Now that you has seen QR Codes or Quick Response Codes on other sites how can you use them too? Here are a few of my suggestions.
Add a QR Code to Your Print Brochures
Add a QR Code to your print brochure, you can send your user to your home page or better yet send them to a custom created landing page that has a special offer to allow you to actually measure the results of your exposure from a trade show, speaking engagement, direct mailing.
Offer Special Coupon Codes and Promotions
Want to track mobile Web users? As most desktop users are not using QR Code scanners, you can encode special offers as a text snippet and even embed a special coupon code in a QR Code that can then be used immediately by smartphone users.
Encourage Google HotPot, FourSquare, and Google Places Reviews
By embedding your QR Code on your menu or guest check, restaurants can encourage visitors to interact immediately with location specific places to share their favorite spots with others and encourage visitors to even leave service reviews.
Print a QR Code on the back of your business card
With the ability to embed a vCard in your QR Code, you can make it easy for smartphone users to add your contact information to their phone and if they are syncing to Outlook will appear there too.
How do you think you will use a QR Code? Just click comments and let me know your suggestion too.
With the world of organic search optimization having changed significantly and few really good keyword research tools for website placement on the Web, Google Insights has become a very important tool as you consider making changes on your website. Personally, I use the Google AdWords keyword tool hand in hand with the Google Insights tool. What the Google Insights tool helps me to understand is if a keyword phrase I am thinking of using for optimization on a website or for creating a new content page for a client is worth the expense and trouble.
Here’s an example, I have a client in California who wants to do a page on their website for climate controlled warehouse space. I used the AdWords keyword tool to find phrase variations that are popular for clicks in the United States. Then I used the Google Insights tool to review which of those phrases were important and in what locations since 2004. The information has helped the client access how much they want to push this service.
As it turns out climate control keyword phrases are not important to his local or state customers but for the East Coast and Southern markets it is. If he does not have clients in these eastern and southern areas, it may not be worth the time and trouble to do a new service on his website nor promote the service on AdWords. In fact based on the information, he may not move to a new warehouse with climate controlled space.
That’s how powerful Google Insights can be to a business which is developing a new strategy or service. If you want to check out the tool yourself, visit Google Insights now. I think you’ll find the tool useful and very interesting.
Here are a few of the secrets that I liked best from the article and some of my own.
1. Start a tweet with .@somename and the update will appear publicly in all your streams and your friend’s you are talking to not just in the feed of your followers and in the feed of the other person’s followers as well. Who knew! .@ you will be my next update.
2. Try to use only one or two hashtags in a tweet. Too many starts to look like spam. We tell our writers try to stick with one.
3. On Facebook have your images for your wall be at least 403 pixels wide by 403 pixels tall. If you are using your smartphone, check your image size settings so you aren’t sending a small photo. Not only will they look better, but when you feature the photo on your page it will not be blurry.
4. Did you know that Pinterst allows the use of hashtags in the description box? Use them wisely and to your benefit.
5. Spend your time in Google+ Communities. Your updates there will be posted to your personal profile and you’ll have more interaction and fun. Personally I have really built up my circle numbers by creating a community and moderating it.
6. In Google+ don’t use the @personname use +personname. Although Google may understand the @ you’ll see that others are using the +.
Make sure to read the article as there may be more great tips you can glean for your own use.
In this video Matt Cutts talks about how Google will really emphasize content using the rel=author tag tied to a Google+ profile .
As Google is using the tie-in from website to Google+ personal profile to return a face image in results as well as to try to reward PageRank to authority authors, this is a video to not miss. Make sure you understand how to use rel=author as it will definitely impact your organic placement when used correctly.
“A quick note about this data is that while CPA is up across the board this is partly due to seasonality for a few major accounts. It’s obvious though, that CPA is up on computers for Search and Display but that mobile and tablet CPA is up at a much, much larger percentages and has started to make up larger percentages of budget allocation. This is also macro data so one account with high CPA goals that has increased budget over the past few months could drastically skew these numbers.” Make sure to read the rest of this interesting article.
Watching your mobile ad spend right now is very important.
Interestingly the data seems to provide that ad spend is up on mobile but eating into the total ad spend budget significantly enough that conversions are down according to this oneaccount manager that wrote the article. When this manager moved out of mobile using the -100% bid adjustment, tablet traffic moved in to fill this space. Due to the change in ad serving strategy, this account manager saw an increase in the cost per conversion.
For our clients, we are watching the mobile ad spend very carefully. For some we are pushing down the bid adjustment, a few we have moved out of the mobile ad space, but for many mobile just has not been a big cash drain. For many of our accounts in the month of May we did see a big drop in conversions, and increase in the cost per conversion, but for nearly all it was not tied to mobile traffic, rather appeared to be increased market competition possibly as a result from Penguin 2.0 and new advertisers moving in to AdWords.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Enhanced Campaigns in the very near future. I would expect that AdWords will eventually give advertisers the ability to bid adjust mobile, tablet, and desktops as this would keep advertisers happy and allow for greater control over ad spend. For now, advertisers and account managers can only bid adjust mobile activity.
Although we are not seeing the types of results for our clients that the author of this interesting article shared, watching carefully the percentage of your budget being eaten up by mobile in AdWords right now if a very good idea.
I’m playing around with the feature and here are a few of my thoughts.
1. If you use AdWords Editor, you probably don’t need to use this feature, but for those that don’t want to learn how to use AdWords Editor, this gives immediate and instant updating in bulk access.
2. The key is to select a report where editable makes sense. That would be specifically be for a bid, a keyword, or ad text. Download the report but make sure to tick the check box next to editable. Change your report the way you want, and then using the left slide out menu go to the report center. Click the tab at the top that says upload and then upload your report. AdWords will instantaneously update your account and let you know what loaded and what failed.
Follow these specific instructions when changing keywords:
“General rules for editing your keyword reports
Do not modify or delete the first three rows: Report info, Parameters, and Column names.
For every change you make, whether it’s an addition, a deletion, or an edit, you must enter a value in the “Action” column. You have three options: Add, Remove, or Set. If you don’t enter one of these action words in the “Action” column of a row, our system will ignore the row completely, and your changes will not take effect.
When editing an existing row, you can only modify these three columns: keyword state (“paused” or “enabled”), destination URL, and keyword max CPC. Changes to any other column will be ignored.
For example, when editing an existing row, you cannot change the keyword or match type values. If you wish to change a keyword’s match type, you must delete the keyword and re-create it with the proper match type. (See the “Instructions for common edits” section below for a step-by-step guide.)
Don’t worry about deleting extraneous columns or the total rows. Simply upload the whole report, and we’ll ignore what isn’t essential.
Do not use square braces ([ ]) or quotes (“”) to indicate a keyword’s match type. Instead, specify the keyword’s match type by name (broad, exact or phrase) in the match type column.
Be sure to save your upload file in one of our supported formats(.csv, .tsv, and Excel).”
Looking over the criteria for how to get AdWords to accept the uploaded document, I still have to say that I think AdWords Editor is easier to use, but for those that simply don’t want to use it or have a greater knowledge of Excel this new option may be just right for you.
I came across this article this past week in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how to deal with competitors unfairly targeting you and making an effort to erode your reputation online with forum posts. You can read the full article here.
Although I have not been a victim to this type of attack by a competitor, I have been the victim of an attack by a prospect who I turned down for a working relationship. This person wanted to buy our blogging services to boost search engine placement, but I found his business had so many customer complaints that I told him we were not a good match for his needs. Unfortunately I mentioned the number of negative reviews he had at epinions as the reason, and he retaliated by posting negative reviews about my firm online at several scam alert sites.
The Journal talks about forums and what to do and for any business that has been targeted, it is worth a quick read. Just be aware, that once a review is out there on a forum, you may have a chance to have it removed. If the review appears at City Search, Google Local, Yelp, or an scam review website, you’ll never be able to get that review taken down. It is just a hard cold fact – no matter how hard you push, those types of reviews will stay up.
I recommend when possible that you write a new rebuttal and if you can re-mediate the incident try to do so. If you cannot re-mediate something, as in my case, post your rebuttal, be honest on your own website about what happened and work to build more positive reviews and more forward.
I have personally given up on trying to move that unfair characterization of my business from the search results after trying many tactics to push the review down. Yes, these types of reviews and posting are unfair, but a reality in today’s connected world.
When it comes to Google AdWords, decisions you make about how much you should spend should all revolve around statistical data. Never make a decision about your ad spend based on feel-good ideas or what you “think” you should do. The biggest thing I tell clients to remember is that:
AdWords will spend every penny if you allow it to do so.
McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.
For many clients whose business is struggling in today’s economy or have been affected by Penguin and Panda updates, it boils down to how much should I spend?
Here are several tips and talking point I review with my own AdWords clients about budget.
1. Never spend more than you really can afford and base your initial budget based on what you are comfortable spending without a return. Don’t go in debt to drive traffic!
2. Make budget decisions based on data. Use conversion tracking, business research, Google Analytics data review to base your budget changes.
3. Allot your ad spend where it is generating a return or where you have made a decision your focus is for traffic not for conversions.
4. Hold out some of your budget for a mature program for testing to see if you can uncover additional revenue areas. Test new markets but be realistic in your ad spend, limit your testing, and evaluate the return.
5. If money is tight, look to advertise only in the areas where you are getting sales. Don’t serve ads nationwide and in Canada if when you review where you have shipped goods in the last 90 days and only three states are involved, rather serve ads to those three states and then when money is not so tight expand your exposure.
My rule has always been – own your city, own your state, own your region, then own the nation!