Friday, 30 September 2016

How to Monetize Your Blog Like a Pro

Last year, celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton (Mario Lavandeira) earned an astonishing $15,000 in daily income, as his website gained a value of $2.66 million. Tech Crunch, starting out as a blog, has become a viable brand, worth $10.82 million.

Blogging has become an industry in itself. Once upon a time it was a platform for personal journalling, but over the years blogs have gained legitimacy, visibility and power on the web and beyond it. As you can see, one of the changes has been the fact that you can make real money blogging, even without becoming a major information powerhouse.

If you have thought about monetizing your website, here are some tips to help you get started.

Get Your Toolbox in Order

Whichever method (or methods) below you pick, the key is to use the right tools to organize the process well. Here are just a few good ones to consider:

  • Google Analytics is a necessary evil for properly monitoring your traffic sources
  • Register an account at ShareASale. That’s an affiliate marketing network that will connect you to quite a few cool programs
  • If you are going to be creating and selling a product or a service, make sure to use a sales management platform to organize leads properly. Salemate is a good affordable option


Don’t Begin Right Away

This is an unpopular opinion with some, but the truth. It might seem like a good idea to immediately start trying to monetize a blog you’ve just started. But in the beginning you won’t have any traffic to drive profit.

The exception to this rule is if you already have a viable brand and are expanding it to include a blog for engagement and social marketing. In which case the traffic will come from your initial site, and monetizing right away makes sense. If not, focus on building that blog before you think about making money from it.

Join AdSense

Google AdSense is an important tool for anyone seeking to monetize their website. They provide both text and image ads, and usually the image ads attract the most attention and lead to the most clicks.

Of course, this is dependent on your traffic, as most people will not click through to ads. But the payout is decent, it adds up over time, and they are a trusted source for such a program. Other ad programs exist, but none come as highly recommended.

Use Affiliate Programs

Affiliates are going to be one of your greatest sources of income. Whether someone is promoting your product, or you are promoting someone elses, even small payouts will lead to a decent payout over time.

The more momentum a program gains, the more passive income you will start to make. You would be surprised by the numbers and the way they build after the first six months, and especially after the first year.

You can also offer your blog to companies of products you commonly buy and enjoy. Many will pay several hundred dollars for a solid review on a well established site.

Don’t forget that for both affiliate links and sponsored reviews you should use a proper disclaimer not to lose your readers’ trust and to be in-line with the US laws (and Google).

Optimize Your Search Ranking

You have to come up high in a search if you want to bring in the traffic that will inevitably up your income.

Since no one goes to the second page of Google, you have to have a good market share on certain keywords, and optimize your blog using that data. Invest in market research to find the best keywords that you can use, both long and short tailed, to improve your SEO.

Open a Shop

Having a shop only works for some people, as often a niche won’t really apply to a product series very well. But even selling mugs to those who might want to help support your site can be beneficial.

Try and create products that relate well to your niche, however, and don’t be afraid to take advantage of inside jokes and references that you have built with your followers over time.

Release an Ebook

Ebooks are big, and they have plenty of uses. They don’t bring in a lot of money, however, which can be a problem unless you have the status in your industry to be able to charge a higher price for a download.

Most people will offer them cheap or free, and use it to improve their visibility and draw people to their blog, thereby improving their other income possibilities. It will ultimately depend on you.

Example: The Lost Girls knew that and wrote an excellent book about their travels that has gotten great reviews. Both ebooks and self publication are potential routes for this goal.

Become a Speaker or Consultant

Are you now fairly well known? Have some street cred in your niche? Then start using your blog as a platform for finding guest speaker or consulting opportunities. You can earn thousands doing this.

Offer Freelancing Services

Your blog can act as a kind of portfolio, showing off your writings skills, nature and passion. That makes it a great opportunity to attract other people who want you to write for them.

Occasionally you will want to write a free guest blog post to promote your site. But otherwise you can offer your writing for pay, advertising yourself both through your blog and on sites like oDesk.

Start a Class or Series

Want something a little more hands on or creative? Then why not run a class or webinar series from your blog? People will pay good money for a well organized class, and you can offer the world your knowledge while improving your own financial stability. Everyone wins.

Udemy is the perfect place to start an online course and you can sell it through the platform too! Another great tool is Google Helpouts.

It might seem like a heavy task, and too good to be true. But you can genuinely turn your website into a profitable one, even if it takes time. You just need to know how to do it. Here are some tips and tricks for people who have managed to boost their regular traffic and are now looking to capitalize on that growing popularity

To get inspired, see this list of indie blogs that pay for a living.

Have some tips for monetizing your blog? Questions? Let us know in the comments

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Author: Ann Smarty

The post How to Monetize Your Blog Like a Pro appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Clinton wins Grubhub presidential ‘debate’ as diners cast votes with special discount codes


The hungry have voted, and they’re with Hillary Clinton having won the first US presidential debate this week. That’s according to an innovative promotion by food delivery service Grubhub that gave people discounts for sharing who they felt won.

Those placing orders on Monday night were invited to share “Which side do you crave?” using IMWITHHER or IMWITHHIM codes along with their order, to indicated if they felt Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump had won. Those that did were rewarded with at five percent discount.


The results are in, and Clinton won by a huge margin, 82 percent to 18 percent. She also won by a big margin on a state-by-state basis. New York and California were the strongest for Clinton; Colorado was the biggest turnout for Trump, though he gained only 26 percent of the votes there:


Grubhub’s promotion also allowed it to look at the types of food ordered by those who supported either candidate. Grubhub said that Clinton supporters were more diverse in orders overall, with Indian especially popular. Trump supporters went mostly for Chinese food, along with American and Italian.

The poll is unscientific, of course — but it was a fun and innovative way for the company to get its customers who support either candidate excited about the debate. On Facebook, a post with the results has nearly 1,000 reactions and perhaps the most calm and unusual comments about the election.

On Twitter, it gave Grubhub plenty of relevant fodder for debate night, such as:

For more about how Grubhub created the campaign in a short period, as part of its move to be more agile with marketing, see our interview with Grubhub CMO Barbara Martin Coppola.

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Author: Danny Sullivan

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Daily Search Forum Recap: September 30, 2016

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This work by Search Engine Roundtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Creative Commons License

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Author: (Barry Schwartz)

The post Daily Search Forum Recap: September 30, 2016 appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


SearchCap: Penguin & link building, PPC leads & social


Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • What’s new and cool at Google from SMX East 2016
    Sep 30, 2016 by Mark Traphagen

    At this year’s SMX East, Googlers Jerry Dischler and Babak Pahlavan shared recent updates and what’s coming to AdWords and Google Analytics. Columnist Mark Traphagen was on hand to cover the highlights.

  • Up close at SMX: Using paid search and social together
    Sep 30, 2016 by Kristi Kellogg

    Columnist Kristi Kellogg recaps a session at SMX East that dives into how marketers can integrate their paid search and social efforts for better marketing results.

  • Why call tracking helps improve PPC lead generation account performance
    Sep 30, 2016 by Jeff Baum

    Columnist Jeff Baum explains that when properly set up, call tracking can help you both measure the value of your PPC campaigns and optimize them for better ROI.

  • Authority & link building with real-time Penguin
    Sep 30, 2016 by Marcus Miller

    Google recently released Penguin 4.0, and the Penguin filter now updates in real time. Columnist Marcus Miller explores what this means for SEO and link building.

  • Search in Pics: Google & YouTube cake, pumpkins & DJs
    Sep 30, 2016 by Barry Schwartz

    In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. GoogleBot at the AngularConnect conference: Source: Twitter DJs in suits at a Google partners party: Source: […]

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:




SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

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Author: Barry Schwartz

The post SearchCap: Penguin & link building, PPC leads & social appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


How the newest Adobe-Microsoft partnership resembles ‘Jerry McGuire’

The Adobe Marketing Cloud logo, rendered as 3D

The Adobe Marketing Cloud logo, rendered as 3D

Microsoft has its Dynamics 365 customer relationship management (CRM) system, but no tools for, say, web site experience or content management. Adobe has a Marketing Cloud, but no CRM.

Like a well-matched couple, the two tech giants announced earlier this week they were getting together for a more serious relationship. It seems to fit. To paraphrase a key phrase in the movie “Jerry McGuire,” they complete each other.

In this strategic partnership, Microsoft said it will make Adobe’s Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition, while Adobe will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform for its Marketing, Creative, and Document Clouds.

How does this complementary match-up affect the trajectories of these major players, and how will it affect the balance of power among the big marketing platforms? Last year, rumors flew that Microsoft was considering getting its own marketing platform by buying Salesforce. I pinged several industry-watchers for their takes on this latest move.

The deal “makes perfect sense for Microsoft,” Technology Business Research analyst Kelsey Mason told me via email. A partnership with Salesforce has helped Microsoft build out Dynamics’ sales component, she pointed out, and the purchase of FieldOne last year addresses customer service. Now, Adobe helps fills out the marketing need.

“It’s smart for Microsoft to hitch its wagon to Adobe, rather than trying to beat Adobe at its own game,” Mason said, noting Adobe’s growing strength in marketing and ad tech. There had been an integration between Dynamics CRM and Adobe Marketing Cloud back in April of last year, she pointed out, but this seems to be “more strategic.”

The upgraded alliance won’t significantly change Adobe’s position compared to the other major marketer clouds, she said, but it’s more than just another integration.

“Having Adobe as the ‘preferred’ marketing piece (rather than just another integration) to Dynamics,” she wrote, “gives Adobe the sales and customer service aspect that it’s missing from having a true customer engagement suite, making both Adobe Marketing Cloud and Dynamics CRM attractive to enterprise customers looking to transform their front-office business processes.”

‘All goodness’

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT Research, noted that the two companies had been strategic partners for over two decades, although this steps up the alliance. They probably have thousands of mutual customers, he pointed out, and there’s nothing about “preferred” that makes it “exclusive.” In other words, they can have their cake and eat it, too.

“I expect that if Dynamics customers prefer or demand to use other marketing clouds,” he told me, “Microsoft will find a way to accommodate them,.”

The partnership, IDC’s Melissa Webster noted in a recent blog post, means that Azure will replace Amazon Web Services for Adobe’s large accounts, and Adobe gets “a key ally (and a new channel – including both direct enterprise sales and partners).”

She added:

“This agreement addresses Microsoft’s marketing cloud shortcomings for enterprise customers in one fell swoop. Microsoft and Adobe plan deep integrations that will make Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions ‘native’ Dynamics 365 Enterprise applications (though Adobe branded). Microsoft is partnering with a leading marketing cloud vendor — and the only leading marketing cloud vendor that is not a direct competitor to its CRM offerings,” since Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle all have CRMs.

Webster wrote that the deal boosts Microsoft’s position vis a vis Salesforce and Oracle, especially since it gets access to Adobe’s experience management, digital asset management, and content management tools.

“It’s all goodness for Microsoft’s customers,” she told me on the phone.

Adobe gets a better entry into IT departments where Microsoft remains strong, she added, and that entry will be accompanied by sales incentives for 365 customers.

In fact, she said, enterprises increasingly want to integrate their complementary customer-facing operations, including digital marketing, digital experience management, ecommerce, customer relationship management, sales, and customer support.

Add in the kind of analytics and machine intelligence that Microsoft and Adobe are promising, and this looks like they could become a new power couple.

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Author: Barry Levine

The post How the newest Adobe-Microsoft partnership resembles ‘Jerry McGuire’ appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Marketing Day: Responsive design for Gmail, Grubhub’s CMO & SMX East updates

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Recent Headlines From Search Engine Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Search News & Information:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:

Business Issues

Content Marketing

Conversion Optimization

Copywriting, Design & Usability



Email Marketing

General Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing Industry


Mobile/Local Marketing

Reputation Management

Social Media


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Author: Amy Gesenhues

The post Marketing Day: Responsive design for Gmail, Grubhub’s CMO & SMX East updates appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Gmail finally supports responsive design: Answers to 4 burning questions

Gmail started rolling out support for CSS media queries across its email clients around midnight last night, following through on the September 14 announcement that it would support responsive design later in the month. With these media queries, email designers will be able to specify different display styles based on things like width, screen resolution and rotation. We’ll talk about the ramifications of this move in a second, but we should take a moment to recognize how wonderfully strange that initial announcement was.

It wasn’t just that they’d be supporting media queries, a longtime wish of pretty much every email marketer. It wasn’t just that they told us ahead of time, when inbox providers seldom announce such changes beforehand. It was that they also supplied developer documentation, which is standard practice in the web browser world but utterly alien in the inbox provider world.

Supporting responsive design is awesome, but taking those two additional steps is, frankly, beyond amazing. And with this Gmail news coming less than a month after Microsoft announced a partnership with Litmus to improve rendering in Outlook, it feels like there’s a sea change in the email industry. (Disclosure: Litmus is my employer.)

Now that Gmail has implemented support for CSS media queries and we’ve had a chance to look at it, let’s address the four big questions that many marketers are probably asking themselves:

1. Do marketers need to use hybrid email design anymore?

Maybe, depending on your audience.

Hybrid email design uses email client-specific progressive enhancements to mimic responsive design but doesn’t rely on media queries, which are what enable traditional responsive design.

Now that Gmail is supporting media queries, 75% of email opens occur in email clients that support responsive design. It’s worth checking to see where your brands’ emails are being opened. If you have lots of emails being opened on Outlook desktop apps, Microsoft Windows Phone, Microsoft Surface, and Yahoo Mail mobile app — none of which support responsive design — then hybrid email design becomes the more attractive option.

This likely breaks down along industry lines, with most B2C marketers finding responsive to be the better email design approach and most B2B marketers finding hybrid better.

That said, it’s worth noting that even those using hybrid design should be making near-term changes due to the shift at Gmail. The portion of hybrid code that addressed Gmail specifically should now be replaced with responsive code that will sit on top of the hybrid code, which will essentially be a fallback when emails are viewed in email clients that don’t support media queries.

The upside here is that hybrid code, which has been heavy and tricky to understand, will become less so on both counts.

2. Do marketers need to inline CSS in their emails anymore?

No, you probably don’t need to anymore.

Because it stripped <style> code from the <head> of emails, Gmail was the primary reason that marketers needed to inline styles. In the US, there are a few low-usage email clients out there that still require inlined styles, but they represent a small fraction — less than 1% of email opens.

Abroad, you’re also probably safe to stop inlining, although you may need to reconsider if you have a significant number of subscribers using, Yandex, Libero, or a few other regionally popular email clients that don’t support embedded CSS style.

So instead of applying styles to each individual table row and cell, you can now centralize all your styles in the <head>, which eliminates a lot of inefficient, but previously necessary, code from emails.

For marketers, this change means that emails will be much easier and faster to code. For subscribers, it means that emails will load more quickly.

Marketers can take those savings in terms of lighter code and faster email load times and spend those gains on other email elements such as:

Just be sure to continue to keep the weight of your email code under 102kb to avoid clipping in Gmail and slow load times in general.

3. Can marketers now use interactive email elements in Gmail?

No, not yet. But there are reasons to be hopeful.

While Gmail’s CSS support is extensive and includes support for :hover (which isn’t mentioned in the developer documentation), the company’s rendering engine does not support any CSS that uses classes or IDs — which is necessary if you’re going to use checkboxes, radio buttons, labels, the :checked pseudo selector, or the ~ sibling selector. All of those are key code elements for interactive email features.

For years, Gmail has cited security concerns around responsive design as the reason for not supporting it. Since Gmail was able to overcome those concerns with responsive design, it’s conceivable they will be able to overcome them with interactivity as well.

So for the time being, Apple email clients, which have 51% market share, remain the best venues for interactivity. Especially for B2C marketers, that’s a good enough reason to start trying out interactive elements today.

4. What’s driving these changes at the inbox providers?

In the wake of the Microsoft-Litmus partnership announcement, I explained that a number of changes over the past seven years had caused Microsoft to see email marketers as more of an ally than an adversary, as they had in the past:

  • Leadership in the C-suite has changed in recent years.
  • Leadership of email products has turned over.
  • Consumer behavior is different, with people accessing business and personal emails on the same platform.
  • Inbox providers are consolidating the email rendering engines they use to gain efficiencies.

These forces are also at work in the move by Gmail. Plus, there’s another factor at work that wasn’t initially evident to me:

  • Email marketers are no longer outsiders at Google and Microsoft. They’re insiders, thanks to B2C ventures and acquisitions over the years.

Yes, Google sends tons of email and has many consumer-facing businesses now like YouTube, Google Plus, Goggle Photos, and Nest. It’s not a coincidence that Gmail used YouTube emails to demonstrate how responsive design works in its announcement blog post. And Microsoft has many consumer-facing businesses as well, including Xbox, Skype, and now LinkedIn, which is a huge, sophisticated user of email marketing.

It’s easy to imagine these brands approaching their co-workers on the Gmail and Outlook teams and saying how much they enjoy designing emails for Apple email clients and asking, “Why don’t our email clients support HTML and CSS as well as its email clients?”

Whatever combination of factors led to these changes, the jobs of email designers and developers are clearly going to be a little easier going forward — at least until adoption of wearables ramps up and voice interfaces are used to access email. Then email rendering will get messier again.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Chad White

The post Gmail finally supports responsive design: Answers to 4 burning questions appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


What’s new and cool at Google from SMX East 2016


At this year’s SMX East conference, which took place this week in New York City, Search Engine Land reporter Ginny Marvin and contributing editor Greg Sterling hosted a conversation with Google executives Jerry Dischler, the vice president of AdWords (@jdischler) and Babak Pahlavan, the global head of products and director of Google Analytics (@babakph).

Dischler shared recent updates and changes to the Google AdWords platform, while Pahlavan covered the same for Google Analytics. Read on for highlights from their conversations.

Left: Jerry Dischler, the Vice President of AdWords. Right: Babak Pahlavan, the Global Head of Products and Director of Google Analytics.

Left: Jerry Dischler, the vice president of AdWords. Right: Babak Pahlavan, the global head of products and director of Google Analytics.

Jerry Dischler on Google AdWords updates

Expanded Text Ads

Dischler was asked why there has been a delay in the complete rollout of Expanded Test Ads (ETA), and how they are performing for those who already have access. He reported that advertisers already using ETA seem to getting good results.

Googlers tend to be optimistic, so they took on the challenge of changing the creative framework for AdWords for the first time in 15 years. However, Dischler admitted, the changeover is not happening as smoothly as they had hoped it would.

google expanded text ads go live

They’ve found the advertisers who are embracing ETA tend to be those who always have put great care into their optimized testing of creative, and, in general, they are seeing great results. Those who aren’t seeing results are usually just dipping their toes in the water, either not using dynamic elements or using one-size-fits-all creative. Google hopes advertisers will realize that employing the best practices they should already know will yield them more success with ETAs.

Dischler said Google has decided to wait until after the holiday season to make the switch final, so users can have more time to adjust to it.

If advertisers don’t immediately see a CTR increase from ETAs, Dischler suggests they try more and different things, using the same best practices as they always have. He encouraged them to keep testing and learning.

With non-branded, generic ETAs, there can be big differences in performance when you optimize both parts of the headline; for branded ETAs, shorter headlines work better.

Reintroduction of device bidding

In late spring of this year, Google announced it would bring back the ability to bid separately by device type (desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet). When asked why Google reversed course after dropping this capability previously, Dischler said advertisers told them they had legitimately different use cases for different devices.

For example, a traveler in New York looking for New York hotels on a mobile device is much closer to a buying decision, so it makes sense that an advertiser would want to bid higher on mobile vs. desktop. A few years ago, advertisers seemed mobile-averse, but they’ve made a dramatic shift to mobile-first, and they needed the tools to target appropriately.

Google AdWords device bid adjustments

What works well for device bidding is looking at current bids first from a blended point of view, then looking at performance by device and adjusting individually up or down, according to performance.

On the other hand, a demonstrated worst practice is bidding down tablets, or any other device type, without giving it due consideration. Results will differ for everyone. Look at blended first, then adjust each platform up or down.

Store visits

In this multi-device world, we should measure the entire ROI chain — online and offline. Ninety percent of retail sales still happen offline, for example, so tracking where online ads bring someone into a physical store is critical to measuring the full value of your ads.

According to Dischler, Google finds that for many advertisers, the offline benefit of ads is actually larger than the effect online. So Google has made Store Visits available to thousands of advertisers in 14 countries and is expanding their availability. The company has expanded it from search to display as well. Its desire, Dischler says, is to be able to offer a single measurement across all Google ad platforms.

One of the factors that makes Store Visits tracking work is the fact that hundreds of millions of Google users have opted in to location sharing. Google augments its data with Google Maps information, as well as input from WiFi and other signals. The company also employs human reviewers who will physically go to a location so they can tune precision. Dischler says Google is now able to pinpoint the location of a shopper with over 99-percent accuracy.

Greg Sterling, Ginny Marvin and Jerry Dischler react to an audience comment at SMX East 2016.

Audience targeting

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) have been a runaway success. Some advertisers are saying it’s the biggest change in the last five years for better targeting and ROI. Larger advertisers should certainly try out RLSA, Dischler suggests, adding that advertisers will be able to manage RLSA at the campaign level in the next few weeks.

Cross-device RLSA will be out this week as well, allowing targeting of users across devices.

Customer Match is designed for customers whose email address you’ve collected online or offline, allowing you to target them in search by matching those addresses to users. It also can be used to create persistent customer IDs for analytics.

Dischler also announced that Similar Audiences is now in open beta. This feature lets advertisers target their ads to audiences that are similar to the people they have on their lists. Demographics targeting is also going from open beta to release. It targets by age, gender and income.

Asked about the methodology used to pinpoint similar audiences for search, Dischler notes that Google is currently using search history but is looking to improve it with more signals. Can you layer demographics with Similar Audiences? Not yet, he said.

Local ads updates

Google recently introduced a cluster of local ad features. They’re conducting lots of experiments, but the features are not yet broadly available. They’re exploring how to make online ads drive even more traffic to physical stores, with things like Promoted Pins on apps and multiple new ad formats.

They’re putting lots of investment into this area. Local inventory ads are now more established. Best Buy drove over one million incremental store visits with them the last holiday season.

As for ads in the Local Pack in Search, there are currently two different iterations, one in experiment and the other launched. The launched type shows up when a user expands from the Pack to a full list; the experimental type shows up before expansion.

Babak Pahlavan on Google Analytics updates

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio, a free version of Google Data Studio 360, is a dashboarding and reporting tool launched earlier this year. You can be up and running and reporting quickly by just connecting to data sources, instead of exporting first. Google has been focusing on a second notion of collaboration and sharing. The aim is to easily share reports in an organization, with the ability to collaborate on the information.

Google launched 360 Enterprise and the free version for US users earlier this year. Data Studio is now rolling out, not only to the US, but also to a number of other countries.

Greg Sterling and Ginny Marvin talked to Babak Pahlavan onstage at SMX East.

Google Optimize free version

Pahlavan said more free tools are coming. Optimize 360 Enterprise was announced earlier this year, but the objective is to improve measurement for all size users.

Pahlavan announced a free version of Optimize at SMX East that will be available later this year. To get on the waiting list for it, go to It natively integrates into Google Analytics, and works right out of the box. Conversions and goals are easily brought into Optimize.

Motley Fool said they went from days to minutes for the same analysis by implementing Optimize 360. A major gold and silver coin retailer was able to double their per-user revenue by using data from it to tailor on-site experiences for users.

Smart Goals

Smart Goals are for advertisers who have not set up their own goals. It uses machine learning to give them more potential conversion information.

SG is helpful for e-commerce sites that don’t have much transaction data. It automatically sets up goals for them. Users actually get a preview of what performance could look like with a certain optimization.

Pahlavan also announced a new session quality score that exposes more of the data from Smart Goals. The score shows a likelihood of conversion for a session, allowing you to optimize that user’s experiences and/or create targeted remarketing for them.


Autotrack library is a collection of plugins that shortcut complex setups. Designed for the developer community, they ended up becoming wildly popular. But Pahlavan sill advises more advanced customers to use Google Tag Manager. Another 20 tags are being announced for Tag Manager.

He was asked: “If you already have your own custom HTML tag for a tracking purpose, should you drop it for a plugin?” Google recommends all customers switch to Tag Manager as soon as possible, as it gives more control and customization.

Mobile app insight cards

Insight cards in the Google Analytics mobile app leverage machine learning. They eventually will be available on desktop Analytics as well.

Insights automatically analyzes your signals to call out trends you might want to know about. Google tests it with their own site that sells Google souvenirs to Googlers. Pahalvan shared that he got alerted to a site speed concern with the test site’s Indian servers that they might not have noticed for weeks on their own.

Insights doesn’t use pre-defined benchmarks; it continually learns from your own data to call out what is truly interesting but previously might have been hidden in your data.

Further insights from the audience Q&A


  • Extended Test Ads are being tested in a lot of new ad formats.
  • Why did they restrict Keyword Planner data from users without active AdWords campaigns? Dischler answered they wanted “good actors” using it while keeping out “bad actors.” He said the spend limits are low, so most account holders should be able to still get data, as well as agencies representing advertisers in most cases.
  • There are no plans to extend Store Visits for channels outside paid search, other than the expansion to Display.


  • Data Studio data sources will continue to expand the sources you can connect to. In October, Google will roll out templates for reports for data visualization. Five reports per account for now, but they are analyzing where more demand may exist.
  • What about creating remarketing in AdWords vs. Analytics? Is one better than the other? You can use your Google Analytics lists in AdWords; they are complementary.
  • There are no plans to add more ad slots in Google Search. They have to look at the space available to both expanded ads and organic results on a query-by-query basis according to intent.
  • What is Google doing about Analytics referrer spam? Dischler said they have an active project in the works to combat such spam. They don’t share stats externally, but they do take spam seriously.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Mark Traphagen

The post What’s new and cool at Google from SMX East 2016 appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Why call tracking helps improve PPC lead generation account performance


Many businesses receive significant lead volume from phone calls. The reason marketers want to generate phone leads is to capitalize on the immediacy of being able to activate the sales funnel.

This article delves into why lead generation businesses need to have a call tracking solution in place, how data collected through call tracking technology can improve conversion funnel performance and why integrating call tracking into third-party systems can lift paid search performance.

Why do lead generation businesses need call tracking?

Lead generators run into a blind spot when trying to assess the value of their paid search campaigns. While it’s easy to track web-based conversions, phone leads generated through a single “catch-all” phone number can’t be tied back to a specific source or keyword.

Optimizing accounts with incomplete information leads to poor outcomes such as pausing campaigns, reducing keyword bids or removing marketing sources that could be providing value through phone conversions.

Call tracking provides visibility into total account performance via use of tracking phone numbers. These tracking numbers identify a phone lead’s marketing source (e.g., Google or Bing) and the keyword that specifically drove that phone conversion.

Having this additional information on hand better informs key decisions such as whether account structure needs to be altered or budget allocations shifted between campaigns and sources. For instance, analysis of data from a call tracking solution can lead to expanding a PPC account into new campaign types (such as call-only campaigns) or optimizing an account’s ad messaging to include “call us today” or similar call-to-action messaging.

Improving the conversion funnel

Generating leads is only half the battle for lead generation marketers. The leads generated need to convert into paying customers to justify the outlay of marketing dollars. A call tracking solution can also bring specific information to paid search marketers about the sales funnel that can be optimized. Here are a few solutions to consider.

  • Automatic phone routing. Provides the ability to set specific rules and criteria to take inbound calls and automatically route them to a salesperson in real time. Immediately routing phone leads to a salesperson or call center reduces lead aging and increases the probability of converting that lead.
  • Phone call classification. Variations of this feature can be used to automatically classify phone leads as good leads or bad leads. Furthermore, automatic classification of phone calls can help determine whether paid search traffic is truly driving sales-related calls or support calls. Leveraging this information can help optimize PPC campaigns to ensure high-quality, sales-oriented leads are being generated and that every marketing dollar is optimized for maximum return.
  • Call transcripts. Analyzing conversations between customer and sales representative is one of the best ways to both optimize the back-end conversion funnel and to uncover new keyword lists and audiences that target qualified, top-of-funnel prospects. One of the most effective PPC (and overall marketing) strategies is to optimize and target based on what your current customers are telling you.

Strategically speaking, call tracking solutions provide the means to create a “closed-loop” PPC marketing strategy. Simply put, top-of-funnel data can be used to optimize the back of funnel, and back-end funnel insights can improve how the top of funnel is targeted.

Integrating into third-party systems

Most call tracking solutions offer the ability to integrate into a variety of CRM, advertising and other platforms. The ability to integrate call tracking provides more complete insights and enhances the ability to optimize your PPC program. Some key integrations revolve around:

  • CRM. Integrating call tracking into a CRM system allows for the ability to create records from phone leads that can be managed and tracked through the sales funnel.
  • advertising platforms. Integrating call tracking into platforms like AdWords or Bing Ads further guides marketers regarding how to best create and optimize paid search campaigns.
  • bid management. Integrating into third-party bid management platforms increases the effectiveness of their technologies. For instance, feeding call conversions into their systems allows for creation of call-specific bid rules and also provides the additional data needed make specific bid algorithms like CPA or position-based bidding work more efficiently.
  • conversion rate optimization. Call tracking integrated with CRO technology provides deeper insights into testing experiments and can also help determine new testing ideas. Call conversion tracking embedded within CRO tests more accurately determines the success of a particular landing page or set of pages.

Final thoughts

Call tracking provides marketers the information and functionality needed to optimize both the top and bottom ends of the conversion funnel. Gaining visibility over phone lead performance and fine-tuning lead generation efforts will lead to better paid search and overall business results.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Jeff Baum

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