Google One Box Searches

You may have noticed in the last few years Google has added extra results like map, news, products and others. This is what is called a one box search. Meaning you don’t have to go to google maps or google news to do a search. You just go to and do a search and Google will decided to give you relavant results from these other services. When marketing a website online you want to make sure you show up on search engines when people type in relavant keywords. It is important to know how to be listed as many times on the page as you can.

When a search is made on google most people only think about SEO and PPC. Don’t forget about Google’s other services:

  • Google News – You can get in here by issuing a press release. You can distribute them through sites like and donate at least $200.
  • Google Local – Sign up with Google local. This will show up when people type in local searches that include your zip code or city name. It helps to have an address that is closest to the center of the city.
  • Google Books – If you have published a book or paper you can submit it to Google books. Searches that include the term “book” now show results from Google books.
  • Google Images – some searches return pictures. Be descriptive with your picture names. Use alt text. Link to your pictures with anchor text.
  • Google Products – formally known as froogle. You can upload products, real estate, and all kinds of things to Google products. Sometimes Google will show Products from this database.

This is all very new and you should keep an eye on the different Google verticals, trying to use them all.

Any time a search is made, any one of these services can be served up on the search engine result page (SERP).  Sign up for each one and optimize your content so it appears on all results pages.

Using Google Trends to improve sales

Google Trends is a tool many people don’t know about and those who do don’t understand how powerful it is.  Google Trends will show you the traffic on search terms.  It allows you to show the data by month or by years or by multiple years.  It also shows you traffic by country and states.

The first thing that I do when I go to Google Trends is type in a term and select the last year.  This shows me a complete year from Jan to Dec.  Next I look at the last 12 months to see how things are going right now.  Both times I look down at the bottom and see where people are typing in my terms.

The next thing you can do is start comparing terms.  You can use a comma between terms to compare terms together.    Here is a search for “hunting, fishing, skiing, sailing” for 2008.  This shows you the comparison of the different types of outdoor sports.

Very Good Video Explaining QS

Google produced a nice video laying the auction process and how raising quality score can decrease price.

It’s almost 10 minutes long, but if you want to see how actual CPCs are calculated, and receive a little bit of insight into quality score, it’s worth the few minutes of time.

Exit click metrics

What you quickly learn in internet advertising is that an audience’s attention span is very low, and always fleeting. Even if you’re successful in making a conversion with a customer they’ll quickly leave your site right after. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; depending on the exit path they take and what industry your company is in, some of those exits can be measured and intuitively applied as a goal in your advertising campaign.

There are a few different types of exits a visitor can take. First, there are the oh-so-good exit clicks. These happen when visitors exit your site through links you have provided on your Web site, or when they reach the end page or thank you page after a conversion. Providing external links on your Web site may just be a natural way your company does business or the link will provide extra incentive to make an action on your own Web site. Measuring these exit clicks can be a basis for parts of your campaign, and they can be measured either by implementing a redirecting link or a Java script on the link. Depending on your business, a higher amount of exit clicks could potentially be better.
Another exit path is called the exit rate or exit percentage, where a visitor closes the browser with your Web site loaded or navigates away from the Web site via the URL bar, a search bar or their bookmarks.

The last and ugliest of the exits is called the bounce rate, more known as the stepchild of exit paths that no one wishes to have. Bounce rates occur when the visitor clicks the “back” button from your Web site, which amounts to a lost conversion opportunity after they’ve landed on your page. What’s worse is that for search marketers, when the visitor hits the “back” button, they’re right back to the search engines results page where there are a plethora of other competitor’s Web sites with the opportunity to steal your conversion. Ouch indeed.

Another reason why measuring exit clicks may be important is to measure the success of click arbitrage on a Web site. Click arbitrage is when a publisher buys paid search ads to direct to their landing page, and then have similar contextual ads on their own page that bid for a slightly higher price. Here, one would naturally want a 100 percent exit click rate.

Measuring exit clicks is often overlooked, yet can be very beneficial to a company if applied correctly to their marketing campaign. Although it certainly isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely something worth looking into.

Advertisers move to in-game advertising as a new medium

Gaming has always been an attractive leisure activity for the masses, and the recent popularity explosion of flash based games isn’t an exception. With the popularity widening to different demographics and the increasing capabilities of mobile media devices, it creates an untapped goldmine for advertisers to place ads.

According to the marketing research company comScore, over 25 percent of Internet users play online games every week, which amounts to over 200 million users worldwide. That amounts to about two thirds of America’s population being submerged in a relatively uncluttered advertising medium. According to another research company Yankee Group, in 2005 in-game advertising spend was at $56 million and is estimated to increase at least 10 times by 2010.

If that isn’t enough to get your mining hat on and mining pick in hand, Google has been running a relatively new platform called AdSense for Games. This enables marketers to place ads in flash-based games, giving the ability to make millions of impressions on potential customers.

In-game advertising isn’t a new concept; games over a decade ago started featuring in-game advertising on virtual billboards. However, these ads are static – that is, they are programmed directly into the game and can’t be changed. The last few years have created a dynamic advertising environment that gives timeliness and relevancy to each ad that is placed. One of the most recent and unique uses of in-game advertising was by the then U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, with his ads appearing in the game “Burnout Paradise.”

Google’s in-game advertising platform allows you to place the ads either before, during or after game play and can be published in select flash games. And evidently gamers don’t mind in-game advertising as long as they’re relevant and not in the way. Marketers currently using their services are Sprint, Sony and eSurance.

Other companies such as Microsoft’s Massive Incorporated have also entered into the mix with its own version of in-game advertising.

Whether the gaming industry will become a prominent advertising medium is unclear, but it’s definitely made other mediums jealous by receiving a lot of attention by major advertisers. Sorry, traditional; better luck next time.

Direct From Google – Display URL Policy Change

In an effort to provide more relevant results and a higher quality experience for users, Google has made the decision to no longer allow multiple domains within a single ad group. Going forward, all display URLs within an ad group must be for the same top-level domain.  In an effort to ensure the least amount of down time for our clients, the team here at Leverage Marketing has been busy updating URLs for this coming change to Google’s policy.

It is important to note that this amendment to Google’s policy applies to all advertisers, regardless of previous exceptions or acceptability of any campaigns. While Google understands there are legitimate use-cases for multiple domains within one ad group, they ask that separate ad groups be created for any given domain.

Tips for ranking higher in natural search

If you’ve recently launched a web site and have been trying to force it to the top of the search engine results pages, there are a few things you should know before you try to mash that square peg into a round hole.

First, search engines have a way of ranking web pages by trusting older, more established web sites, thus ranking them higher than your 6-month-old toddler of a web site. Naturally, older web sites will have more time to build links and a solid foundation on the most competitive keywords. What this means is you’ll have to try some alternative tactics in order to cut in line to be one of the top results.

One technique to sneak past those high ranking, more established web sites, is to focus on less competitive keywords. Ranking high on less competitive keywords, also known as long tail keywords, will give you more quality visitors compared to ranking low for super competitive keywords. Whereas you’ll get very few visitors from ranking low for short tail keywords, long tail keywords will give your web site the exposure and visibility you need to start building brand awareness and importance. Long tail keywords are also searched for by people who have more knowledge and need to do the search, which oftentimes means the traffic that comes in from these long tail searches is highly qualified. By targeting long-tail keywords at the start, you can and you should see a spike in traffic at a much earlier point than if you only targeted highly competitive, general terms.

Another strategy is to focus on increasing the number of inbound links to your web site. Links to your site should come naturally as you build up great content, however, there are many tactics available for increasing the number of links – some are definitely better than others. Be very wary of purchasing links or participating in excessive link exchange programs because these actions can lead to drastic penalties being bestowed upon your site by the search engines. Stay away from the too-good-to-be-true linking “opportunities” out there, use a bit of common sense, and you should be able to stay clean. Take a proactive approach to creating content that will naturally garner links. Your web site should first be relevant to its target audience and not look too spammy. By being more relevant, your audience will appreciate your web site more and will be more willing to link to it on their blog or from other web sites. Creating mutual relationships with other related websites is also a good idea since search engines, in the context of oversimplification, basically search for the most popular and trusted web sites to rank first. Another way to improve your incoming link status is to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to share your web site. This can be done by adding links to social bookmarking sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon.

Combining these two tactics will have your web site leapfrogging your competitors in due time. Keep in mind that search engine optimization is an ongoing process and not a one-time instant results campaign. And, as hard as it is to remember, square pegs only fit into square holes.