Weekly SEO news: 9 February2010
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

If you're not careful, Google AdWords can cost you a fortune without giving you something in return. Changing a few things can greatly improve your conversion rate.

In the news: Google plans a Twitter competitor, Google steals your traffic without compensation, four things that scare Google and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google AdWords: how to lower your costs while selling more

If you advertise your website on Google AdWords, chances are that you found out that you can spent a lot of money on AdWords without getting a lot in return.

The reason why many people spend much more than they have to for their Google AdWords ads is that they use the wrong settings in their campaigns.

Long tail keywords convert better and there are a lot of them

Several studies found out that long tail keywords have a much higher conversion rate than single word keywords. Long tail keywords are very specific keywords that consists of 4 or more words.

According to a recent Hitwise study, more than 18% of searches contain five or more keywords. In addition, Google says that "20% of the queries Google receives each day are ones [they] haven't seen in at least 90 days, if at all."

The wrong long tail keywords will just cost you money

The facts above indicate that it might be a good idea to use broad match for all of your keywords. It's just not possible to include all possible keywords manually in your campaigns. Google recommend to use broad match with your keywords:

"Broad match is a great way to capitalize on those unexpected, but relevant queries. When you include a keyword as a broad match, your corresponding ad is not only eligible to appear alongside queries with that exact spelling, but it can also capture keyword expansions that include synonyms, singular/plural forms, relevant variants of your keywords, and phrases containing your keywords."

Unfortunately, it's not that easy. If you use broad match for all of your keywords then your ads will be shown for a lot of unrelated searches and you'll pay a lot of money without getting something in return.

For example, the word "tiger" would be used for searches regarding Tiger Woods, the Siberian tiger, tiger sharks, the town Tiger in Georgia, etc.

For that reason, it is important to exclude the long tail keywords that are not related to your website.

Negative keywords will increase your conversion rate

You can enter so-called negative keywords in your Google AdWords campaigns. If a long tail keyword contains one of your negative keywords, your AdWords ads won't be displayed.

For example, if you enter "-free" as a negative keyword, your AdWords ad is not displayed if someone searches for free things. Negative keywords are an excellent tool for excluding Internet users looking for free items only.

You can also use negative keywords to display an ad for specific target groups. An insurance broker might want to exclude people who are searching for books about insurance. He could enter "book" and "books" as negative keywords.

If one of your keywords has multiple meanings ("tiger" would trigger "tiger woods" and "siberian tiger", "tiger shark", "tiger, georgia") then you should add negative keywords that remove the unrelated searches.

Broad match can help you to get more customers but you have to be very careful with that option. If you use broad match with your keywords, don't forget to use negative keywords so that you don't pay for unwanted traffic.

Many more tips on how to improve your AdWords ads can be found in our eBook "Writing Successful AdWords". If you don't want to use broad match, the keyword manager in IBP can help you to quickly create long tail keywords that target specific groups and regions.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleGoogle to rival Facebook and Twitter

"Google Inc. is taking a swipe at Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. with a new feature that makes it easier for users of Gmail to view media and status updates shared online by their friends. Google could announce the new Gmail feature as soon as this week, said people familiar with the matter. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment."

Is Google stealing your content and hijacking your traffic?

"Google has long been an advocate of 'build great content'; however, in reality, it's turning into 'build great content … and if we like it we'll take it from you, put it on our pages, and deprive you of that traffic. Without compensation.'

Strong accusations, sure, but I'm willing to step up to the plate, put my money where my mouth is, and show you how it’s being done."

Eric Schmidt Four things that scare Google

"The humbler beast that has emerged in 2010 is facing four definite threats; recent news has shown the company building preemptive bulwarks against them. I'm not saying that any of these factors will bring Google down — there’s only one fruit company with more cash and dexterity – but it has picked its battles. As Stephen Colbert would say: here’s the Threat Down."

Google to push Google Voice, Google Wave to businesses

"Google Enterprise President Dave Girouard said the company will release a version of Google Voice for businesses, roll out Google Wave to all users who want it and deliver as many as 200 small features to Google Apps in 2010."

Google warns Chinese copycat website

"Google has warned a copycat Chinese website to stop using a logo that resembles the US Internet giant's or face possible legal action. [...] Goojje's homepage imitates Google's design and its Chinese name ends with a character that means 'big sister'. Google's Chinese name, meanwhile, ends with a character that is a homonym for 'big brother'."

Search engine newslets

  • Google Places adds nearby places you might (not) like.
  • Google doppelgänger casts riddle over interwebs.
  • A search engine that relies on humans.
  • Google leaps language barrier with translator phone.
  • How to split up the US.
  • Yahoo, Google combine social media with local mobile search.

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3. Success stories

Nickolass Jensen"We have seen our sales rise 37% monthly."

"I have worked with SEO and SEM for 5 years as a personal Web marketing consultant and advisor for small to midsize Norwegian companies.

During the last 2 years I have felt the competition from larger and more resourceful companies entering my space. By resourceful I mean - more money, more personnel.

By working with IBP on a regular basis I have had an efficient tool that helps me monitor terms and ranking on the most important words within the Norwegian SEM and web analytics world. My websites rank in the top five on Google for very competitive keywords."
Nickolass Jensen, Mediakooordinator

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4. Previous articles

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