Google’s Keyword Planner Now Combines Keywords for Search Volume

keyword planner search variantsGoogle’s Keyword Planner has been a staple for both advertisers and SEOs to get an idea of traffic volume for keywords.  This helps identify the keywords with the most traffic as well as identify keywords that have lower volume, which often means less competition.  But a major changes to Google’s Keyword Planner has made those traffic volume estimates much less valuable.

Last week, Google made a change to the tool where instead of showing individual keyword estimates for each keyword or keyword phrase, Google is now lumping in the data together, meaning Google will show identical estimates for similar keywords or keyword phrases – advertisers will recognize this as Google combining search variants.  You can no longer see individual estimates to see which of those has the highest volume and which the lowest, and valuable aspect for both advertisers and SEOs who are choosing which keywords to target based on volume .

This also has another major implication.  For those that don’t notice the change – or worse, pulling the data from tools that haven’t updated to take into account the change – this means that some advertisers and SEOs are grossly overestimating those numbers, since many tools will combine data, and there is no notification alert on the results to show that how Google calculates average monthly searches has been changed.  So the data could erroneously be combined, instead of noting that the estimates Google is provided are combined already for many, leading SEOs and advertisers to think search volume is far higher than it really is.

For example, here are the results for two keywords – SEO and search engine optimization.  Instead of reporting individually, they are now showing identical data, even though previously it showed the data individually.  For someone not paying attention, they could believe that these two individually have a search volume of 1,346,000 average monthly searches total.  But in reality, it is SEO and search engine optimization TOGETHER that have 673,000 monthly searches.

keyword planner 1

However, there is even more problems.  There could also be ADDITIONAL keywords that are included in that 673,000 figure, but the Keyword Planner does not state this.  So estimates could be significantly off for someone thinking the total search volume just for “search engine optimization” keyword alone is 673,000 per month.

The Keyword Planner now seems to combine many search variants, including:

  • plurals with non-plurals for any word in the keyword phrase
  • acronyms with longhand version
  • stemming variants: -er, -ing, -ized, -ed etc keywords (ie. designer, designing, designed)
  • words that can be spelled with or without space (ie. car park and carpark)
  • words with and without punctuation (ie. kid toys and kid’s toys)

In some ways, it does make sense that Google is showing close variants with the same data.  But for some advertisers and SEOs, sometimes those close variants can have vastly different “real world” results, even if Google is now lumping them together.

This change could be connected to the fact Google also began restricting access to the Keyword Planner tool to those with active AdWords campaigns only, a decision they later seemed to backtrack on, changing the “requirement” to a “bug”.   And with Google using close variants in AdWords, then perhaps this change makes sense.  But for those who use it as a keyword volume tool, the value of this tool just diminished significantly.

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This Digital Marketing Company Is the Best Workplace for Millennials

They represent 91% of the company’s 140 employees.
On the 11th floor of an office building in midtown Manhattan, Elite SEM’s employees have gathered in a conference room for a huddle.

It’s not the typical staff meeting. This one takes place via a Google Hangout. Elite, which has seven offices between San Francisco and New York City, allows employees to work from wherever they want, so several people are calling in from home. Since Google Hangouts are limited to 15 users per meeting, it presents a constant issue for larger conference calls.

The virtual huddle is founder and CEO Ben Kirshner’s method of ensuring everyone knows what’s happening across every division of Elite. The heads of each area – search engine marketing (the “SEM” in Elite’s name), social media, conversion rate optimization, and others – give status updates to the rest of the staff, which totals 140 employees. Near the end of the huddle, president and COO Zach Morrison, 31, breaks down company revenue by division.

That transparency is one of the reasons Elite ranks No. 1 on Great Place to Work’s second annual list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials. Elite says 91% of its workforce is younger than 34 years old (the average age is 29). And according to surveys conducted by Great Place to Work, Elite’s millennial population says it also likes the company’s flexibility. They receive unlimited vacation time, which means they can take a month-long cruise as long as they’re bringing in clients.

“I responded to an email while on vacation and was promptly scolded by all four team members on the email thread,” one employee said on Great Place to Work’s survey, which reached more than 88,000 millennials at more than 600 organizations.

Kirshner hates meetings (“I think they’re a waste of time”), but Elite’s 38-year-old CEO recognizes the need for transparency because of his company’s complicated compensation system. Elite operates as a meritocracy, where employees (on top of a small base salary) get out what they put it.

“If Person A is managing $20,000 of billing a month and Person B is managing $10,000, Person A is going to make double Person B,” Kirshner explains. Muddling the picture is that the company’s performance also determines how much everyone makes. In the above scenario, both employees earn more if Elite is profitable; everyone makes less when business is down.

“It’s very complex, and it causes a lot of questions and concerns,” Kirshner says. “It’s not a normal compensation system, so it’s not very cut and dry. It’s variable.”

During the company’s ongoing rapid expansion, Kirshner and Morrison have had to adjust the profit-sharing system to account for new positions and a much larger staff. By 2011, seven years after Kirshner founded the company, Elite had 14 employees. It has since expanded more than tenfold and has seven offices, including locations in Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

Management’s candor, combined with a willingness to adapt to what employees want, is the root of the company’s popularity among millennials.

“We’re never set in our ways,” Morrison says. “We’ve never just said, yeah, we have this great culture, so let’s just keep doing it like this.”

The never-settle philosophy comes from Morrison and Kirshner’s understanding that people aged 18 to 34 are grouped into one category – millennials – purely for the sake of convenience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach because, as Morrison says, “there are a million different types of millennials.”

For instance, Elise Del Rio, 25, joined Elite in 2014 and began on the client relations side before realizing she connected better with her coworkers than her clients. Del Rio wasn’t happy with her job, but rather than letting her leave, Elite’s management created a new position: training and development coordinator, Del Rio’s current role.

To tailor Elite’s culture to the desires of his employees, Kirshner simply asks them what they want. He first posed that question to his staff several years ago, before Elite ballooned to its current size. And because Elite started around the time millennials first came out of college, those were the people providing feedback.

Kirshner has continued the trend ever since. In 2014, he hired Mike Lopez, now a senior account manager in the Fort Lauderdale office. At his old company, Lopez loved his job and coworkers. But he disliked the boss, who would come in every day with his coffee and newspaper, walk straight to his office and shut the door, never to be seen again.

“That was, to me, a wake-up call,” Kirshner says. “I don’t have a private office, but I make it a point to walk around and say hello to every single person because of that.”

Morrison meets with every employee a month or two after they start and asks the same questions: what they liked or hated about their old company, what Elite is doing right and how management can improve. Kirshner and Morrison also do this periodically for long-tenured employees, allowing them to blend feedback from new and old workers.

“If you have a company that constantly has turnover and doesn’t have people that were there several years ago, [you] have no frame of reference,” Morrison says. “And if you don’t hire new people, you’re not going to have new ideas.”

Kirshner says he targets job candidates who have an “intrapreneurial spirit” – motivated self-starters who can help create new business opportunities for the company. Very few millennials have the financial stability to start their own business, but they can apply the same startup principles to a company that already exists.

“If you don’t have an intrapreneurial spirit, which is totally fine, you’re just not a good fit for us,” Kirshner says.

But does that create uncomfortable pressure to work all the time?

“No, not at all, because clients don’t expect you to respond on the weekend,” says Jason Lipton, 31, an account executive for Elite’s paid search division. “It’s kind of up to yourself to try to run the account, but nobody feels obligated. You can take your weekend off and not answer any emails and be perfectly fine, too.”

In many ways, Kirshner says, digital advertising never stops: the Internet is always on and the industry itself is in constant flux.

“I think our industry lends itself to millennials because with search and social media, there are changes every week,” he says. “It’s changing so quickly and money is shifting towards it so quickly that every day is a new challenge for what we do.”

To eliminate the temptation to stay tuned in during vacation or sick days, Kirshner sometimes has the IT guy change employee passwords. Though his own password, he says, is strictly off limits.

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6 money saving hacks for pay per click advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a very valuable advertising tool. Its effectiveness cannot be denied. It’s also a treacherously expensive tool if used incorrectly.

Spoiler alert! It’s very easy to screw up a PPC account – 80 percent of the organizations using PPC tools like Adwords are in fact doing it wrong – and at great expense to their businesses.

PPC was born a bit of an oddity. In fact, you may remember getting snail mail from Google offering you $100 of free advertising just to use it. Now most of the content above the fold on search result pages is paid for by advertisers like you. The platform looks easy to use – and in fact it is.

But that’s the trap. And a dangerous one.

It’s easy to use – but very difficult to use well. Without a lot of training, 99.9 percent of the time you’re going to waste precious marketing dollars using it. This fact leaves you with two options – either get yourself a well trained PPC consultant to manage your program or make sure you get well trained before using it.

In the meantime, here are six money saving hacks to help.

1. Don’t combine PPC search and display

Unless you’re making salad dressing I wouldn’t recommend trying to mix oil and water, and for the same reason, you should not combine PPC search and display campaigns. They are two totally different beasts with two totally different purposes and need to be set up separately (each requires special training to use as well).

Search campaigns are a good tool to consider when one wants to target searchers with intent to buy while display campaigns are often best for branding – for targeting buyers at an earlier stage in the purchase funnel. Because of these differences, the advertising message, target audience and over all approach you use, need to be different in order to be successful.

2. Those most likely to convert or buy

If you are like most of us, and you aren’t working with an unlimited budget you need to focus your campaigns on targeting those most likely to convert or purchase. Start with geo-targeting and change your Adwords target location settings from the recommended, “people in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location” to “people in my targeted location.”

Why would you change from the recommended setting? Great question…let me give an example. If you’re a restaurant or a retail store owner, you are better off spending your ad dollars targeting people living in your immediate area and who dine out or shop frequently. If you stay with Google’s recommended setting, you will well end up inadvertently targeting someone in a state like Florida, who is researching Hartford restaurants for a trip they may never take.

3. Listen to the data

No matter how clever and creative you think your ad is – listen to the data – if the data says it stinks, then it stinks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a client create a text ad they thought was pure marketing genius only to have the data tell them otherwise and that’s OK!

boca raton ppc marketing seo company visible ppc

Use optimization methods like A/B testing, dynamic keyword insertion and different ad copywriting techniques to constantly tweak your message. The key is to differentiate your offer from your competitors. And remember, an ad might have a strong click-through-rate but if the clicks aren’t converting to sales you might want to rethink your message.

4. Use long-tail keywords

Use long-tail keywords whenever possible. Long-tail keywords are by their very nature more specific and therefore often produce clicks with higher buyer intent.

Take for example the keyword “glasses”… if that was all you bid on you could get clicks from people searching for “wine glasses” or “eye glasses” or even “magnifying glasses” and I doubt you sell all three.

By using a long-tail keyword like “women’s eye glasses” you are more likely to pre-qualify your clicks and save your money for the clicks that count.

5. Use negative keywords

While we’re on the topic of keywords… always, always, ALWAYS build negative keywords into your campaigns. Along with long-tail keywords, negative keywords help you weed out unwanted clicks.

When a word is added as a negative keyword, Google or Bing know not to serve your ad if a search query includes that word or words. By preventing your ad from showing in irrelevant search results, you’ll save money, and create opportunities to have your ad served only on searches that are actually relevant to your product or service and that could lead to a conversion.

6. Improve campaigns weekly

Make sure you are spending time every week improving your campaigns. Most times when an account fails or wastefully burns through a lot of budget it’s because the person managing the account isn’t spending enough time working with it. This point is really important. Unless you’re spending the time to consistently monitor and improve your campaigns, you will invariably waste money and miss valuable opportunities.

Beyond the tips you see here, there are other things to consider such as ad extensions, trying different keyword types and making sure your conversion tracking is turned on… oh and by the way, Google, Bing and others are always adding new features to improve user experience so staying on top of the changes is crucial.

PPC advertising is a great tool for advertisers – and one that can make a real difference to your bottom line.

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Online Marketing Requires Baby Steps Before the Black Belt

“If you’re not marketing, you don’t have a business.”

Josh Weidman, head trainer at REI 360, recently coined this phrase — and to Chris Haddon and Jason Balin, co-founders of Columbia, M.D.-based lending and real-estate companies Hard Money Bankers and REI 360, truer words have never been spoken.

“There’s really no excuse not to do marketing,” Balin says in this video.

The best marketing is about being consistent and building up slowly before becoming a black belt at it — that way you won’t get overwhelmed.

“The internet is changing on an hourly, daily basis,” Balin says. “Things that were relevant in SEO world a few years ago are not anymore. Social is changing constantly … you don’t have to do everything. Just pick two or three things that you’re comfortable doing — and just get started and do them.”

Watch more videos from the folks at REI 360 on their YouTube channel here.

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical and provides partners with distribution on as well as our apps on Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV.

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Some companies are able to last for years as modest but successful enterprises, while others remain on a smaller scale. The vast majority; however, fade into oblivion.Businesses overall have a high rate of failure, and that is especially true for online companies.Read this article to learn some Internet marketing tips.

If you belong to message boards, your link can appear in every single post, if you put it into your signature box. This is an easy way to passively promote your business without actively having to “talk it up” to others.

This helps them to feel more informed regarding the purchase they are considering. This tells them that you are just supplying information; the choice of whether to buy or pass.

Provide something really unique on your site.This can be a lot of traffic towards your site as people search for this unique niche.

You should invest time researching the design websites.

Regular blogging is an asset to any internet marketing with success. A high-quality blog is one more way to communicate with clients. In addition, you will eventually attract more visitors to your website because you are, in effect, which ultimately leads to more site traffic.

This can help new visitors understand what your company is all about. This will allow you highlight a specific product or service.

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Top 4 Reasons Why Microsites Are Revolutionizing PPC Marketing

The past few years have seen a significant evolution in PPC marketing, with more brands starting to use Microsites to serve as the new destination for traffic from their PPC campaigns. Instead of sending prospects to the brand’s main website or a landing page within the main website, more companies are creating dedicated microsites that serve only one purpose: to capture traffic from PPC campaigns and convert those prospects to take whatever specific action is the goal of the campaign. Microsites are giving brands a new level of flexibility, targeting, user engagement, and successful conversion in PPC marketing.

Below are the top 4 reasons why your brand’s next PPC campaign strategy should include microsites:

1. Microsites work better than landing pages.

The idea of having a dedicated place to direct inbound traffic from a PPC campaign is nothing new – but instead of a landing page that is part of the company’s main website, Microsites offer an added degree of focus and flexibility. With a Microsite, your brand team has the freedom to design the Microsite to look and feel totally different from the rest of your main site. You can focus the content on precisely the needs of users who are coming to the Microsite, without worrying that they might get confused, lost in the larger site’s navigation, or distracted by the surrounding content of your main site. With microsites, you can talk to the audience in a focused and highly relevant manner to give them exactly what they need.

2. Microsites deliver big results for brand building and conversions.

Microsites are narrowly focused on the needs of the user – each microsite has only one goal: addressing the immediate problem on the prospect’s mind. As such, microsites tend to achieve better results for engagement, brand building and conversions. Microsites can be designed to quickly and concisely spell out the key information, make the case for why the user should take the next step in the sales process (whether it’s to sign up for a newsletter, get a free download, or make a purchase), and then clearly show the user how to tap a button or click to take the next call to action. Microsites are a simple, elegant “conversion machine” to boost your sales results.

3. Microsites are better than landing pages at building trust with customers.

Consumers today tend to be distrustful of advertising. If they click on a PPC ad the link takes them to a cluttered, cumbersome landing page that takes a long time to load and is full of pop-ups, users are likely to get frustrated and immediately lose trust for the brand. Microsites tend to offer a much simpler, cleaner user experience that delivers relevant information quickly – and this has the side effect of building trust with buyers. With a microsite, you can cut to the chase and speak directly to the concerns of your PPC inbound traffic: you know that they already saw your PPC ad and decided to click on it, so your microsite can skip past the usual boilerplate and immediately pick up the conversation where the customer left off by clicking your ad. The nature of PPC campaign microsites is ideally suited to having a focused, efficient sales conversation – you know what your customer wants, and your microsite can immediately go deeper into showing the customer why your product or service is the right answer to their problem.

4. Microsites make it easy to build distinct campaigns.

As their name implies, “microsites” tend to be smaller and simpler than typical websites – and that means that they are faster and cheaper to build. Since microsites tend to have simple designs, limited features and not a lot of navigational complexity, they are also ideal for mobile devices and they load very quickly. Microsites are also ideal for creating multiple templates that can be used across multiple campaigns and A/B tested for multiple objectives and metrics. You can quickly create multiple versions of the same microsite and test it with different audiences, or test different stages of the sales process. Microsites are remarkably versatile, and can give you an experimental sales conversion test laboratory that exists separately from your main site.

For your next PPC campaign, use microsites to make sure that users who respond to your PPC ads are getting directed to the most relevant, useful and actionable information to address their needs. Microsites are the new standard and ideal best practice to speak to a highly targeted audience, track campaigns, launch new products, test new markets, and quickly generate leads and build brand awareness. Each microsite has a single purpose, but microsites can serve a broad array of purposes to help your brand grow.

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AdWords Ads Coming To Google Local Pack

At SMX Advanced yesterday, Google announced that ads are coming to the local pack. That means one of the three local results in the local pack will be an ad and local SEOs need to make sure their clients show up in the top two local results, instead of the top three.

Joy Hawkins posted about this on Google+ and said:

Well….Google just announced at SMX that the 3-pack is going to start containing an ad soon. So instead of the 3-pack it’s going to be 1-ad + 2 organic listings. Yes, the ones right on Google search (not the expanded pack). Be prepared to try to get clients in the top 2 instead of the top 3!

There is a lot of concern over this news from the local SEO community. There is also discussion around this at the Local Search Forums.

Here is a mock up of how the ad may show in the local pack, at least, how I think it may show. Note; the ad label may be purple instead of green.

Forum discussion at Google+ & Local Search Forums.

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The must watch video about how our Queens PPC advertising and…

The must watch video about how our Queens PPC advertising and marketing experts will use the power of AdWords to have your phones ringing within a week. We crush the competition and you will get a higher ROI with our lead generation campaigns compared other pay per click agencies. Call us 561 305-2253 Queens Pay Per Click Management | PPC Adwords Marketing Expert Queens It’s common knowledge that in order to grow your business fast in today’s online world, you MUST be creating new high quality Internet leads (that become customers) for your company with pay per click advertising and PPC marketing services If you are not presently creating leads from the Web, then it’s time you stop losing out, and begin getting in on the most powerful marketing outlet in the world, using Google Adwords campaigns set up by our ppc agency This is an opportunity for you to CONSIDERABLY grow your company with brand-new high quality prospects that PARTICULARLY looked for your service or product online! You need the best pay per click management consultant in Queens. Searching for instant traffic, use our ppc company? Get instantaneous traffic online with a PPC marketing campaign managed by our Adords experts Queens Pay Per Click Management | PPC Adwords Marketing Expert Queens PPC advertising is a kind of via the internet advertising where you only pay when somebody clicks your advertisements. It is a Web advertising design you can use to get instantaneous targeted traffic to your web site through Google AdWords or the Yahoo! Bing Network with the right pay per click agency in Queens Individuals find Pay per click marketing services and products they are searching for in online search engine by typing search terms or keywords. When the target keywords on your PPC campaign are typed by users on search engines, your ads appear on the top, listed below, or together with natural search results page. The position of your ads against your competitors will certainly depend on just how much you are bidding for your target keywords and your quality rating. Depending on the project settings, your advertisements might likewise appear on various websites that belong to the Google, Bing and Yahoo! networks. pay per click management When they click on any of your advertisements, they are directed to a landing page on your web site where you can transform them to leads or customers by means of a questions, contact kind, or ‘buy now’ buttons pay per clcik management services Paid search advertising in Queens is the fastest method to drive immediate traffic to your website. PPC consulting is particularly beneficial for direct response campaigns where instant and direct action is preferred from target consumers. This scenario likewise enables expense per click to be determined instantly versus conversions or sales to figure out ROI. Pay per click marketing services is also efficient in kick-starting and regulating traffic volumes especially during times when place of business are releasing a brand-new services or product, have to fill an empty sales pipeline. You need an adwords expert from the best adwords management services to manage your online marketing efforts Queens Pay Per Click Management | PPC Adwords Marketing Expert Queens Your Adwords marketing company can be made use of to surge traffic or to get big consumers while demand is high. Unlike SEO, which can require time to build rankings, ppc management company right away develops a via the internet presence, requires no genuine develop time, and produces ROI far more swiftly when done right. When organized split testing and optimization are done on a pay per click project, cost per click decreases and traffic translates to conversions at a greater rate witrh adwords management in Queens. With Adwords, you just pay when someone really clicks your ads meanings that that a campaign sending you just a small amount of traffic will cost you a hardly any amount of money and a campaign sending you a great deal of traffic which would cost you more money. Simply put, with PPC you get what you pay for with the best pay per click management company in Queens. You surely need the best PPC manager from our PPC Company, Other searches that helped find this video: #payperclickmarketingservicesQueens Queens pay per click management companies, best ppc management companies Queens, #Queenspayperclickmarketing, Queens adwords marketing company PPC Management Expert Subscribe to our youtube channel For more information about pay per click This video is located at For information about PPC marketing in New York Visible PPC Page by Visible PPC