Search Engine Marketing Just Got More Expensive

While you took a break from tweaking ad copy and adjusting bids to enjoy the weekend, Google was rolling out an update to Adwords that may significantly impact the ROI of your SEM campaigns.

Over the weekend Google removed ads from the right side of its desktop search results. Staying ROI positive is tricky enough on AdWords without the added cost of having to compete for just 3 to 4 slots, down from the 7 or 8 positions formerly available.

For those businesses who can’t afford to compete with the major players, there are 3 ad positions available at the very bottom of the results page.

What does this mean for the future of SEM?

Optimizing quality scores will be more important than ever. As PPC marketers know, a high quality score not only decreases the price you pay per click but it can also secure top positions for top converting terms.

For those who can’t afford to bid for the top, keyword creativity will be key. Use tools like SEMRush to find phrase match and long-tail keywords with lower competition.

The recent update is just another reason why search engine optimization is key to growing digital business.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Why Businesses Still Need Twitter

Your Business Needs Twitter

It’s hard to miss articles about Twitter’s troubles, and its decline in usership. If your a marketer you may be considering rethinking your social strategy, but to discount Twitter’s capabilities would be a mistake.

The Trouble

Facebook was an easy transition for Myspace users who already knew how to upload pictures and post comments. It’s first users were college students who probably had a Friendster account, Myspace page or at the very least chatted online with instant messenger. They were young people from around the world starting a new school and looking to make new friends.

As Facebook’s users evolved, so did it’s usership and dashboard. They were able to grow by keeping it simple to share and interact. The reason people still use Facebook isn’t any different from why people keep purchasing iPhones. Everyone has one.

Unlike the transition from Myspace to Facebook, Twitter was an entirely different platform. It worked differently. Your “success” or happiness with Twitter was entirely up to you as a user. Unlike Facebook where you could be added by someone because you went to elementary with them, on Twitter you started with 0 friends.

Like the early days of Facebook, not many of your friends had a Twitter account. You followed business pages or celebrities, but all that did was fill your newsfeed.

Twitter is challenging. You could tweet all day, only to find that no one likes, reposts or tweets back. We all like to feel accepted and liked, and without engagement or reciprocation it’s easy to get disheartened and give up.


I created a Twitter account and let it sit there for three years before I started using it. Like many I tweeted a few things, only to see them die in the abyss and gave up. Fast forward three years when I started blogging. I was looking for a way to reach other bloggers and grow my traffic.

I did research, and read articles about how to grow your Twitter followers and increase engagement. I went from having 3 followers to over 1,500 in a few months without investing in advertising or a professional media manager.

Why Businesses Still Need Twitter

After a while I found that it was actually easier to network and interact with potential clients on Twitter than on Facebook. On Facebook hashtags are relatively useless, and while it may be easier to make friends on Facebook it’s not as easy to earn business. Unless you invest budget towards advertising.

On Facebook landing high up on Facebook search result pages takes a lot more optimization than Twitter where hashtags come into play. In order to gain engagement on Facebook as a business, especially for those smaller brands, boosting and advertising is almost always required.

On Twitter you can post several times a day without losing your audience. You can increase engagement by retweeting and engaging with other users. Use hashtags to come up in search, and actually be found by other thought leaders and customers.

Unlike Facebook ad campaigns that offer no support, Twitter provides ad support and has led to many closed deals.

Getting Started

Regardless of the platform it can be difficult to get started on social, but with the right guidance your brand can grow significantly with the power of social traffic.

Learn more about I Dream of SEO and our social media services today.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

The Biggest Mistake Your Web Designer is Making

The Biggest Mistake Your Web Designer is Making that will Affect your SEO

It’s one issue I come across consistently when performing SEO audits. It’s a simple fix that starts with your web designer or developer.

We often leave the designing and development of our websites to outsourced professionals, then hire or perform SEO once a site is live. The issue lies in the fact that website designers are often unaware of SEO best practices. They design with your specifications in mind, and develop your site with all the bells and whistles you request. Unfortunately, they may lack the ability to guide you in the best direction for website ranking.

A site not developed for SEO can contain heavy HTML that increases page load times, Javascript which negatively impacts your SEO, or stock images that can lead to issues with the way your site loads.

The best way to rank your site quickly is to hire an SEO professional when developing or redesigning your site. Your SEO can work with your designers and developer to ensure that code is structured properly and that everything is optimized for better performance before your site goes live.

So what’s the biggest mistake your web designer can make? Designers often use stock images to fill your site. While the use of images on your site is important for user experience, they can also significantly increase the time it takes for your site to load. Too many images with large file sizes can cause your site to load disjointed, which provides a poor user experience. Long loading times can lead to high bounce rates, lower time per page, and inevitably lower rankings.

The Good News

It’s easy to decrease your page load time by compressing your website images before they’re uploaded to your site. Your designer can remove current images and upload compressed images which will decrease load times and improve your site’s performance.

There are many easy ways to compress or reduce your image file sizes. You can do so in editors like Photoshop, but TinyPNG is a free tool that works as well.

Contact us today to receive your free SEO site audit and improve the way people interact and engage with your website.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Reduce Remarketing CPAs – Adwords Interest Targeting

The argument for remarketing is clear – you can’t afford to give up on qualified traffic because it didn’t convert – but how do you optimize and keep the cost per lead/sale down?

If you’ve created a highly targeted Adwords campaign you should be seeing site visits from your target audience, yet many of these visitors don’t convert. Visitors leave without converting for a variety of reasons – no budget, wrong timing, need more information, comparison shopping, etc.

Remarketing gives you the ability to follow your prospective clients/customers across the web building brand and product recognition and trust.

While there’s little doubt remarketing provides value, it can be challenging to meet target CPAs and see positive ROI from a strict lead generation prospective.

To increase the likelihood of conversion, it’s important to create segmented lists and add layers of targeting.

With Adwords remarketing you can create a custom audience campaign. By targeting by Interests & Remarketing you can target those people who Google had determined are searching for your products or services. This is great for expanding your reach and target audience while keeping quality of traffic (intent) high.

Once you have established your area of interest, you can optimize your campaign further by targeting display keywords, placements, topics and demographics.

Remarketing CPCs are often much lower than traditional Adwords CPCs. You can recapture your audience for a relatively low cost per click, but to increase conversions you’ll need a highly targeted campaign.

Learn more about remarketing and get help optimizing your Adwords campaigns. Contact I Dream of SEO to learn more about our SEM and PPC management services.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Long vs Short Form Content and the “SEO” Article

Which type of content is best suited for your marketing initiatives

When I first started my career in SEO I had a lot of requests for “SEO” articles. Agencies and business owners weren’t interested in captivating and cultivating an audience, they wanted to be #1 in search. That meant short form (300 to 500 words) keyword focused content.

Back then keyword stuffing was considered an actual SEO strategy and quality content was a speed bump on the road to ranking.

Google Makes an Update

As Google optimized it’s algorithms for better user experience, publishers across a wide range of industries saw a dramatic loss in rankings and revenue. Many have made changes to optimize user experience in the wake of updates like Panda and Penguin, adding long form content and engaging with visitors.

Still, there are many people who believe short form is the way to go, and many SEO companies who still churn out the same keyword stuffed articles readers (and Google) hate.

What is Long Form Content?

Long form content is generally considered to be 2,000+ words. Examples of ways to incorporate long form content on your site include:

  • Whitepapers
  • E-books
  • Guides
  • Resources
  • Videos
  • Webinars

Content pieces like these not only help sell your product to the visitor, but also help you communicate your expertise on a specific topic or industry. It’s a much more effective way to convert a lead.

Why it Works

Long form content is beneficial for many reasons. Besides providing your readers with a useful user experience, you’re also increasing your session duration or time per page. It’s no secret Google uses session duration and bounce rates to determine rankings.

By providing long form content you’re increasing the time your users spend on your pages, and decrease your bounce rate effectively communicating to Google that your site is an “expert” source able to answer visitor search queries.

“If Google has a choice to show two articles for the same keyword, which one are they going to choose: The one where readers average 45 seconds on the page or the one where readers average 4.5 minutes on the page.” – Marcus Sheridan, Founder of The sales Lion.

Social Engagement

Today’s marketers are increasingly allocating significant budget towards social engagement, because it’s where people spend the majority of their time. Everyone who posts to social media is looking to engage visitors.

What’s the use of posting if it isn’t liked, shared or retweeted?

You might be surprised to know that long form content is shared more frequently than short-form pieces. BuzzSumo founder, Noah Kagan shared, “The longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3,000-10,000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares.”

A person is more likely to share a whitepaper, study or webinar than they are a 300 word article.

Short Form & Marketing Moments

There’s been a shift in the industry towards short form content with video services like Vine and Instagram gaining popularity, and short form content like infographs used to convey complicated concepts and statistical analysis.

Today’s challenge is marketing to a consumer with a short attention span and a need for instant gratification.

By utilizing short form content and programmatic advertising, marketers can create “marketing moments” providing the customer with bits of information at a time over time until they eventually convert.

Short form content is also considered to be more “mobile friendly.”

The Complete Package

I think we can all agree that it’s time to retire the SEO (keyword stuffed) article, but we can make room for both short form and long form content. By providing users with engaging short form content, you’ll keep them coming back for more. By slipping in deep-thought long form content you’ll communicate your expertise and earn their trust.

I Dream of SEO is a full service Digital Marketing Agency located in Los Angeles, CA. Contact us today to learn more about our content marketing services.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Your Ads Aren’t Showing

Adwords Optimization & Keyword Diagnosis

A lot goes into launching and optimizing an Adwords campaign. We conduct extensive keyword research and build large lists, test ad copy, optimize landing pages and customize our settings to create highly targeted campaigns.

In addition to keyword research, SEM or PPC optimization requires the building of negative keyword lists. Campaign managers will add industry specific negative keywords – as well as – internal lists built upon previously searched terms and campaign data.

We all know that once you add a negative keyword to an ad group or campaign your ad won’t show for that term. This helps reduce wasted ad spend on terms that aren’t highly relevant. But did you know that adding broad or phrase match negative keywords to your list can actually hurt your campaigns?

Let’s say I own a flower shop and want to advertise my floral delivery services during Valentine’s Day. I earn the most revenue during this quarter, so it’s very important that my ads show.

I’m bidding on terms like “floral delivery” and “Valentine’s Day flowers” but I don’t want to show for terms like “floral delivery reviews” or “types of Valentine’s Day flowers.” To save myself wasted ad spend I add these terms to my negative keyword list, thinking that I’ll prevent related terms from triggering my ads and decreasing wasted spend.

Unfortunately, if you were to add these terms to your negative keyword list you would be preventing your ads from showing for terms you are bidding on (floral delivery, Valentine’s Day flowers) because your negative keywords contain your targeted keywords.

It’s easy to prevent this from happening if you:

  • Make sure to add the exact match versions of your keywords instead of broad or phrase match.
  • When adding the broad or phrase match of a keyword make sure NONE of the terms can be found in your keyword list. Ex: adding the broad match version of the word ‘review’ could prevent the phrase ‘floral delivery review’ from triggering your ads.
  • Use the Adwords keyword diagnosis tool to identify whether or not your keywords are triggering ads.

The keyword diagnosis tool is a great tool for Adwords marketers. You can determine if your ads are showing, and what may be preventing them from showing. There are a variety of factors that could be preventing your ads from triggering, including your location and schedule settings.

To use this tool log into your Adwords account, click on the keywords tab, then on “Details”. There you’ll be able to click on “keyword diagnosis” and get your results.

Use the keyword diagnosis tool often to make sure your ads are showing when you need them to, and stop missing out on potential leads or sales.

To get more Adwords tips or to learn about our SEM services visit

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Funnel Based Marketing

You’ve set up a highly targeted lead generation campaign, but you can’t seem to get people to fill out your form.

One of the more frustrating aspects of SEM, is reviewing search terms only to find that people are searching relevant phrases, clicking then bouncing from your landing page without filling out the form.

Why are they bouncing?

No matter how masterful your UX, how optimized your campaign, you may be struggling to get conversions or meet your CPA. In some cases the source of your anguish can be found in your marketing content. By targeting customers at the wrong stage of the funnel, you can waste thousands of dollars a year on end spend.

Whether you’re generating leads for a B2B or B2C business, the idea is the same. Your keywords/phrases must be matched with content that corresponds with the accurate customer stage.

How to Optimize

Consider the various stages of the marketing funnel. There’s:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Intent
  • Evaluation
  • Purchase

Then take a look at your keywords. Keywords that fall into the “awareness” stage shouldn’t be pared with ad copy and content that is for those in the Intent to Purchase stage.

For example, if someone is searching “what is B2B software” they’re looking for information. They’re not ready to see a demo or make a purchase. Instead of sending them to a demo request page, try providing them with information about your industry/product. Whitepapers and case studies are great ways to engage customers who are the top of the funnel.

Save your conversion content for those further down the funnel ready to buy.

Why market to those at the top of the funnel?

If your budget is tight, and you’re heavily focused on ROI, eliminate keywords that speak to those at the top of the funnel. Terms that start with “what is” for example.

However, if branding is important to you and/or you have a strong lead nurturing campaign, investing in broader terms can help feed your other marketing initiatives.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Heatmap Technology Can Save You Thousands in Search Marketing Spend

Why are they leaving?

One of the most important aspects of campaign management is optimization. As a search marketing or pay per click campaign manager part of the job is consistently making tweaks to keywords, ad copy, and yes landing pages in order to improve campaign performance.

You can decrease CPCs, improve quality scores and engage users, but if they bounce before converting all your efforts are wasted.

If you have what you believe is a fully optimized landing page (fast load times, keyword and quality rich ad copy, lead gen form above the fold, etc.) with poor performance you can test visitor interaction with a heatmapping tool.

A heatmap is a graphical overlay of your website which uses different colors to describe what content is “hot” and not on your page. Heatmap technology typically tracks where a visitor clicks, but more advanced versions can track eye and scroll movements.

Heatmaps are relatively inexpensive, and easy to install. There are free trials and free versions which you can use to gain powerful insights about your site visitors.

What Heatmaps Teach Us

Heatmaps give users a glimpse into the minds of site users. Where users click can be especially significant if you have ads or a lead gen form on your page. It’s important to know if users are clicking away to your main site, or missing ads due to placement.

With this knowledge you can gain insight into the performance of everything from the color of your site, content and ad placement, page copy, outbound and inbound links.

Heatmap Options

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a popular heat mapping tool, because it’s easy to use and inexpensive. The company provides a free 60 day trial. After the initial trial period plan pricing starts at just $9 a month for up to 10 pages. To install Crazy Egg heatmap tracking, you simply copy the code provided into your site HTML. Instructions are provided. Once installed you can use the platform to test the code, and get confirmation that tracking is live.


Mouseflow claims to be the #1 heatmap and session replay tool on the market. What makes Mouseflow unique is you can actually view recordings of your visitors interacting with your site. This can prove valuable when users aren’t clicking on your pages. You can see what they scroll over, what they avoid, and what causes them to bounce without converting. Mouseflow offers a free plan for 100 recorded sessions of 1 domain. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee for their paid plans. Paid plans start at $19 a month.


Ptengine provides analytics for both heat and scroll maps. Unlike other heatmaps, Ptengine allows the user to differentiate between interactive and non-interactive elements of a site. With this tool you can gain insights into clicks on buttons, images, videos, drop down menus and more. With the Scroll Reach Map you can determine the percentage of visitors scrolling to specific sections of your page, and get insights into why your visitors are leaving once they land. There is a free trial for up to 20,000 page views a month for 1 domain. Plan pricing starts at $39 a month for 50,000 page views and up to 20 domains.

Landing page optimization is not voluntary it’s vital to the success of your organic and paid campaigns. Contact I Dream of SEO today to learn more about our landing page and website services or to inquire about paid campaign management.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Why You Can’t Neglect User Experience for SEO

Why is User Experience important? Small business owners spend hundreds to thousands of dollars each month to increase the “traffic” or visitors to their site in hopes of generating more leads or sales. However, all those clicks are wasted when a user visits your site, and bounces immediately.

Bounce rates increase when visitors have an unsatisfactory experience when interacting with your site. A bad user experience can start with poor navigation or site layout. When designing a site, it’s not only important to create something that’s visually appealing, but that’s also easy to navigate.

If a user visits your site, but can’t find what they need quickly, they are more likely to leave your site without converting. Whether it’s your goal to have a visitor fill out a form, submit their email address, or make a purchase, user experience is key to increasing conversion rates.

I often encounter clients who put keyword stuffing at the forefront of strategy. They want links with multiple keywords, pages stuffed with them, and blog posts featuring them. While utilizing keywords is important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of a good user experience (UX).

At I Dream of SEO we provide website UX reports. We will analyze and review your site, then provide you with a list of changes we know will help increase sales and drive conversions.

Running online marketing campaigns? We can add specialized code to your site, which will track and report visitor behavior. We will be able to identify what’s causing visitors to leave your site without converting, and help you make the changes necessary to see better results.

Contact I Dream of SEO today to find out how we can help you provide visitors with a better user experience.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments

Search vs. Display – Which is Right for You

As a media buyer , I run many different types of ad campaigns for clients. Every vertical or industry requires a degree of specialized marketing strategy; however, you will find that many platforms perform the same regardless of the industry. In my years of Digital Marketing I have found that Display Marketing seldom yields a significant return on investment (ROI), and is poor for lead generation. On the other hand, it’s great for building brand recognition and remarketing.

The fact is, it is very difficult to meet your CPA goals when you are paying for impressions or views instead of clicks or conversions. The reasoning is quite clear. User intent is dramatically lower when you pay per view than when you pay for click or conversion/action.

With a display ad, the visitor may be visiting a highly targeted website, but the intent could be to gain knowledge, answer a question, or fulfill a curiosity. With search marketing, you establish a list of keywords, which should be highly targeted towards your sale/conversion, and bid based on your budget and goals. Your ads then appear in relevant search results or websites (depending on platform), and visitors click when enticed by your ad copy, image, etc. There is intent and a higher likelihood of conversion.

While display advertising doesn’t often lead to significant conversions, it can be an important tool in brand building and engagement. If your company is new, you can introduce yourselves via display ads. Many social media networks use display advertising to help you increase followers, likes, etc.

Before investing in any one type of campaign, it’s important to establish your company or organization goals. A knowledgeable contractor or agency, will be able to review those goals and build a strategy to accomplish them.

At I Dream of SEO we listen to your goals. We then work within your budget to help your business grow. Contact us today to learn more about our marketing packages.

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments