies to match the changing character of search. So without further ado, let's get into the nitty gritty of what's being called "social search" and learn how it affects marketers.
"Social search" is an evolving term for the way in which search engines factor a user's social network -- also referred to as social graph -- into how results are displayed after a search query. In social search, content that has a social connection to you in some way is prioritized. A social connection could mean someone you are linked to via Facebook, Twitter, or any other major social network. Alternately, some forms of social search prioritize content that has been shared by social media influencers, even if those experts aren't directly tied to you".
What are you reading? Here's a reading list from Holly Ross, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Technology Network. Of special note:
Who she listens to:
Jeremiah Owyang, a social-media analyst
Chris Brogan, a marketing consultant
Beth Kanter, a technology consultant
Books she asks her employees to read:
For managers: First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, is helpful in getting employees to identify their leadership styles and how they might be holding others back.
For the entire staff: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, by Clay Shirky. “The book not only explains social media well but it also examines how nonprofits are shifting.”
This is an advanced topic for Google Grants holders. But, if you're using their Website Optimizer tool, you need to read this. Take heart, they have an alternative called Experiments in your Analytics account.
Google recently launched a new feature called Search by Image. While experimenting with the feature, I identified three scenarios where search by image has a distinct advantage over traditional approaches for finding link opportunities.
1. Get Background on Industry Influencers and Linkerati
2. Identify Link Opportunities by Searching for Popular Guest Posters
3. Find Coverage That Didn't Result in a Link
Search by Image has a distinct advantage over other research tools because it can identify significant coverage of your client or company that doesn't already include a link.
We've said it before: we love Pixar. Their stories are original, funny, and appeal to all audiences. They're masters. That's why Jess and I got excited when we saw Pixar's 22 rules to storytelling.
Non-Profits: If there is only one thing you can do to improve your organization, it is getting your story told in a compelling way. Without a compelling story, all the Pinning, Facebooking, Tweeting etc. you do is wasted. And, who better to learn from than the Pixar. Love this! -Ken
Website satisfaction, automatically analyzed through a simple but powerful interface.
Ken Dickens's insight:
Does your website suck? Or not. Find out free with new survey tools from Google. Need data to justify changes? Here's your chance to get it. Especially valuable if you want to do before and after when making changes to your site. Google also introduced new low-cost survey tools for consumers. Well worth checking out. - Ken
The Enhanced Campaign migration deadline is twelve days away. Even if you’re leaving ‘upgrading’ until the last minute, you need to be prepared
Ken Dickens's insight:
Adwords Alert: Google is moving all campaigns to "Enhanced" soon, and if you do nothing it will cost you money. Here is a good overview, but in the meantime, my suggestion is just to set your mobile bid at -20% and then see what happens. Or, as the author suggest, set it to -100% and kill your mobile ads altogether if they don't work for your site. - Ken
Search Engine Optimization means at least following Google's known rules in order to rank highly in search. Here is a big picture of those rules. Yes, it is complicated, but that is why you hire someone to help. The payoff of being on the first page of Google rankings is high. -Ken
If you haven’t yet used Google Trends, you’re missing out. It’s one of Google’s most intuitive and useful tools. To access the new YouTube data, launch the site, plot a search and find the “limit to” option on the left hand side. Select “YouTube” and feast on the results. You can choose to examine trends across all of Google and YouTube, or narrow your research strictly to YouTube only. You can also segment by region or category.
Ken Dickens's insight:
Goats are more popular than cats on YouTube right now. Hard to believe. But hey, who knows what people are searching for... well, now you do with
Learn why one client needed to set Justin Bieber as a negative keyword, plus five tips for using negative keywords to filter out unwanted PPC clicks.
Ken Dickens's insight:
Negative keywords prevent your ads showing for the wrong search phrase. Why would this happen? Because Google wants to show your ad as much as possible and if you are using broad match keywords, that is really broad! Like showing an ad for Fever medicine on a search for Bieber. Google thiinks Bieber is a mispelling of fever. Enjoy! Ken-
Google has announced a bulk-editing feature for AdWords that enables you to, for example, replace a bit of text across a couple of hundred ads; update your URL and destination URLs across your account; or adjust AdWords bids for several thousand keywords.
Google offered the example of changing "Road bike" to "Commuter bike" in over 25,000 ads with a single click (see graphic).
Google will release the bulk editing features to a limited number of AdWords accounts to collect feedback, and expects to roll the feature out to all users in the usual "coming weeks."
Comment: Great new capability for online managers of Adwords. However, these capabilities are already available if you use Google's Adwords Manager Software, that is downloadable and free.
Most important for time-limited non-profits is something they don't mention. With the adwords editor and these features you can copy Campaigns and Adgroups with all of their settings and then create new Campaigns and Adgroups that are more specific with these global search and replace features. Non-Profits, the more specific you are the better you will be able to compete at the $1 per click Google non-profit limitation.
So, using Google's example, rather than just changing text from "Road bike" to "Communter Bike" you can copy the "Road Bike" Adgroup or campaign, and then do the text and URL search and replace change to create a new campaign or adgroup. So, at the end of the day, you have two, not one, groups working for you.
Being specific is the key to success for non-profits, and this new capability helps. - Ken
"Getting quality traffic on the interwebs is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. We can spam Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn all day. We’ll get a ton of traffic. But that won’t get us anywhere. We might go from 100 visits to 10,000 visits and still have only 2 customers.
Luckily, we have another option…
Get more customers with the traffic we already have:
The key to making this work is the marketing funnel.
Remember, funnels measure the number of people who move through a series of steps in order to become a customer.
Funnels help you find the bottleneck in your customer acquisition.
Once you know where people drop off in large batches, you’ll know which part of your business needs the most improvement. And once you fix the problem, you’ll get more customers with the same amount of traffic. That’s the beauty of tracking funnels.
5 Best Practices for Building Funnels
1. Fewer Steps is Better than More Steps:
One of the easiest ways to increase the percentage of people who get through your funnel is to eliminate a step. Yup, just hack it out completely. Even if you have an amazing design, world-class copy, and a perfect product, you’ll still lose people at each step.
I want you to be RUTHLESS with your funnels. Hack and slash every unnecessary click, field, button, and page you can. Have no mercy.
2. Start With a Benchmark:
This applies to ALL your metrics, not just your funnels.
Based on your industry, business model, target market, and the alignment of the stars, you’ll find a huge difference in metrics from one site to the next.
3. Look for Bottlenecks
I already alluded to the best way to prioritize your funnel improvements.
When you’re looking at your entire funnel and trying to decide which step gets your attention first, start with the bottlenecks. In most funnels, there are one or two steps that aren’t really steps. They’re brick walls.
Your mission? Find your bottlenecks and patch them asap.
4. When A/B Testing, Track the Impact on the Entire Funnel
Once you find your bottlenecks, you’ll want to start launching improvements to see if you can fix them. The best way to do this is with an A/B test.
A/B tests typically track only the next step.
As soon as you start testing improvements in your funnel, test your changes on the ENTIRE funnel instead of just the next step. This way, you won’t slow your customer growth by accident. And yes, I’ve seen this happen.
5. Track People
There’s a myth that most marketers automatically believe. As soon as you start to track your funnel, you’ll assume that customers move orderly through it.
This is false.
People bounce around in funnels.
So how do we get around this? Use customer analytics so you can track people. Then you’ll know how many people moved through each step, even if they’re bouncing around beforehand..."
The article is analyzed with more information, examples, and some tools. Read full article here:
Learn 25 things within an AdWords account that SEOs and inbound marketers can leverage in optimizing for organic search marketing. If you have a Google Adwords Grant, you can get lots of data to help your other marketing efforts, and since Google is paying for it, it's free. Free is good! -Ken
Here is a post from Google talking about it's Google Maps program for non-profits. It shows wonderful examples of how non-profits are using Google Earth to bring their story to life. It also is a call to action to get a Grant to do this for your idea.
This is worth looking at if only for the inspiration. Plus, your idea could get funded! - Ken
Yesterday afternoon Google’s search engine results page (SERP) included clickable menus for select websites.  Here is a screenshot: If you click on a menu item, it loads another group of links.
Why would Google include menus in its search results and what are the implications for searchers, advertisers, and website owners?
First, these menus produce a better experience for searchers. You can quickly find the most relevant pages from within Google’s search results.
This saves you time. This feature also benefits advertisers and Google. If users are spending more time browsing Google’s search results they are probably more likely to see and click on a sponsored result. Higher click-through rates on ads equates to more revenue for Google.