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yWeekly news: November 16

Posted by YM Social on November 16, 2015 Engine Optimization

Google will now be sending out new Google Search Console messages for SSL/TLS certificate “does not include domain name” or HTTPS mismatch errors.

When you have an https:// error, it can introduce soft 404s into your website that are not normally detectable by programs like Screaming Frog or GSC.

This can be a problem because errors arising from https://, https://www omissions can cause serious problems with SEO by generating 404 errors where there should not be. Typically all variations should be allowed by the SSL certificate and should be crawlable: https://, https://www, and https://* [wildcarding (*) anything].

Because they don’t typically show up in reporting, these issues can go on for awhile before being discovered.


Digital Intelligence

Google announced the release of TensorFlow: a machine learning system that is now open source

Days after, Microsoft announced DMTK, FB announced Torch earlier this year and there are other platforms like H20 which are already free: a larger trend of making machine learning open source by default and in part, to utilize wisdom of crowds

Hiding behind black box algorithms (i.e. attribution vendors) will not be normative in the future, and neither will exorbitant pricing for creating a process for complex analysis, tasks, etc.

Broad range of applicable use of a platform that is backed and utilized by Google itself

Algorithms work best when in the hands of many but also have many data points to process as well


Performance Media

Google is testing a new ad format where consumers can subscribe to get the latest offers and updates from multiple retailers via text message on their cell phone. Consumers would subscribe from the ad and start receiving these relevant offers and updates.  Consumers can also choose from a variety of categories they want to see deals on.

Majority of holiday shoppers used their cell phones to hunt for the best deals last year. This new ad format will entice consumers to shop and spend more with the latest deals right in front of them.

You can give it a try by texting “JOIN” to the numbers list and get holiday deals from some retailers:

For Black Friday: 847-904-0608

For Cyber Monday: 847-906-8958

For general holiday deals: 847-904-0596


Social Media

Pinterest Introduces Visual Search Tool:

  • A new in-Pin search tool will be a major benefit for users looking to find a specific item — No search queries required

Users find the actual products that pique their interest, with no textual input required.

In-Pin search results will only include organic Pins:

  • Encouraging more organic participation from marketers on the platform if they can’t buy their way in with a Promoted Pin
  • This will make Pinterest a more complete destination for product search


Display Media

Google Adds Programmatic Support for Native Ads

Google is now offering programmatic ads for native content and mobile video publishers. Publishers can offer native ad units available for programmatic demand.

Native is a rapidly growing portion of the overall digital media spend. Google has now combined both programmatic and native ad inventory to be bought on Double Click Ad Exchange.

Currently, Google’s programmatic monetization is restricted to mobile app ads, where the company sees the greatest opportunity. However, Native web ads – both desktop and mobile, will follow in 2016 (available in open exchange and private marketplace buys).

With this new process, advertisers are able to provide a collection of ad assets, from which Google

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yWeekly News: April 9

Posted by YM Social on April 9, 2015


Digital Intelligence:

Google Analytics Query Explorer receives a fancy update.

Query Explorer is a tool used to pull custom datasets from GA, and it has been updated to be much more user-friendly. Drop down menus have been updated throughout the tool with plain-language metric/dimension names (instead of just their API values). Sampling settings are now editable, allowing us to pull larger datasets before sampling kicks in. Date fields now support plain-language date ranges (e.g. “60 days ago”). Segments are viewable by segment definition instead of API ID

Performance Media:

Google introduced Google Compare for car insurance in California with more states to follow. This gives users an easier way to understand and compare products online to make informed decisions.

Users can buy policies online or call a local agent from their phone. It’s CPA model, but according to Google the payment is not a factor in ranking or eligibility.


Google has added subdomain support to their change of address feature in Google Webmaster Tools.

This new feature will allow us to easily tell Google when a site moves from a subdomain.  With this feature, we can give Google a more definitive signal saying the site moved.


More details have been released on the upcoming mobile friendly update from Google.  We now know that this algorithm update will only impact mobile phones and not tablets. This suggests that tablet search results are more than likely desktop drive as opposed to mobile driven.

Social Media:

As part of their new test, Twitter is placing promoted tweets in people’s profile pages. Currently, the test ads are served on non-verified profiles and only seen when a user signs into the platform.

With Twitter’s new partnership with Google, be prepared to see ads served to logged out audiences because fly-by users may become more common since the partnership means that tweets will appear in search results.

Display Media:

Adroll has plans to integrate retargeting and mobile by trying to acquire new users via app installs and maximize the lifetime value of their users ie: engagement, in-app conversions and sales.

Their product collects anonymous data on website visitors and audience segments to retarget high-intent web users in-app and on the mobile web

We’re seeing next steps in mobile targeting capabilities and strategy. It’s exciting to see mobile targeting capabilities becoming more advanced, and people setting benchmarks/KPIs to gauge mobile campaign success.

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Top 3 PPC Marketing Objectives & Challenges for 2012

Posted by admin on November 15, 2011

The goal for any paid search campaign should be to support your overall business objectives. How each Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign accomplishes this depends on the nature of your business.

Our friends at MarketingSherpa have just come out with their latest benchmark report on PPC – MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – PPC Edition. As usual, it’s a wealth of information for digital marketing agencies like ours since it helps us see what the latest trends are in paid search, as well as what’s working and what’s not.

According to Marketing Sherpa, the top three objectives for PPC campaigns are:

  • Increasing web traffic
  • Increasing lead generation (especially if you are a B2B company)
  • Increasing only sales revenuemarketingSherpa ranking PPC challenges and objective for 2012

While these objectives are to be expected, what’s interesting about the chart are the challenges.  Increasing traffic is not that hard to accomplish. What they discovered is that it’s difficult to increase your number of leads and it’s equally hard to achieve or increase measurable ROI. Since traffic is not that hard to accomplish, the trick is to make sure more of your traffic converts to leads and that those leads are good enough to eventually translate into sales.

We come up against these challenges all of the time, and as much as we’d like to offer an easy fix, there really isn’t one. But here are three ways we’ve found to get the most out of the traffic we generate from our PPC campaigns.

1. Create highly targeted ad groups.  Achieving high conversion rates often comes down to segmentation and creating small, highly relevant ad groups. For example, if you are selling auto insurance, how you appeal to a new driver is different than how you attract a senior. The copy you create for the one is going to be different than the copy you write for the other. What this often means to a robust PPC program is that there are many different ad groups that you have to monitor and measure. And within each ad group, you have to determine which keywords are performing best and giving you the best ROI.

2. It’s the landing page, stupid.  All the good PPC ads in the world can’t help a terrible landing page. Send your PPC ads to either a home page or a generic landing page that works for thousands of keywords and you’re throwing money away.  When creating a landing page you need to make sure there is:

  • A logical path from the ad to the landing page
  • A clear value proposition on the landing page that relates directly to the PPC ad itself
  • An offer and call to action that is crystal clear and prominent
  • A lack of unnecessary distractions on the landing page, like navigation bars or information that does not relate to the offer

3. Test. Yes, A/B testing is hard and takes a concerted effort. And most people don’t do it. In fact, MarketingSherpa found that only 33% of organizations split test landing pages. But here’s why it’s worth it. More than 50% of these same marketers found split testing landing pages to be very effective in achieving marketing objectives. So why don’t more do it? Like we said, it’s difficult. When it came to degree of difficulty in PPC tactics, split testing landing pages and creating relevant ad copy for each ad group were ranked the most difficult.

A Final Note

We found it interesting that the fourth biggest challenge was developing an effective and methodical strategy.  We buy that. However, only 23% of marketers surveyed thought having a strategy worthy of being an objective. In our experience, not having a strategy where you can set your goals and determine your approach is really the best way to point your ROI downwards.

The Bing Factor

Having a strategy allows you to take full advantage of the opportunities. For example, your strategy might lead you directly to using Bing for paid search, whereas without a strategy you may not have even considered it. In one of our recent blog posts we reported that you may find PPC cost savings of 50-70% on Bing due to the lower competition.

Find out more how Bing can help your PPC. Get our free “Simple Guide to Importing Google AdWords into Bing.”

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How To Whip Your PPC Marketing Soundly into Shape

Posted by admin on January 17, 2011

Whipping Your PPC Soundly Into ShapeThere was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.

She gave them some broth without any bread;

And whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

This is the nursery rhyme for PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing.

The old woman is you, the marketer, who works for a company (the shoe).

You’ve made the decision to build your business using PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing. You’ve chosen your keywords (your children), made your bids, created your text ads and assigned landing pages to them (broth and bread). Now it’s time to see how it works, which ads get the best click through rates, which keyword phrases and landing pages result in the highest conversion rates.

So what do you do? Probably spend an awful lot of time staring at your screen and looking over spreadsheet after spreadsheet. You test a little here and a little there to see if you get better results, go back to your spreadsheets, add more keywords, test some more and so on. Pretty soon it becomes a little overwhelming especially when you go over the 1,000 keyword mark (those pesky children). Your budgets are fast approaching their limits and figuring out the ROI is getting harder and harder. You are at the ‘don’t know what to do’ part of the nursery rhyme.

It’s time to whip them all soundly and put them to bed.

And the only way to do that is through a PPC audit or assessment.

Here’s how:

1. Step back, review your program objectives and determine how you want PPC to support your business objectives. Why did you want to do PPC in the first place, and what do you want it to do for your business now? What was and is your hoped for ROI?

2. Conduct a quantitative measurement. This includes determining the number of campaigns, ad groups, keywords, text ads, and landing pages that you have set-up. You also need to measure your PPC campaign settings: the number of active campaigns, ad groups, keywords, text ads and landing pages.

All of this has to be measured in relation to when and how often you make them active. That means further segmenting them into days of the week, times of day and alternate bid settings.

Are you having fun yet?

3. Conduct a qualitative measurement. This is the part of the assessment where you dig deeper. It’s here where you look into the architecture of your campaigns.

For example, with your keywords you evaluate the diversity of categories, use of match types, use of negatives, and duplication. You analyze your keyword density, your dynamic keyword insertions, your use of geo targeting and search partners, your tracking, and your ad scheduling. That’s just for your keywords. You also need to do similar detailed analysis of your text ads and landing pages.

4. Plug in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). PPC costs you money, so looking at how that money works for you is critical. You need to look at averages of your programs and then how each keyword rates against those averages.

The key KPIs for PPC to evaluate are monthly budgets, impressions, clicks per month, cost per click, CTR, position, quality score, cost per conversion, conversion rate, cost per acquisition.

But that’s not all. Now you need to do the same for your competitors, because it’s important for you too understand whether your PPC is performing better or worse than your competition.

Next Step for Your Shoe

Once you have conducted this assessment, you need to revisit your program objectives and see how well your PPC is actually performing in relation to your business objectives. Your children are now all in bed, but they will wake up the next morning. Before they do you need to come up with a plan of action that will keep them under control and make sure they behave exactly the way you want them to. With the results from your assessment, you now have the tools to do so.

How are your PPC campaigns working out so far? Have you had any success? If you would like a complimentary assesment of your  paid search campaigns, contact us today.

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Paid Search (PPC) Highway Robbery – 5 Steps to Avoid It.

Posted by admin on December 13, 2010

Recently we read MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – PPC Edition to get a sense of how companies view PPC these days. Based on their findings, the verdict is clear – 77% of organizations indicated that PPC marketing is either producing measurable ROI or that PPC is a promising tactic that will eventually produce ROI.

PPC Budget and Perceptions

So where do you stand in this pie chart? Are you getting good ROI now or are you hoping to get it eventually? Or are you experiencing PPC highway robbery?

Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns can get out of hand very quickly. Here are five ways that digital marketers can manage their paid search marketing to maximize their ROI.

1. Start with An End Goal. An end goal requires that you understand what you want out of your PPC campaign. An end goal could be increasing sales or lead generation. Here are the top PPC objectives according to MarketingSherpa.

PPC Effectiveness Goals

2. Define your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  There are many metrics that you can apply to PPC campaigns. What you need to do is identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and prioritize them. For example, your KPIs could be sales, cost per sale, cost per conversion, click through rate etc. You need to determine which are of greatest value to you. That will be critical as you test and manage your keywords.

3. Measure and Monitor. You can’t measure PPC generally. Sure, you can present the top line results to management by showing how much your overall PPC is performing. But in the end, every keyword and keyword phrase should be judged individually. For example, if you’ve decreased your cost per sale by 25% overall, which are the keywords that are above that number and which are below? Are the underperformers worth keeping, and is there more you can get out of your top performers? Each keyword deserves its own ROI.

4. PPC does NOT end with Google Ads. You get found with your PPC ads. You also spend money for your Google ads. The real work, and the payoff, begins with the click-through to the landing page. We can’t tell you how many companies send their PPC ads to either a home page or a generic landing page that works for thousands of keywords. When you do that, you’re throwing money away and reducing your ROI.  Think in terms of the conversion path.

  • Is there a logical path from the ad to the landing page?
  • Is there a clear value proposition on the landing page that  relates directly to the PPC ad itself?
  • Is your offer and call to action crystal clear and prominent?
  • Have you rid your landing page of any unnecessary distractions like navigation bars or information that does not relate to the offer?

5. Test, then test some more. If you don’t test you won’t know how to improve your PPC results. There are many ways to test PPC and landing pages. There is multivariate and A/B testing. The key is determining and prioritizing your KPIs so you know what you’re testing for. For example a landing page could perform really well for email captures but not as well as another landing page for sales. There is a wonderful site called that can give great information about testing. As a starting primer for landing pages, you should test:

  • Buttons and response links (size, placement, wording, and
  • whether color stands out)
  • Headline wording
  • Overall page layout (especially cluttered vs cleaner)
  • Forms (number of fields, position on page, form headline)
  • Large images

That’s five ways to help you manage and improve your PPC ROI. Have any of you found these to be helpful? Are there other best practices that you find critical for your PPC?

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Lead Capture for just the Cost of a Click: Google Adwords Contact Form Extension

Posted by admin on January 8, 2010

The ymarketing Paid Search Team recently read an update to the beta for Google Lead Generation Forms in paid search ads at Have you ever wished you could easily increase leads for just the cost of a click? Google is testing it out with Google AdWords Contact Form Extensions to normal AdWords ads. The current leads are phone number based with three custom fields. Delivery of these ads is via email as a moment and clients are committed to contact the lead within 24 hours.

Google Contact Form OptionsWe have noticed the Mortgage and Entertainment Industries testing In the new Contact Form Extension. We have also seen other bloggers and paid search companies mention these ad format updates such as this blog post from

Things to know about the AdWords Contact Form

  • It will only associate with ads in the #1 position.
  • The Leads will be priced with the Max CPC Bid during beta test.
  • About the form: Requires Phone Number Collection, up to three custom questions, questions shown will be determined by Google quality algorithm.

Get whitelisted into the Program through your AdWords Account Manager at Google and start getting your phone leads from Google AdWords!

Here are some sites that like the new Google Contact Form Adwords Feature:,,

Here’s a site that dislikes the new Google Contact Form AdWords Feature:

SEO specialist ymarketing thinks:
This is worth testing. We want to see the results of the beta ASAP!
Do you have “real experience or results to share about your experience with this beta?”

What do you think?
Contact Us or Leave a Comment!

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