spotlightThere are many useful tools within the Google Adwords platform that can help you to optimize your Adwords campaigns, especially if you track your conversion rates. However, Adwords is not much help in analysing what happens to the visitors who do not convert. For that, Google Analytics can shine a much needed spotlight on your visitor behaviour.

Link your Adwords and Analytics accounts

In order for Google Analytics to give you information about your Adwords traffic, you need to link the two accounts. Once your Adwords account has been listed as a source for your Analytics account, Google can add an invisible tag to all traffic sent from Adwords allowing it to be monitored and analysed by Google Analytics.

Analyse your campaigns

Once the two accounts are linked, you can analyse the behaviour of your visitors based on the specific Adwords campaign that sent the traffic to your site. By looking at the behaviour of specific campaigns, you can determine if your website is delivering the products or services people expected from your ads. Do you have a high overall bounce rate? Perhaps your website does not clearly show people the product or service shown in your ad, so they leave and go elsewhere. Placing the featured product or service prominently on the landing page may help your conversions. Are most of your bounce rates good, however a few campaigns have unusually high bounce rates? In those cases, examine the times at which the ads are served, and the regional limitations for your ads. You may be able to fine tune your ad appearances to better target your market.

Analyse your keywords

By reviewing your metrics for each keyword, you will be able to tell not only which keywords are sending the most traffic to your site, but how that traffic is performing. High traffic with low engagement is not as good as lower traffic with higher engagement. Breaking out your Google Analytics information by the keyword that generated the traffic will help you to spot which keywords are accurately targeting your potential customers, and which may be too broad or picking up unanticipated matches. You can adjust your negative keywords to screen out these unwanted visitors to lower your costs and improve your overall return on advertising investment.

Analyse your landing pages

Your various offers should be directing traffic to specific landing pages fine-tuned for each offer. By analysing the performance of the landing pages, you can address issues of fine tuning. Perhaps it is not clear to the visitor how the product or service featured on the landing page addresses the promise of the ad. Or perhaps there is a problem with the coding of the landing page, so that it is not displaying correctly or taking too long to load. By analysing performance by landing page, you can determine if an issue is site-wide, or specific to a particular offer.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy


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Santa hard at workWhether you view the month of December as your primary sales month or a dead zone in which nothing happens depends largely on whether you market to the consumer or to businesses. Most consumer-oriented businesses are so busy focusing on their own sales that they have no time to give to other companies trying to sell things to them. They’ll deal with that after the holiday returns are done. Businesses that aren’t consumer-oriented are taking advantage of their slow season for executives and other decision makers to have time off with their families, so you’re still unlikely to be able to reach someone to close a sale. But there are still plenty of ways to prime the pump for your success, and to get a jump on your competitors.

Drip Marketing Campaigns

Is there a major change in your industry coming in the spring? Then now is the time to start a drip marketing campaign, rolling out information about the change, what companies need to know to handle it effectively, and how you can help them take whatever action is necessary to profit from the change. Make sure that your emails are also available online, and at the end of each email point back to the list of previous emails online. This way, the subjects of your emails will start getting people thinking about the upcoming change even if they don’t have time to read them, and they can go back and read everything when they do have the time.

Holiday Bonus Gifts

If you or your employees are under-employed at the end of the year, use some of that free time to create sample work for some of your best clients. One clever tactic is to focus on products or services that those clients do not currently purchase from you. You can do a mock-up of a website redesign, a sample graphic for an advertising campaign, a Facebook ad layout, or a LinkedIn banner graphic.

Less personalised bonus gifts include things such as a single background image, banner graphic, or layout that you can send to all of your clients. If you are a Google Adwords partner, you can also offer money from Google to put toward ad campaigns.

Year-end Analyses

Many companies have no idea whether or not they’ve been profitable until they close the books at the end of the year. They know how they’re doing with regard to revenue or sales, but don’t track their expenses required to generate those sales to know if they’ve made or lost money. As a result, you can schedule meetings with companies in mid-to-late January, after they will know how this year went. Prepare two sets of information for the meeting, one to help them turn things around if they lost money, and one to help them build on the momentum of their existing success if they made money.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy


(Image: MorgueFile)

anchorThe importance of anchor text to search engine rankings took its first major hit when Google decided to penalise websites for over-optimisation of anchor text. As a result, instead of every link to a specific page on your website using the terms for which it was optimised, only about a third of the links could be the specific keyword text. Still, Internet marketing companies adjusted and adapted.

Now, it appears that both Google and Bing are downplaying the importance of any anchor text at all, in favour of meaningful keyword relationship metrics such as co-occurrence. In other words, it doesn’t matter as much what you say about your website (in the anchor text you provide in your blog posts, press releases, and other Internet marketing efforts), as it matters what else you say, and what other people say about your website. They don’t even have to be linking to your website, just talking about your product or company.

Shout outs or streams

One of the ways that the weight given to anchor text is (or may be) being modified is to compare the anchor text with the rest of the text in the article, blog post, or website. If your anchor text is a shout out – a single reference to a keyword that otherwise has nothing to do with the main topic of your article, blog post, or website – it is given less weight than if the anchor text is part of the same thematic stream as the rest of the text. So, for example, if your anchor text was for a specific model of camera, and the rest of your text talked about a family vacation in which you used that camera, it would be given less weight than if the same anchor text was included in an article that talked about how beginning photographers could take the best photographs.


Previously, Internet marketing required manually optimising your websites for every possible misspelling and synonym for your chosen keywords. Nowadays, the search engines have their own lists of synonyms and meaning clusters, developed by analysing which words are found most often together in text samples. So, for example, if the search engines see that the phrases “cell phone” and “mobile phone” are frequently found together, they may decide that “cell”, “mobile”, and “phone” are synonyms of each other. They will also determine that “phone”, “phones”, “telephone”, and “telephones” belong in the same cluster.

It is obvious from looking at results such as the Google Adwords insights that explain where the search volume assigned to a specific broad keyword is coming from, that these assignments are machine generated. As a result, when your brand is mentioned in conjunction with a particular phrase, especially if the phrase is fairly unique, your brand will be considered synonymous with that phrase. Similarly, you can be penalized for using too many variations on the same keyword within your text because the search engines consider the phrases to be synonyms.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy


(Image: MorgueFile)

DartboardEven more than traditional marketing, internet marketing is both a science and an art. The tricky part is that the science is one that’s constantly evolving since the entire internet is rapidly evolving and therefore all things and activities related to it must rapid evolve as well.

The original measurement of internet marketing success was measuring the number of people who viewed a particular webpage; this is known as “getting eyeballs”. Companies were well funded and purchased for multi-million dollar pay-outs to their owners on the basis of the number of eyeballs that could be documented. For example, there was a time when e-mail providers were able to command $400 per subscriber on the theory that the subscribers would somehow be monetized in the years ahead via a stream of ad revenue.

Of course, we now have different models of generating revenue that vary from pay per click (or PPC) advertising to affiliate commission payments. The key thing is that the models are evolving; the only model that bears resemblance to conventional ideas of marketing from years past is that of payment of commissions on actual sales. This is, of course, the only model that actually assures that there is pay for performance that matters, as opposed to pay for performance that may or may not matter.

Consider, for example, a campaign that yields 1 million visitors to a website. That’s pretty good, in many views. However, suppose that only 10 of these visitors actually buy something. If that something is a six-figure item such as a luxury car then it may be worthwhile. On the other hand, if it’s a bag of peanuts then the campaign has been, in the words of Shakespeare, much sound and fury signifying nothing.

It’s a fact that much of marketing is done in ignorance. People don’t know what works until it actually works, and unlike scientific experiments the conditions in which marketing is done are always changing. Sure, you can run two promotional pieces to demographically identical audiences at the same time and track the results. In theory, this will tell you which piece works better; it’s scientific in a way.

But how do you know that you’ve controlled for all of the variables? You don’t, since the real world is always infinitely more complex than a lab environment. What you’re really doing is playing the odds, much like a professional gambler. That’s why marketing is and will always be more an art than a science.

That being said, one should use scientific methods such as split tests when possible since it’s a far better approach than throwing darts. Add to that the seasoned judgment of a marketing pro who’s produced real-world results that matter time and again, and you might have a good chance of making money.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

(Image PhotoMorgue)

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a potent weapon in the advertising arsenal of any business owner or internet marketing, but it is crucial to your bottom line that you really understand how to use it effectively.

While you can simply sign up for a Google AdWords account and start throwing money at it, you’ll make your advertising campaign much more cost effective, much more effective, and much more sustainable if you integrate your PPC campaign with the advertising efforts that you already have underway. Read on to learn how you can do just that.

Before you can get started with PPC optimisation, let me discuss briefly what PPC exactly is, and what it is not. PPC advertising is advertising whereby you pay a fee, typically somewhere in the range of a pound but often considerably more, dependent on the popularity of the keyword in question, each time someone visits your site by clicking on your advertisement. Google AdWords is the leading provider of PPC, but all major search engines offer a similar service.

So long as you understand the basics of how it works, PPC can be an effective way to quickly drive a large amount of traffic to your site. However, it is not the most sustainable business model, as you have to pay a set amount for each customer sent to your site. Obviously, it’s much more cost-effective to draw these customer through unpaid search results (SEO) and social media marketing.

With this in mind, one of the most effective marketing tactics today is to use PPC advertising to help build your brand. So when you’re just starting out , or you’ve just released a new product, you ramp up your PPC advertising considerably. This drives traffic to your site, and creates buzz on the social networks. This, in turn will drive more people to your site.

Over time, the high quality content that you’ll continue to add to your site, combined with the social media attention and the additional traffic that continued PPC advertising will cause your user base to reach a critical mass, a tipping point, if you will, and drive it into self-sustainability. Once you reach this point, you can start the phase out the paid advertising in order to usher in a more sustainable advertising model.

Nothing breeds success like success, as they say. Use PPC advertising to get success in the first place, and then once your site gets noticed, let it roll on its own from there.




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Some internet marketers would take one look at this title and declare me insane. “Making money with Google Adwords – give me a break, it’s not 2005 anymore,” they might scoff. And they would have a point. It is much more difficult to generate revenue from Adwords marketing than it once was. However, it is by no means impossible. There is a lot more competition, but most of the competition has no idea what its doing. As with anything else, generating sales through Adwords is simply a matter of really understanding the format, thinking creatively, and outmanoeuvring the competition.

AdWords 101

Most of you probably already have a pretty good grasp of what AdWords does and how it works, but we’ll have a quick refresher course here anyway.

AdWords is the premier advertising service offered by Google, and  it generates the majority of Google’s yearly revenue. It was the original super-targeted advertising service, and allows you to create advertisements which pop up when someone searches on Google for the keyword which you’ve bid on. Its an invaluable service, and many internet companies use it as their primary source of new customers.

The AdWords War

The problem is, since AdWords is so easy to use and can potentially generate such great returns on investment, it is no longer solely the domain of small business owners and independent marketers. Large corporations have gotten involved, and have sent their marketing departments, with their nearly unlimited budgets, to scoop up the prime real estate.

Since keyword prices are set by competitive bidding, dealing with a large corporate marketing department in the mix can quickly put you out of the running.

So, rather than trying to take them head-on, the key to success is making a strategic pivot and seeking out better real estate.

Find Your Advantage

The easiest place for you to find your advantage in the AdWords world is to realize how much flexibility your business really has. Keyword selection is the obvious place to start. Look at alternative keywords that you could advertise for. You can probably drive your advertising costs down by focusing on less expensive keywords, and then improving your conversion rates in order to make up for the lost visitors.

The key to driving up your conversion rates is creating a landing page that works. Consider – you’ve already got a potential customer on your site, so you know that they’re at least marginally interested in your product. Moreover, you’ve already paid the cost of getting them there, so you need to sell them the product at that point.

Go back at look at your landing page, the first page that the customer sees when they visit your site. Does it elicit a strong, visceral, emotional reaction? Does it create a need for your product? If not, what can you do to make it stronger? If you want to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive AdWords environment, your landing page needs to convert as much as possible.

The main take-away here is just to consider your customers, and consider how you are advertising to them. And remember that with any pay-per-click advertising, the price of the advert isn’t nearly as important as your return on investment.




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Google+ is making waves across the internet as its limited release continues with much acclaim by its users.  Critics continue praising the new Google product as the David that could beat Goliath Facebook in the social networking game, and the world is waiting with bated breath to see what happens when Google+ is finally released to the rest of the world.

Most of those people are excited to use the popular tools Google+ offers them.  They want to create circles of connections rather than swimming through a sea of Facebook friends.  They want to get instant updates on feeds through Google’s new Sparks.  In general, they want to experience something different from the traditional Facebook approach to social networking.

Those in the marketing world, however, may be a bit reluctant to see the start of a new social network.  After all, keeping track of Twitter and Facebook and trying to work out the intricacies of those two services is difficult enough.  Learning to target individuals you should market to through Google+ may be an unwanted new challenge for many.

While it is difficult to understand exactly how significant Google+ will be on social networking and marketing, there are a few things that can be drawn from this limited release that look pretty promising to internet marketers – if they are willing to learn to utilise the service.

Closing the Information Loop

Until now Facebook has been a forbidden land to Google’s AdWords.  The company can follow you as you search all across the web, but the moment you step into the magical world of Facebook you disappear.

Marketers who use Google+ will be able to circumvent this problem that AdWords suffers through as the information loop must surely be extended to their new service.  This provides a huge opportunity for social media marketing – if you can see what users are doing inside of the social network you can fine tune your marketing strategies within that network to rope more customers in.

Targeting Circles

One of the features of Google+ that is being praised in every recess of the internet is the new circles feature which allows users to create different networks for different kinds of connections.  Close friends can be delegated to one circle, distant friends to another, family to their own and co-workers to yet another.  This way content that is posted by users can be limited to target a specific group.

These circles will likely come to be a huge opportunity for marketers.  If one person has an interest in a specific product, there is a pretty good chance that certain friends do too.  As such, if a Google allows marketers access to a particular person’s likes and dislikes (which is probable based on Facebook’s success with such an approach), they will be able to identify other users who may be interested through those circlets.

Most people are not able to try these ideas out yet.  But being ready as an online marketer to dive into the fray as soon as the service opens itself will prove very important in finding success quickly and before other marketers elbow out the competition.  Be prepared!


Thanks again,


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As most of you know, Google Adwords has cracked down on advertisers who drive traffic to pages that aren’t relevant to a search query. To combat this, Google instituted the “Relevancy Score”,  a measurement of how relevant your landing page is to the keyword query.

If your landing page is relevant, you’ll get a better ad placement and your Google Adwords click costs will be higher. If you get a low score, then your bid prices will go up, and your placement will be at the bottom of the page.

Definitely not what you want if you’re looking to make money online.

Here are 4 ways to boost your relevancy score. Implementing these could lower your click costs below your competitors that don’t know what they’re doing.

1) Make Sure You Use A High PageRank Domain.

Google will generally give a high relevancy score to an aged domain with high PageRank. Whereas the website that was thrown up yesterday is going to take a hit in relevancy score.

2) Make Sure You Have Your Keywords In The Domain And Elsewhere In Your Adwords Ad.

If people type in “golf shoes” into Google, you better be sure the words “golf shoes” are in the headline, body copy, and domain. Also make sure you landing page is about golf shoes.  I’ll tell you next how to do this.

3) Make Sure You Have Your Targeted Keywords In Your Meta Tags And Title Tags.

Relevancy Score will increase if Google sees the search query on your pages via the Meta tags and title tags.  So in our hypothetical scenario, you’ll want to make sure “golf shoes” are in these tags.

4) Make Sure The Site Has A Little Depth.

If you have 10-15 pages on the website, Google may give you a higher relevancy score than a single squeeze page.  You can easily add a privacy policy, terms of service, customer contact, and other standard pages to beef up your site a little bit

Now all of these things might seem like a lot of work. But if you’re targeting a specific term on Google Adwords that converts well for you, you’ll want to make sure all this is included. Even purchase a new domain if you have to!

Because having a low relevancy will cost you more money in the long run.  Google’s job is to send the most relevant results to the user when they enter a search query.  Taking these steps will ensure Google evaluates your site correctly and assigns a high relevancy score for you.

Good Luck!


Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy