AdWords Content Network – Excluding Below the Fold Placements

The team at Google AdWords has been incredibly busy this last month rolling out some super new features. Here’s one that is really great if you are advertising in the content network:

Exclude content placements that fall below the fold

The fold is the part of a web page that a reader has to scroll to see. In many cases to be below the fold means that you do not get the clicks, exposure, and return on investment that you need. For content placement in the top three to five ad spots on the side of the page or at the top of the page are preferable. As typically in the content network readers will rapidly scan content and may not even read past the first one or two paragraphs, having a top position can mean the difference between mediocre and great results.

Here’s a quote directly from AdWords on this topic and how to enable it for your content program:

“How to exclude below-the-fold placements

“Follow these steps to exclude below-the-fold placements for your AdWords campaign:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Select a campaign.
  3. Click the Networks tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  4. Click the Exclusions link. You’ll see an “Ad group level” table and a “Campaign level” table.
  5. Within the Campaign level, click the Add exclusions drop-down menu, and select Exclude category.
  6. Select the “Below the fold” checkbox, and click Save.

“When you target placements above the fold only, the available inventory decreases. As a result, the winning bids for those placements are expected to be higher than for placements below the fold. So if you want to maintain your same campaign budget, we recommend increasing your bids. This will help you compete against campaigns that target placements below the fold, and other advertisers bidding exclusively on placements above the fold.”

You can read the full article and how-tos here in the AdWords help center.

The key here is that for above the fold placements, you will need to bid more, but your results may definitely improve. However anytime you advertise in content it is important to make sure to evaluate your return on investment after at least a 30 day period. Content clicks can suck your budget dry, so you only want to be in content if it generates sales for you or if you are working to establish your brand.

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Professional Bloggers Love WordPress

As professional blog writers, my team writes over 100 blog posts each week. We’ve used all the blogging platforms and even custom applications. Hands down my team prefers to use WordPress.

Our team members don’t like these platforms:

Movable Type
When we get a blog project that is using Movable Type, we all groan. This platform does not allow for pending and draft posts, has a very quirky publishing interface, and has a very strange HTML mutant link and writing interface. Typically blog writers are writers first and not usually HTML savvy so to add link or tag syntax can be highly confusing.

Blogspot
This used to be the platform that most of our blogs were done on back in 2002 and 2003 but as of 2010 not a single one of our clients is on Blogger or Blogspot. They have all moved to WordPress. Although you can add tags, you cannot sort posts into categories. Additionally the template selections are archaic and do not even allow three column blogs.

HubSpot
This is another platform when we get a client using this we groan. Although it is not as bad as Movable Type, the inability to see blog posts in a list by date and quick editing features for tags and categories make this a cumbersome choice to use.

The Best is WordPress!
Here’s why we love WordPress:

  • Wonderful easy to install plug-ins that build SEO benefits into each blog post.
  • Ability to choose tags PLUS categories to sort your blog posts into for easy navigation.
  • Integrated search engine.
  • Once click software upgrade and plug-in update.
  • Excellent and rock solid publishing on future dates.
  • Ability to set a post as pending or draft – they are different in our minds.
  • Running word count that resides at the bottom left of the blog entry field screen.
  • Outstanding template selections with many that are free downloads.

If you are trying to decide which blog platform to use for your blog. Use the one that professional bloggers like us love – WordPress!

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Want to Build Blog Readership? Consistency is Key!

If you want to build readership of your blog, consistency is key, but that doesn’t just mean posting on the same days, but at the same time, with the same quality, and on your core topics.

I have learned this from personal experience. There is absolutely nothing worse than building up a reader base and then due to your own inconsistency losing it. I had this happen in 2008. I had a number of writer related personnel issues. I had to step in and write consistently at the last moment for a number of client blogs. When you blog for other people, you can get tapped out and simply not want to or have time to write for your own blog.

I saw on my own blog, over a several month period, my traffic go from 40% of all visitors reading my blog to under 10%. It took me over one full year to rebuild my readership with consistent blogging three days a week. It was really tough to keep the momentum up to rebuild what I had lost. I have learned that to not blog is not an option for my own business.

For me, I blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My posts are published at 5:30 am and are consistently on-topic for what my readers are interested in knowing more about. The payoff has been huge. My RSS subscriber base is now over 220 readers and my website traffic has nearly doubled this year alone.

Blogging can be hard work to always be at the top of your game, but when you stop or get sporadic you can lose it all! If you need help staying consistent with your blog consider our blog writing services. You don’t want to have to rebuild your readership, as I did, if you can simply get someone to step in and help out when you need it.

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Blog Comments – Why You Should Allow Them

I think a blog without comments is like having a BLT sandwich without the bacon or tomato. Comments on a blog show that an active community is watching and interacting. When you disable comments on your blog I personally feel that you are missing out on important interaction with your readers.

That being said, it is important to know that I allow commenting on my blog, but I do moderate comments. I don’t post comments that are blatant advertisements for other people’s business, and I do not allow search engine “follow” links on my comments until you have posted comments a certain number of times. Once you comment to hit my threshold, comments on my blog that you leave will be followed by search engines.

I use a WordPress plug-in called Lucia’s Linky Love to control the follow nofollow attribute on links left in comments on my blog and in the commenter’s signature block. I have found that by allowing comments, within my parameters, that I have increased the amount of commenting on my blog and have actually quadrupled my RSS feed subscription readership.

If you are so tightly controlling interaction on your blog by either not allowing comments or deleting any comments don’t match your personal point of view, I feel like you lose what a blog is all about. In any one community not everyone will agree on everything, but if you as a business owner allow interaction between yourself and even between commenters you allow for an overall “richer” experience for every blog visitor.

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Blogging Off-Domain Does It Work? Part III

Okay if you’ve read the posts this week, this is the solution if you can only blog off-site. First, based on our case study, we just don’t recommend blogging off-domain at this point. If you can only blog off-domain, I strongly recommend you evaluate organic placement for your off-domain blog separately. If your blog shows for your keyword on Google.com then I would consider continuing to blog off-domain and point links to your parent website. You may actually be able to place organically with your off-domain blog if you have been blogging for a while and you are not in a competitive industry.

If your off-domain blog does not place organically for your keywords then I would stop all blogging efforts there. I would instead take the money and time that I had invested in blogging and use it to start building on-site on-domain content. That content might be in the form of

  • free downloadable white papers
  • feature articles
  • monthly press releases
  • online newsletters
  • additional website pages

You can do double duty with some of these types of items by disseminating them on Google Knol, American Chronicle, GoArticles, and article syndication sites in order to get inbound links.

I would strongly recommend that you review your current off-domain blogging approach as all blogging is not equal. Blogging is really only a good, rather a great SEO strategy for you when you are blogging on-domain. If you just can’t blog on-domain, I would use the time and dollars to build parent website content and value instead of spending that on off-domain blogging at this time.

If you need on-domain blog writing, remember we are the blog experts in the industry. We invite you to visit our blog writing services page for information on pricing and to review writing samples.

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