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

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

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

Your Quality Score & How to Increase It

When setting up a search marketing campaign the focus is often on establishing keyword lists and ad copy, but one key metric is often either forgotten about or misunderstood. Even those who are new to search marketing understand that your quality score is important, but many don’t know why. Even fewer people really understand how quality scores are determined.

You can find your quality score in your keywords tab on either your Google Adwords or Bing Ads account. Quality scores range from 1/10 to 10/10. The ideal score is obviously a 10/10, but anything above an 8 and you’ve got a strong campaign. When determining your quality score Google’s algorithm reviews your ad copy, landing page, and potential click through rate in relation to your keyword. Let’s look at each one of these elements separately.

Ad Copy

Your ad copy is the text you use when setting up your ads. Everything from your title to your display URL should relate to your ad group/keyword. It’s important to write ad copy that is engaging and has a clear call to action, but it’s also important to include keywords to improve quality score. One way to do this is by using dynamic keyword insertion. You can use dynamic keyword insertion in your ad title and/or ad copy. In Google Adwords this is achieved by using the following parameter {Keyword: text}. Google won’t allow you to simply put {Keyword} because in some cases the keyword contains too many characters to fit within the line of text. This is especially the case when your ad group contains keywords with phrase match. Example: Let’s say you have an SEO business, and your bidding on “SEO services”. A sample ad could look like:

{Keyword: Improve Ranking} 

Get More Out of Your SEO! 

Increase Traffic & Leads Today.

Instead of putting {Keyword: SEO Services} I used “improve ranking” because if the keyword is “Need SEO” or similar terms, the text won’t make sense or read well to the consumer. Bing Ads also allows you to use dynamic keyword insertion, but unlike Google they will allow you to use just {KeyWord}.

Landing Page

Your landing page is whichever page you have chosen for your ads to lead to. Many small businesses use their main website as their landing page. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this practice, but it can often be difficult to improve your quality score when you can’t edit the landing page text per ad group/keyword. In addition, if you are working on improving your SEO ranking, PPC can impact your SEO. When determining SEO ranking, Google will factor in bounce rates and length of sessions. Historically, PPC visitors bounce at a higher rate and spend less time on a page. This can negatively affect your SEO.Instead, companies will use services like Marketo to generate landing pages specific to ad campaigns. You can add “no-follow” to these links, so that your main website is not affected by traffic from these campaigns. If Marketo or similar services are too expensive, you can create and manage your own landing pages by using WordPress & website templates.If separate landing pages aren’t an option, hope is not lost. You can improve your quality score by updating your on page content, headers, and meta data to reflect your keywords.

Click Through Rate

Oh the dreaded click through rate, the most complicated of SEM optimization. Most marketers underestimate the importance of the click through rate, and how much it impacts quality score. Google Adwords is a revenue stream first and foremost. The goal is to display ads higher on a page, that have a higher likelihood of being clicked. More clicks means more spend, and Google likes that.

How do you make your ads more clickable? That’s the million dollar question. By creating keyword lists that are highly relevant to your product/services you can increase your click through rate. You can also help your chances by writing engaging ad copy that stands out from your competitors. Your click through rate can improve over time, based on ad performance.

Adwords may initially deduce that interest in your ad may be low, but if you have a good ratio of impressions to clicks you can improve your CTR and your quality score effectively.

Why are quality scores important?

Your quality score is used by Google & Bing to determine how much you pay per click. Since your goal is to pay as little as possible for a keyword, and lower your CPA (cost per lead), quality score is important. In addition to effecting prices, your quality score also determines how often your ad is shown and where it falls on the page.

As mentioned earlier, if you have a low quality score Adwords will determine that your ad is less likely to result in clicks. Therefore no matter how high you may bid, a competitor with a better quality score could beat you every time.

Keywords with quality scores below a 3/10 are often not shown, which decreases your potential for growth and market share. If your goal is to increase traffic to your site and sales, lack of clicks is deadly to the success of your campaigns.

At I Dream of SEO our goal is to help you create highly effective search marketing campaigns that will result in more leads for your business and highly targeted traffic to your site. Build your brand, expand company reach, and earn trust from hundreds of visitors a day.

Contact us today & start marketing online.- See more at:

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admin February 8, 2017 0 Comments