It’s a Great Time to Consider Yahoo Pay Per Click

This past week we have helped more clients migrate their advertising programs into Yahoo Sponsored Search. With the escalating costs of Google AdWords, significant drop in AdWords ability to deliver conversions, and the quality score algorithm changes, Yahoo is looking better all the time.

Yahoo has a very good ad serving program, is a good value for the money, and has consistently supplied quality conversions. Yahoo’s only problem is that not everyone uses Yahoo as their search engine; meaning that you get less “reach” when you advertise on Yahoo versus on Google.

We have found however, that as a supplement to your Google AdWords program, Yahoo can deliver the lead conversions that you are looking for at nearly one third to one half less per click than you will pay on AdWords. Additionally, if you are the type of person who really wants to manage your own advertising account versus hiring a professional manager, like us, then Yahoo is an excellent place to advertise and even start checking our pay per click for the first time.

Yahoo has a very easy to understand ad control panel, provides quality keyword discovery tools, and is very easy to manage on an ongoing basis. Although the Yahoo program is less sophisticated than Google’s, it is easy to use and makes getting up and running fairly painless.

With AdWords upping the ante in regards to a big jump in click costs since the algorithm change on 9-15-08, more of our clients are lowering AdWords budgets to fund a jump into Yahoo. Some are simply allocating more dollars for Yahoo and some are stealing AdWords money to fund new Yahoo accounts.

AdWords had system maintenance on Saturday 10-11. but it is still to early to say if this was an adjustment to the highly unpopular quality score update they did in September, or an additional tweak to wring more money from your pocketbook. Whichever it is, we’ll be sure to let you know as we start to see the impact in the nearly 35 accounts that we manage in a wide variety of business sectors.

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Reed and Reed Debt Collection Services

It is a sad state of affairs when we have to review a collection agency and a terrible indictment of today’s business climate. We have recently selected Reed and Reed to act as our collection agency. If you are looking for a proactive professional service to handle collecting on your late accounts, we recommend that you take a look at Reed and Reed.

Collections are a sensitive matter, but one that nearly all businesses will use at some time or another. Stephen Smith of Reed and Reed tells me that in today’s business climate, they recommend to their clients to turn accounts over for collections at 60 days. The longer that you wait to start collection the less you may actually recover.

Not only are we following Stephen’s advice, but are tightening up on the way we allow credit to new customers. So if you are in a similar position – trying to be patient with client’s who simply will not pay, now’s the time to get proactive and check out this resource which was recommended to us by one of our own clients and who we have very positive dealings with so far.

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How to Blog For Organic Search Engine Placement

Many of our clients are doing blogging for search engine optimization benefits. So what exactly should you do if you are blogging for search engines?

  1. Make sure you have great well-written interesting content.
  2. Make sure you are using WordPress on your own domain and website server.
  3. Install the WordPress All in One SEO plug-in and configure it.
  4. Write only on topics that are your core businesses and keep posts keyword dense.
  5. Use great post titles that contain your important keywords.

These are just a few things that you should keep in mind as you blog. There are more tips and tricks what do you recommend for best practices?

Just one more from me, try to deep link to your content from your blog post at least once and two to three times depending on the length of the blog is better.

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I’m a Social Networking Convert

If you are not networking via LinkedIn or Facebook with clients and prospects you are really missing out on an enriching experience.

People in this day and age really put a high value on personal interaction, but not by face to face meeting, rather interaction in “safe places” like LinkedIn and Facebook. I personally find the interaction refreshing and participation is opening up a wider global marketplace in which to provide my services. But, I have to say that my interaction in these social networking sites is not all about selling, it is about connecting on a personal level one person at a time.

When was the last time you saw pictures of a client’s 8 month old baby and were able to interact and then find out that your client had four kids? What about the time were you knew in advance a prospect or client’s birthday the day before so you could send a personal email and digital gift? These social networking sites cement relationships that you have and help to build new ones that you would like to have.

I will be testing out a new “Facebook-like” site in India for a new connection which I found through LinkedIn Answers. The review will be interesting for me and of value to him to have experienced feedback. No pay involved, just good will and an opportunity to be exposed to the growing market in India. Who knows were that business relationship will go.

Social networking is fun, doesn’t take much time, and I find the business opportunities endless for the savvy entrepreneur. The important thing to remember on these platforms is that it is all about being “real” and seeing what happens when you give a little bit of yourself. Once you really buy into the concept, you’ll be an advocate too, just like me!

What has your experience been with Facebook or LinkedIn? Do you like the applications and do you use them? Click “Leave a Comment” to tell me your experience.

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E-Newsletters Still a Great Way to Connect

There are those in Web World who say that e-newsletters are dead. I disagree!

Yes, e-newsletters have become more difficult to serve to readers especially those behind corporate firewalls, but they are not dead. We still recommend e-newsletters as a great way to keep your client base and prospects informed, but we do recommend a few additional actions to help with distribution to the widest audience possible. Here are our tips:

1. Make sure to create a text and HTML version of each newsletter. Let your subscriber services decide which to deliver to each client by preference or auto-sensing. That’s why you pay a service to maximize deliverability.

2. Make sure to archive your e-newsletters back on your website so search engine spiders can see the new content for the freshness factor, but so your newsletter content can show up in the search results. Link your e-newsletter archive into your website navigation. Promote subscribing to your e-newsletter on the page and showcase past issues. You would be amazed at the information that prospects can glean about you and your services from previous e-newsletters. We know that some of our old e-newsletters which have been spun off into new pages in our website due to interest have become some of our hottest entries from the Web into our website. Here’s one of our top pages that speaks about how to set up email for multiple addresses: http://www.mccordweb.com/e-newsletters/instructions/setting-up-multiple-emails.php. This one page gets thousands of visitors each year wanting to know how to set up multiple email accounts and return addresses in Outlook. Put your old e-newsletter to work for you. When we find a topic that generates real interest we spin out additional articles feeding that interest. One example is our Instruction section and our Tech Notes section.

3. Make sure to create an RSS news feed for your e-newsletters. Some people will not want to share their email address with you, but may choose to subscribe to your e-newsletter the anonymous way using an RSS feed. Make sure you are using this technology for your e-newsletter. You will need to manually create the xml file each time you add an e-newsletter, but it is not complicated and you can even use a service like FeedHoster. Here is a link to our feed subscription page. If you have multiple RSS feeds make sure to make it easy for people to subscribe to all the news you offer with one click using auto subscribe buttons.

E-newsletters are not dead, you just have to massage them a bit to get them to really work for you.

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Google Quality Score Insights From Catherine at Google AdWords

I spoke with Catherine at Google AdWords this past week and as she and I were talking about the quality score for an account, she mentioned something that I thought was important to share with my blog readers.

First, I was speaking to her about a top performing AdWords account that had gotten hit with some “poor” quality score ratings on seemingly important targeted keyword phrases. She commented to me that Google weights by default all general phrases with a location description at a lower quality than a phrase without the location description. For example, bed bugs New York City will not perform as well in Google search results as bed bug exterminator New York City or for that matter bed bugs. She mentioned that when there is a location descriptor, Google is looking for an additional context clue about the services provided on the landing page. So bed bugs New York City would be a good phrase for an information site, but not one for a pest control firm. A better phrase for a pest control firm would be bed bug control New York City, or bed bug exterminator New York City.

Additionally her insight was on location description in the Google quality score index. She said by default these keywords will not be searched with the frequency that keywords without the descriptor will be in the Google index and so by that very nature these phrases will carry a lesser quality score regardless of what YOU do. That is interesting news, particularly for advertisers that are targeting a local market in campaign settings.

Google has long said that adding your city name to your keywords is not necessary when you are advertising in a radius or city targeted setting. Now we know that actually, if you have those keywords in your list, you may get a poor quality score simply due to the way people search and the way that Google weights those words in their index. You may receive this lowered score regardless of the fact that you may be highly optimized on your landing page for that geographic descriptor — very interesting!

Thanks Catherine for these important tidbits that will help locally targeted AdWords programs and help us to understand better the evolving changes to AdWords quality score!

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