Landing Page Tips!

Here is a wonderful article highlighting 3 tips and tricks that lead to improved landing page performance. Enjoy!



Google Ads for a Mobile-first World

Trillions of Google searches happen every year. Half of those searches are completed on a mobile device. Yesterday, Google announced ads that are catered to a “mobile first world”. Check out this link for an in depth look at these changes, and let us know what you think!

Source:Ads and analytics innovations for a mobile-first world 

How To Get Banned from Facebook

Diversity is key when it comes to driving traffic to your website, but social media, in particular Facebook, is in the driver’s seat for many brands.

Facebook can assist in multiple digital efforts: engagement, search, advertising and brand awareness, in general. This is why many companies assign their most valuable resources (time and money) to this social network, but Facebook reserves the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. And they do – to not only the chagrin of Page managers, but also to the detriment of profits and reputations.

Here are real-world examples of how to disappear from Facebook.

Offer Lottery Winnings, Offend the Masses

New Zealand’s gourmet burger joint, Velvet Burger, likes to push the digital envelope. Among its Facebook acceptable posts, such as promoting its vegetarian burger options, supporting its local rugby team and sharing company-produced memes, were a couple posts that got the trendy brand in hot water. So much so that one tactic led to its Page being deleted (see image) and the other heeded an official company apology.

Let’s look at where Velvet Burger went wrong. In the case of its promotion to share lottery winnings (if the company won) with anyone who shared the post, the Page violated multiple stipulations in Facebook’s Promotions terms, including:

1. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.

2. Promotions on Facebook must include: a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; acknowledgement that the promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook; and disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.

3. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

(Note: For an example of how to run a compliant Facebook “Like” contest, check out BioSilk Haircare’s current promotion.)

After this debacle, it appears that Velvet Burger was able to get its nearly 10,000 fans back on board (today it has 12,796 Likes), but it may have taken nearly two months to sort out. The brand regularly posts daily, sometimes even twice a day, and there is a notable brand absence between March 29, 2012 and May 18, 2012 (with no posts whatsoever). Additionally, its official Page has a born date of 2011, which most likely means the company regained all of its previous standings.

As for the aforementioned company apology, Velvet Burger managed to apparently stay out of Facebook’s radar with a controversial ad generated through a Page post, but offend consumers in the process. This is because the ad made light of the infamous domestic violence case between Chris Brown and Rhianna, as it stated “beatings by chris brown” with the post, “come down and ‘smash a burger.’” As seen in the previously linked articles, the company pulled the ad and replaced it with an apology. Velvet Burger’s Facebook administrator, which one article on the situation claims to be a college student, clearly thought he or she was being clever, but Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines state that ads must not offend users. Although defining offensive is overly subjective, Facebook continues that “ads may not be shocking, sensational or disrespectful, or portray excessive violence.” It’s important to note that Page post content are considered Ads and commercial content by Facebook and fall under its Advertising rules.

Velvet Burger, in this editor’s mind, absolutely did the best thing for its brand when it apologized for the ad on its Page, rather than deleting it and not referring to it. In fact, that is what Intel instructs its employees to do.

Raise Money for Charities – The “Wrong” Way

By its very name, Hell Pizza is a bit unorthodox, and the brand certainly plays up its namesake with its marketing. But that’s not the reason why the U.K. pizza chain was deleted (and ultimately re-established) by Facebook, in 2012. Several reports, tell us that Hell Pizza sponsored a charity, The Little Lotus Project, and pledged $1 for every Like the Page received.

“Very soon after that the page was taken down,” wrote TheMoshHouse Director, Jon Emile Randles. “To this day we still don’t know how we offended; was it by promoting ‘Likes’ to a page? Or because we were raising money for a charity directly on Facebook? Or because Facebook’s spiders picked up on keywords and they pulled the trigger first to ask questions later?”

By Randles’s report, the company filled out multiple forms, but after weeks of no action by Facebook, it was meeting someone who worked for Facebook Australia at a barbecue that got the company’s page turned back on.

Brands without Facebook connections, should be wary of any “Like us and we’ll do ___” promotions if they are not administered within Apps on, on a Canvas Page or a Page App. Another reason might have been that Hell Pizza’s promotion did not set clear rules. For example, when BioSilk and CHI representatives appeared on Celebrity Apprentice this year, the winning team’s project manager would benefit from a $1 donation for each new fan who Liked these Pages between March 24-March 31 at 9 p.m. EST. There was also a maximum set of $50,000. It’s still really unclear as to the reason for Hell Pizza’s ban, but learn from its agency’s mistake and assign multiple people within your enterprise to track Facebook’s T&Cs. And, always add, “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”

Make Enemies with Your Competitors

Facebook provides two different ways to report Pages to its staff (see image), but either mistaken or malicious complaints can get a company removed from the network, which could have been the case for this blogger whose Page was deleted in 2011.

“Although I absolutely love what happens on our FB page, what’s the point when even one of the most spectacular communities on the Web can be ‘removed’ on a whim, on the say-so of one competitor?” the blog stated in 2011.

Additionally, a quick search on Quora, turns up the following question, “How can I report my competitors to Facebook if they violate FB’s promotion guidelines?” People suggest reporting the page to Facebook continually and asking friends to mark the Page as spam.

You can read the full article here:

The Fastest Way to Get Banned by Google

A great article talking about the 5 top ways to get banned by Google overnight.


28% of Media Costs are Transactional

A great insight piece by Matt Straz on the difficulties in Media buying process. Originally titled “The Digital RFP Is A Frustrating Mess”

Recent research tells us what we already know: planning and buying digital media can be highly inefficient. Google opines that 28% of a media buy is soaked up by transactional costs beyond the cost of the media itself. Ad tech firm Nextmark believes that the labor to execute a digital buy comprises 8% of the cost of media.

Regardless of the exact amount of inefficiency, most agree that the current process is not optimal. In fact, one of the biggest time sinks in the media buying process is the request for proposal, or RFP. If you talk to people on both the buy side and sell side of this business, you will hear that the RFP is often the bane of their existence.

People who work at agencies are frustrated because RFPs are still largely managed through email. A single RFP sent to a dozen publishers can result in hundreds of emails going back and forth among the parties. Think about that! For a large agency that sends out, say, a thousand digital RFPs each year that means that teams are dealing with over 100,000 emails a year — just about RFPs.

Most RFPs include Excel files that are attached to the emails. Publishers will often change the format of these files (adding or deleting columns) when they respond to the RFP. Publishers may also change the details in a response — for example, the agency is looking for women 18-25 but the publisher replies with women 18-29. Unfortunately, this leads to media planners having to reformat all the submissions, which takes even more time.

Because the whole RFP process is manual, different teams within an agency cannot easily see what types of rates the other teams are getting from the same publisher. Compounding this problem is the fact that publishers will often call their product different names depending on the client they are working with. The result is limited pricing transparency across an agency, which makes the RFP process less efficient.

Dealing with RFPs is also no picnic on the publisher side. Sometimes a digital RFP is used as a way for an agency to outsource creativity. “Give us something that has never been done before,” the RFP will ask. So teams will scramble to come up with something that the agency hasn’t seen before.

People on the sell side also struggle with the RFP because the process is not integrated into Salesforce, the sales pipeline management tool that most publishers rely on. With a connection to Salesforce, potential deals must be manually updated each time a deal size changes. This happens a lot in digital media because campaigns can be canceled at any time — even in the middle of a campaign.

You would think that people would have tried to fix these problems — and you’d be right. When Donovan Data Systems, the software provider that many agencies use to manage the media purchasing process, recently introduced a new RFP tool in its iDesk product, many people had high hopes. Unfortunately, the tool proved to be unstable for everyday use. As a result, most agencies today still rely on email and attachments to manage the RFP process.

The pending merger of Donovan and MediaBank offers a ray of hope for everyone in media struggling with RFPS. The new company, MediaOcean, would give the business the scale it needs to tackle the industry’s biggest process issues, including RFPs. While billions of dollars have been invested in creating new forms of consumer media, very little has been spent on the industry’s infrastructure. Hopefully, the Department of Justice will approve this merger soon so that MediaOcean can build the operating system that we all need.

In the meantime, everyone working in the trenches of the media industry deserves our understanding and support. With every new web site, targeting capability or other technology that gets introduced, it is these people that ultimately have to implement the RFP process with tools that are decades old.

Today’s What Were They Thinking is…

the Search query “what is the source of solar energy”

Brand Fans 56% More Likely to Recommend on Facebook

Facebook fans are more likely to recommend a brand to their friends after they become fans themselves, by 56% versus 36% who would not, according to a new study by email service provider Constant Contact and Boston-based research company Chadwick Martin Bailey. The online study, conducted in January, had 1,491 respondents.

Further, 51% are more likely to buy a product from a brand after becoming a Facebook fan, versus 41% who would not.

People interact with their favorite brands most on Facebook, by 34%, compared to just 4% who do so on Twitter and 1% on LinkedIn, according to the study.

Boosting SEO with LinkedIn

Some great tips coming via Search Engine Land today on how you can leverage your LinkedIn account to help boost SEO rankings.

1. Setup A LinkedIn Company Page

One of the main differences between our client’s LinkedIn Profile(s) and the profiles of that top competitor was that their competitor has a LinkedIn Company Page with employees associated with it. Our client has some employees with profiles that link to their website, but they do not have a Company Page.

What are LinkedIn Company Pages?

From Linkedin: “Company Pages are a company’s profile of record on LinkedIn and a powerful way to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations and trusted testimonials. It’s like a LinkedIn profile for a company.

Company Pages present an opportunity to reveal the human side of your company. Provide a peek at the individuals behind your brand and highlight how members use your products.

2. Associate Employees With Your Company Page

Once your company page is setup, have some of your employees associate their LinkedIn profiles with your Company Page.  Here are the steps to associate a profile with a Company Page:

  1. Click Profile at the top of your home page.
  2. Click Edit next to your current position at the company.
  3. Click the Change Company link.
  4. Type the full company name.
  5. Select the correct company name from the dropdown list.
  6. Click Update.

3. Have Your Employees Optimize Their Public Profiles

Having your employees optimize their profiles helps make the content on their profile more visible to others within the LinkedIn community and with search engines.

Here are the steps to optimize a profile:

Login to LinkedIn.

Hover over your profile name in the upper right corner of the profile screen and choose Settings

Hover over profile name and choose Settings

Hover over profile name and choose Settings

In the Settings section, choose “Edit your public profile“

Choose “Edit your public profile “

Choose “Edit your public profile “

Check “Make my public profile visible to everyone”. Then select as many of the options below as you are comfortable with.

The Headline, Summaries with specialties, Additional Information / Websites are helpful for search results.

Check “Make my public profile visible to everyone”. Select Options

Check “Make my public profile visible to everyone”. Select Options

4. Have Your Employees Share Your Updates On Their Profiles

When you have important updates to share ask some or all of your employees to post the update on their LinkedIn Profiles.

For example, when you want to announce that helpful video you put up on YouTube or that great how-to article that was just published (such as we talked about last time in The Guide To Effective Article Marketing ) ask your employees to Share the Update on their profiles with a link to the content:

  1. Paste the URL to your content in the Linkedin “share an update” window.
  2. Then overwrite the URL with a note. After you see the snippet of the content in the window below you can erase the URL and put a note in:

Share an Update on LinkedinShare an Update on Linkedin

Having employees share updates on LinkedIn can get your update in front of thousands of people on LinkedIn who may in turn share it, bookmark it, Like it, link to it, etc.

For example, if you have 50 employees with LinkedIn profiles each with an average of 100 connections and most of them posted an update about a great article your company published on its website, thousands of connections on LinkedIn, many who are familiar with your company and (hopefully) favorably predisposed, may see that announcement.

5. The End Goal

Having a company page with associated employees (each with optimized profiles) who are active with a large  number of connections, can increase the visibility of your content both on LinkedIn and with search engines, while giving you a effective online networking tool to communicate with hundreds or thousands of connections.

Sharing updates with these connections should help increase awareness of your messages and the Web content you link to in your updates, and possibly increase the rankings of that content as your connections share, bookmark/like, and link to your content.

You can read the full article here

Above Fold Ads 7x More Likely to Get Clicked

Findings from a recently released report show that online ads appearing “above the fold” are nearly seven times more effective at generating a click through than those appearing “below the fold” and that the more times someone sees an ad the more likely they are to click through and take action.

The report, issued by Casale Media, was based on their analysis of nearly two billion ad impressions which were generated during the 1Q 2011. Titled “The Link Between Ad Placement & Performance,” the report found…

Much like the age old real estate axiom, it’s all about location, location, location.

The earlier the better as ad effectiveness plummets as the user progresses through their online viewing.

And confirms another marketing axiom that states a consumer will not act until he/she has seen/experienced a minimum of nine marketing messages…

The report also shared some additional considerations which I think are extremely important and relevant…

  • Clutter: an excessive number of ads on a page create visual noise that even the best creative will have trouble overcoming. Share of voice (SOV) is reduced and hence the chance of being noticed.
  • Engaging content: users immersed in their experience (e.g. photo gallery) are all the more likely to ignore any secondary content (i.e. advertising).
  • Auto-refresh: some sites use an auto-refresh mechanism to force a page refresh at regular intervals. While this may help keep static page content current, it has a downside for advertisers, whose ads may be displayed in a vacuum should users step away from their screens while leaving their browsers open.

So what’s at stake for marketers and advertisers?

Well what’s at stake is whole lot of revenue when you consider that according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Q1 2011 set an all-time record in Internet advertising with $7.3 billion in revenues.

Then there’s the Facebook Factor… EMarketer predicts Facebook will overtake Yahoo in the U.S. market for online display ads, with revenue of $2.2 billion this year, vs. Yahoo’s $1.6 billion.

And don’t think for one second Google+ (Google Plus) won’t play a role in all this in the very near future, either.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative for marketers and advertisers alike to work closely with communications agencies who are experts at staying abreast of this ever-changing landscape, who live and breathe this kind of stuff, who can create, implement, and track online strategic marketing plans which are fully integrated into an overall marketing communications plan.

Sources: Casale MediaUSA TodayClick Z, EMarketer, Location And Repetition Key To Online Ad Success

Pausing PPC Ads can cost you 89% of your clicks

A year long study by Google across 4 countries and 400 advertisers found that when a PPC campaign is paused, organic search only picked-up around 11% of the lost clicks.  That means that pausing a PPC campaign can cost a company as much as 89% of the traffic they were previously receiving through that channel.

Full study, methodology and results can be read here

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