blog

Author: Nico Brooks

Engagement as a Proxy for Conversion Rate

Can engagement metrics be used as a proxy for conversion rate when optimizing advertising campaigns? When we manage advertising campaigns, whether they be in Google Ads, Facebook, or elsewhere, we strive to drive as many leads or sales as possible. Doing this usually includes setting bids or budgets based on an expected conversion rate. For

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The Mind of the Searcher

I was recently working with a client and struggling with a profoundly low conversion rate coming from search ads. The keywords we were buying were on target, the ads were performing well, and the landing pages appeared well designed. Then I tried to put myself inside the mind of the searcher. When I did that,

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Link Building Checklist for Local Businesses

According to people who know more than I do, link building is the most important thing you can do to improve your search engine ranking, apart from avoiding stupid mistakes. Most link building advice falls into one of two categories: Quit your day job and try to become more like the person giving the advice,

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I am the Forrest Gump of Google disruption

This weekend, I had a coffee with a client who owns several boutique hotels in Mexico. We talked about some interesting ideas he has for a travel review site, with built-in mechanisms to verify the identity of reviewers, and weighted reviews based on the reputation of the reviewer. His motivation for thinking about this is

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5 Google Ads Default Settings That Suck

Most of my friends know I’ve been involved in search marketing for a long time, so I’m often asked to look over Google Ads campaigns to see why they aren’t performing well. People even pay me to do this. The very first thing I do when I look over an account is to check for

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Marketing Tools and the Bread Machine Problem

I’ve spent much of the last 10 years building tools that automate online marketing tasks. Early on, I had a grand vision of creating an application that would perfectly distribute marketing investment based on an advertiser’s ROI goals. But along the way, I met a few, very smart people who changed my thinking. Before I get

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Turning Web Design Upside-down

Think of a website like a storefront. No one loves analogies more than I do. I’ve even used analogies to explain analogies. But sometimes they can be dangerous. If an analogy provides a mental model that mostly fits, it can blind a person to important truths. A website is like a storefront, and it is

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How Reviews Flow Around the Web

Click on the image for a big version, suitable for framing. My colleague Kris wrote a fine post a couple of weeks ago on the importance of online reviews for local business, and how to get them. Following that post, we did a little research to figure out how reviews get passed around between major

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What Percentage of Search Is Local?

I’ve had a hard time finding a good answer to this question: what percentage of searches on web search engines such as Google and Bing are local? I’ve heard wildly different statistics, possibly due to the fact that “local” is a difficult concept to define. Is a search for an area code a local search?

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Be Warned: Google Broad Match Keeps Getting Broad-Matchier

Google Ads “Related-To” Links and the Importance of Negative Keywords We have come across a number of instances recently where Google is broad matching terms that are barely related to the keywords we are buying. In some cases, the commercial intent of the broad match term is a complete miss with what our intent is

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SEM: Why You Shouldn’t Care About Minimum First Page Bid

Hardly anyone goes past the first page of Google results, so you want your ads to show up on the first page, right? That’s why Google prominently displays the minimum first page bid in the AdWords interface, right? Wrong. One of the things we do here at Two Octobers is to audit PPC accounts to

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How to Use Google Ads Match Types

Google Ads allows you to specify a match type for each keyword you bid on. Yahoo and Bing do too, though there are some slight variations in how they work.  The three match types in Google are exact, phrase, and broad.  The match type you choose tells the search engine when to match a user’s

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