Ya Gotta Keep’em Separated – Managing Google AdWords’ Networks

I was recently reminded of a song by the California-based band
The Offspring, called “Come Out and Play.” It was popular when I
was in high school. The chorus starts with what musicians call
stop time, where there is a pause in the music, then one of the
supporting vocalists says, “Ya gotta keep’em separated.”

What does this song have to do with pay-per-click marketing or
Google AdWords?

By default when you begin an account, your ads are syndicated into
four networks of distribution. If you’re not that familiar with
AdWords, you might think the only place your ad is being seen is
surrounding the Google search box after a user types in your
keywords, but unless you opt-out your ads also will be on AOL,
Dogpile, Ask, as well as on article sites like About.com, eHow.com,
and 1000s of others.

Here are the four channels you’re automatically in:

==Google Search
==Search Partners
==Display Network
==Mobile Network

The third channel listed is what Google previously called the Content
Network, and now calls the Display Network.
For text-based ads, this network is what they call in the online
world “Contextual Advertising.”

Google did not invent this, but has made the best use of
monetizing the technology. How it works is Google reads the page and
chooses which articles to show your ads on based on the topics and
content of the site, sometimes using what’s called semantic
matching language.

Bid Separately by Network

About five years ago, by popular request, AdWords started allowing
advertisers to bid separately on keywords and adgroups displaying
on the then Content Network, now Display Network, from Search

Advantages of the Display Network

The Display Network has gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly
because advertisers seeking an easy push and play solution haven’t
treated the Display Network as being unique, and haven’t leveraged
it to their advantage the way they could. Often times, you
can get MORE and much LESS expensive traffic and
conversions if managed correctly.

The Google AdWords Editor Makes Life Easier

About three years ago, Google came out with a desktop editor in
which you could manage your campaigns making it possible to
quickly scale accounts by to copying and pasting campaigns.
You can get the Google AdWords Editor here.

My suggestion when it comes to advertising on different networks,
“Ya Gottta Keep ’em Separated.” Turn off the Display Network
initially, then once your campaigns and adgroups are
thoroughly organized and fleshed out, copy and paste your Search
campaigns, but only display them to the Content Network.
Make sure you name the campaign accordingly, so you know from
a bird’s eye view, which network your campaigns are syndicating
to what network.

Basically, you’ll have campaigns (including adgroups and keywords)
which are exactly the same, with the only difference where they
are distributed. This is the starting point.

Then REEVALUATE your ad strategy for the Display Network.
These ads should be designed to draw readers’ attention away,
more like a billboard (as my friend and Contextual Google AdWords Expert Shelley Ellis would say).

Similar to traditional advertising, you have to be more
interuptive in your approach and finish the conversion
in your prospects head.


I had a client a couple of years ago, in which the Display
Network was their best channel by far. The Search Network was
cost-prohibitive. Their campaigns’ success had a lot to do with
their prospects, which were individuals and businesses owing more
than 10k to the IRS.

Instead of matching keywords to headlines, they had the same
headline on all their ads “End Your IRS Fears.” This spoke
directly to the pain point of their prospects, which would find
their ads alongside articles on how to deal with audits, liens,
wage garnishments other IRS nightmares. We tried several other
headlines in order to match keywords, after lots
of testing, this one worked the best for conversions.

We’ll talk more about the other networks in the future.

Neil Lemons is a pay-per-click marketing and  Dallas-based Internet Marketing Consultant for local & national companies.

10 Steps to Blast off Your Social Media Optimization Efforts

 1485388086_b19e8c62aa_m.jpgFrom years of executing SEO and SEM campaigns, I am now more than ever seeing the parallels of  social media and SEO/SEM as well as how they all work together. Ten years ago, business owners thought their only option to improve their SEO was stuffing their meta tags and submitting their site to 1,000 search engines. Similar to SEO and SEM, business owners now realize it’s not enough to just plug the social media hole because they read in some business magazine it was needed. A new phrase has joined the lexicon of business buzz words, and rightfully so, showing a more sophisticated marketer: Social Media Optimization. You should not have a social media campaign for your business just because everyone else is doing. CEOs, marketers, entrepreneurs are now seeking solutions to optimizing their social media marketing campaigns. What do I mean by Social Media Optimization?

  • Create Compelling Content – Use proven headline formulas with ( lists, how tos, popular & timely names and news), uniqueness, controversial, resource aggregation. The less often you write, more compelling topics you need to cover. Do this on your blog, every tweet on Twitter, and every status update on Facebook.
  • Target Relevant Connections – Your network, your friends’ trusted networks. Be friends with competitors and industry people, “linkerati” or “likearatti” on Facebook. Every person who likes your status update or comments are gold to you. Why? Social proof. You’re showing other people that other people like you and your content, this inturn creates more buzz. Success leads to more success.
  • Syndicate Intelligently– It’s not always how large, but where. Instead of syndicating to 100s of social media sites, only a few matter and the audiences you’ve built on those networks. If you do spend loads of time syndicating to dozens of sites, make sure you use tools optimize your efficiency. In regards to SEO, focus on getting dofollow links from sites you can get control and quickly update. Only put your most powerful posts and call favors for links to those posts. Ask for juicy keyword anchor text using your targeted keywords linking to your blog and individual posts.
  • Never Stop Growing Your Audience – Cold friending is OK. If you want to know more about someone add he/her and start a conversation. Comment on something specific in his/her profile  to get on their radar fast. Follow up again later.
  • Funnel back to Your Hub – Calls to action back to the site, teasers, giveaways, opt-in free whitepaper reports. You can’t convert if you do not filter your audience back to your website.
  • Update Content Consistency – Audiences prefer consistent short updates over long time elapses. Set a 30 minute window and make as many connections and follow ups managing current relationships by engaging others on their network and updating yours.
  • Show Social proof – Success breeds success. Who’s friends with who? Do you have common friends? How many comments have you attracted?
  • Influence the Influencers – Who are the most influential people in your network? How can you get on his/her radar. Use the Law of Reciprocity, promote others’ stuff, network offline provide value, etc.
  • Engage Your Audience – Buzz on your page. Make the “News Feed” not just the “Live Feed” on Facebook.
  • For almost five years, Dallas Internet Marketing Consultant Neil Lemons has worked behind-the-scenes to help create exposure, traffic, leads, and sales through major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Calling upon his diverse background in copywriting, advertising, marketing, and sales, he has been learning traditional SEO and SEM tactics since 2004 and implementing since 2005.

    Seven Ways to Raise Your Local Business Listing Rank in Google


    This was originally written in 2008, but it still rings true today.
    It appears Google has recently changed its algorithm for Local Business Listings by only giving the top spots to those feeding the search engine’s ever increasing need for content. Keep reading to learn what are Google Local Business Listings, what’s changed recently, as well as how to optimize so your local business is on top of the map.

    Google Local Business Listings are different than organic or pay-per-click listings. They typically only show up when the user types a service oriented business followed by the city for their search. A large map from Google Maps appears alongside up to ten URLs with a phone number by each. If you need more than ten listings you can click in “More Results from ‘Insert City’ “ and you’ll be taken to a map with alphabetically lettered red pegs for each register business on Google Maps.

    It seems over the last three years being listed on Google Maps and/or Google’s Local Business Listings is becoming even more important since they are being displayed more often in search with up to ten listings before organic listings even start.

    One client of ours was listed and is still listed under a Local Business Listing for their service, but it seems the listing fell in a short period of time; they went from #2 to #44 out of 3,656. Since many local business owners are seeing the value in these listings and Google makes the submission process much easier to understand than the general ins and outs of SEO, competition is on the rise.

    With this recent surprise in dropping, I have decided Google Local Business Listings has its own algorithm. After noticing what the patterns were and what the top listings did, I made some adjustments using the modeling method. Soon after I noticed a huge rise in ranking.

    Based on researching and observation, the pattern that presents itself for those that are high on the listings is they have:

    1. Photos – They only recently they allowed this. Add as many photos as you can and a company logo.

    2. Multiple Reviews – It’s important that these be from real customers. You can not have too many. Don’t fake them either, it’s easy to see. Just as with Amazon, people trust products with lots reviews that have kept above three stars.

    3. Use Keywords in Company Description – They offer an area where the business representative can describe what the company offers.

    4. Use Keywords in Company Name – Don’t be deceptive by changing your company name, but if your keywords are in the extended business name or LLC, make sure this is the name in which you register.

    5. Add a Coupon – Google allows printable coupons to be added by your listing.

    Add these elements to your Google Local Business Listing and you are sure to be in the top ten.

    6. Create links to the listing – Add a link from your homepage to the listing and encourage current customers or website visitors to review your company.

    7. Add Videos– If your company already has videos on YouTube you can place them right there on the page.

    For almost five years, Dallas Internet Marketing Consultant Neil Lemons has worked behind-the-scenes to help create exposure, traffic, leads, and sales through major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Calling upon his diverse background in copywriting, advertising, marketing, and sales, he has been learning traditional SEO and SEM tactics since 2004 and implementing since 2005.

    32 Useful AdWords Tips for Intermediate to Experienced Users


    I wrote this back in May 2007.  A lot has changed since then, but some of the principles still remain.  This became the most highly read thread on SEOChat’s AdWords forum with 16k views and eventually added as a sticky. There were also almost 50 comments.  The original forum post can be found here.

    This is by no means a definitive list. Here are just some straight forward tips that I have learned over the years from experience with pay-per-click, AdWords in particular, as well techniques I have learned from gurus’ books and newsletters.

    I am not merely repeating a combined list. These are in my words, and in no particular order. I believe in all of these and am currently using or have used these techniques in the past for multiple client accounts.

    Some of these might require more explanation, which you are welcome to ask for here.
    Each are split into categories that should help for reference.

    Improving CTR & Conversions

    1.) Use the core/parent adgroup keyword three times in the ad text and display URL.

    2.) Bid on all three match types for every keyword/keyphrase: broad, phrase, and exact.
    (This will get you more clicks for your money).

    3.) Bid higher on terms that have been converting well. Continue reading

    10 More Reasons Blogging is Better on Your Own Domain


    Entrepreneurs, SMB owners, publishers, creative-types, writers, citizen journalists and independent subject matter bloggers don’t make the same mistake I did. If you have been blogging a long time whether for business or personal publishing, seriously consider the points made in this article.  If your goal is to gain influence over others, demonstrate expertise, promote your business, make money, get leads and sales, make connections with others interested in similar topics, express yourself or a combination of these, you should stop spending all your time building others’ content. Content equals currency on the web and you are someone else’s user generated content if you’re not blogging on your own domain. Always start with the end in mind.

    If you are blogging “just for fun,” but are passionate about certain subjects, why shut the door to making it a viable tool for other avenues of life such as: building credibility and gaining respect in a particular area,  landing the job of your dreams, making money, and creating invaluable relationships in the mean time? As they say in academia, “publish or perish.” You can either be a footnote in someone else’s biography, or create your own.

    It doesn’t take as much effort as you think. You just need to 1) Register a domain 2) Get hosting (affiliate link, seriously a great host) and 3) Install a CMS or website builder (WordPress, Drupal). I will show you the easiest way to do this in a future post, but for now this post covers many of the reasons why you should primarily blog on your own domain, not a hosted ad-centric blog network.

    I realize no website or blog is an island, and having supporting profiles and posts on other websites where there is already a huge existing network is highly important. This is especially true when syndicating your content. You should only do this AFTER the content has been published on your blog and indexed by Google. The name of the game is having a large targeted audience of people who care about what you have to say and for the search engines to see your blog as the ORIGINAL source of that information. Continue reading