10 ways you could be failing with Google Adwords

If you’re new to Google Adwords, or even if you’ve been around a while, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and miss out on a few tricks that could really help you out and save / make you money.

This great infographic from TechWyse Internet Marketing shows the main 10 ways people fail with Adwords, covering:

  • Broad Geo-targeting
  • Unfocused display network campaigns
  • Uncategorised ad groups
  • Low quality landing page score
  • Unchecked autospend
  • Broad match ads
  • No keywords in ads
  • Huge keyword lists
  • No negative keywords
  • No conversion tracking

I could write pages on the items above, but this infographic puts it far more succinctly 🙂

adwordsfail

67 SEO Pointers for Blogging Beginners – a free guide

3D Team Leadership Arrow ConceptLots of the questions I get on Twitter and Facebook relate to blogging and SEO, and as I was typing up a quick and dirty guide to SEO Blogging for a client, I mentioned it to someone else and they asked for a copy. Then I mentioned it on Twitter and others asked. So I tidied it up a (little) bit, put it in PDF format and here it is 🙂

It covers:

  • Thinking of what to write
  • What not to blog
  • How much should I write?
  • How do I get people to comment?
  • Should I tweet and facebook my blogs?
  • Blogging for SEO – a quick and dirty guide
  • Making sure Google knows about your blogs

It’s not an advanced guide, it’s not rocket science and hopefully it’s not full of jargon.

I’m offering it free – all I ask is that if you like it, you drop me a line in one of the many places you can find me, and then direct someone else to this page by either Tweeting about it, Facebooking it, mentioning it on Linked in, writing a blog post about it, or shouting on the High Street with a megaphone (special kudos to those of you who do the latter!).

Get it free now by subscribing to our Blogging & SEO Newsletter below:

50 things you could do today to promote your website…

… or 50 Shades of Yay!

If you can manage to put down Mr Grey, and drag your mind back to your business ;) let’s take control of your website.

twitter logo map 09

twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

For any small business owner it’s easy to feel shackled to your website, chained to Google, and to tie yourself in knots worrying about how to bring in the traffic.

My 50 Shades of Yay will give you release from all of that frustration, allowing you to fulfill your potential and giving life to your website.

50 Shades of Yay!

50 Shades of Yay is an ebook split into 5 different areas of promotion. This blog post aims to give you a sense of each section, but you’ll need to download the ebook to get the full 50 (don’t worry, it’s free).

Yay! 1 -SEO

1: Check your page titles

Your page titles are the words that appear at the top of the browser window. For example on the front page of my website, mine says ‘Social Media Marketing Support – NikkiPilkington.com – Internet Marketing Expert UK’. Titles are one of the most important aspects of SEO, as they tell Google where to put you. Change yours to describe what you do, not just to say ‘MyCompany.com’. Make each page’s title different. You should be able to do this in your Content Management System.

2: Work on your META descriptions

Although general theory says that the description tag isn’t used in determining where a website is placed in a search engine, it is still an important part of SEO. Your description is the thing that will make people click through to your site – if it’s dull, people won’t click. Again, every page should have a different description tag, and you should be able to do this through your CMS.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the free ebook now and please share with other people!

Yay! 2 – Blogging

1: Sort out your tags and categories

Tags are like keywords for your blog – you should add 4 or 5 to each blog post. Let’s say you wrote a blog post about children needing sunblock in the summer – your tags could be: children, kids, summer, sun care, skincare.

Categories are there to help you and your readers, so use them. They’re different to tags in that they can be more generic, and relate to areas of interest, topics, rather than specific posts. So, a telemarketing blog may use categories such as these: telemarketing, telesales, appointment setting, business development, lead generation. All related to telemarketing, but in different areas.

Tags and categories help search engines and readers – use them!

2: Write an editorial calendar

If you’re rubbish at blogging, the best thing you can do is put together an editorial calendar. This is a document that plans your blog posts for the next month, 3 months, however long you want. It not only makes you think about what you’re going to write, it gives you a sense of resposibility to then write it :) WordPress has a great plugin called Editorial Calendar  that allows you to look at each month at a glance and enter topic ideas for the future. Or just make your own in Word and stick it above your desk!

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and why not mention this blog post in your next blog?

Yay! 3 – Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

1: Ask for the business

We’re so bombarded with people telling us that we shouldn’t use Twitter to sell, and social media is about being social, that we’re scared to put a foot wrong.  I’m not saying those statements are wrong – anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m a great believer in the ‘Social’ in social media.  However, most of us are there to build our businesses – we’re not just in it for a laugh. So I’ll be interested to see how many of you take up my next challenge – which is to ask for the business.  Not from your followers, but from people they know.  In the true spirit of networking, ask your followers if there’s anyone they could refer you to:

–       Who do you know who needs xxxx, I’d love an introduction

–       If anyone says they’re struggling with xxxx pass them my way, I may be able to help

–       Do you know someone looking for xxxx, please introduce me to them

No hard sell, no desperate please, just straightforward networking. If you see others posting this kind of thing, think about who you’ve seen or know who has been saying they have that particular problem recently, and introduce them.  I get a lot of my suppliers from Twitter, but I also post Tweets looking for suppliers that get no response – one of those could be one that may bring you business.  So go on, ask for the business – I dare you ;)

2: Track your results

As in anything, it’s nice to see how well you’re doing on Twitter. There are many tools out there to measure Twitter impact, both free and paid. Twittercounter www.Twittercounter.com will track the amount of followers you have, predict how many you’ll have in X days and allow you to see how many Tweets you’re sending a day. Tweetstatswww.Tweetstats.com – this is an amazing free application that will graph your Tweet stats for you.  Tweetreachwww.Tweetreach.com – will tell you how many people your Tweets reached, counting reTweets – well worth playing with.  SocialMentionwww.socialmention.com – allows you to track mentions of your name in various social media and is very addictive! There are many paid Social Media tracking systems out there – of these, in my opinion, Sprout Social is the best – www.sproutsocial.com. Pricing starts at $39 per month.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now – then please pay it forward by Tweeting about this post.

Yay 4! – Facebook

1: Update your description

I see many Facebook Business Pages not using their description effectively. The ‘about’ description is the text that will appear when someone shares your page on their profile – use it to fully describe your page so people will know what it’s about. Change it regularly and track what works best.

2: Highlight a post

Once you have written a post on your Facebook page, if you hover next to your name and click the star, this ‘highlights’ the post. What this means is that the post is made double width and thus gets more attention from visitors to your page. I’ve used this to good effect to promote my 30 Day Challenge books, so it’s well worth doing for important posts.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section?  Download the ebook now – please consider posting this to your Facebook wall and share the love 🙂

Yay 5 – Extras

1: Pinterest – rename your boards

When you first start with Pinterest, it’s tempting to give your boards funky and funny names – but that’s going to do you no good in search. Look at your boards and give them names that mean something and are likely to show up in a search. As an example, my board called So True is never going to turn up in a search (which doesn’t matter because it’s only quotations and funnies) but my board named Business Blogging Beginner To Pro, and the one called Facebook for Business, does show up. Don’t just give your boards generic names such as ‘blogging’ and ‘telemarketing’ – think this through as an SEO exercise and use your keyphrases where you can.

2: Forums – change your signature

Often when you sign up to a forum such as UK Business Labs, you’re entitled to use a signature file with links. You set it up, include a bit of HTML to create a signature, and Bob’s yer uncle, your signature is set in stone, to be appended to any post you make. If you’re like most people your signature will stay as it is for months, maybe even years, with no change. But if you regularly change your forum signature you not only create interest within the forum itself, you’ll be developing varied links into your site (which Google loves).

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and consider sharing this post on Pinterest, in forums, LinkedIn etc.

Bonus Yay!

1: This post – share it on your networks ;)

Yes, that benefits me, of course. However it also benefits you. Why? Well, for one, your networks will appreciate the share and probably remember you for it, making them more likely to recommend your content in future. Secondly, if you tell me that you’ve shared it, *I’M* more likely to promote your content and share your Tweets etc in future.

So, go ahead, Tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, Digg, Pin, Blog and more – and if you’d like to offer ebook as a free download on your own website please drop me a line on nikkipilk@gmail.com

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The 30 Day SEO Challenge is here!

It’s been great seeing you all do so well on our 30 Day Blogging Challenge, 30 Day Facebook Challenge, and sign up for the soon to be launched 30 Day Adwords Challenge, and so on August 1st 2011 we launched the challenge you’ve all been asking for – The 30 Day SEO Challenge!

The 30 Day SEO Challenge from Nikki Pilkington

In this Challenge you’ll learn about:

  • Finding the right keyphrases
  • Making META tags work for you
  • Why Titles matter
  • How to get front page Google listings and keep them
  • Whether link building campaigns are worth it
  • How to get links to your site that really make a difference
  • and more!

Alongside the Challenge is a brand new ebook – which is priced pretty reasonably we think at just £8.

Should I get the ebook or sign up for the email course?

That depends on how impatient you are 🙂

The email course will be free for the first 100 signups – after that it will be chargeable.

The ebook contains everything that’s in the course, plus a fair few extras – resources and articles that will help you – and more access to me if you need it 🙂

OK I want the ebook

Just pop over to our ebook store to pick it up – have a look at some of our other challenge ebooks while you’re there!

OK I want the email course

Cool – we reached 100 free signups pretty quickly, so I’m afraid you’ve missed the boat on that one.  However, we’re going to do things a little differently on the paid signups for this one 🙂 Instead of me telling you what to pay, you can make a donation. Minimum is £1, maximum is whatever you like. I would say if you were thinking of paying over £8 though you’d be better off getting the book 🙂 You can donate using the Paypal button below.

Things to note: Once you have paid, Paypal will route you to a page where you sign up to the emails – please wait for this to happen, or you won’t be added to the course, then you’ll email me in a grump 🙂

 

 

Want to make £60 for doing next to nothing?

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? But one of our affiliates did just that in less than 3 weeks last month.

OK, £20 a week isn’t going to set the world alight, but it’s better than nothing, I’m sure you’ll agree!

So what did he do to make this magnificent amount of money?

Well:

1) He signed up to our affiliate program, to sell our ebooks

2) He emailed his newsletter list, recommending our last book, the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

3) He updated his Facebook page, recommending our latest ebook, the 30 Day Facebook Challenge

4) He added details of our 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven to his email signature, and posted about it on his blog

5) He let everyone he knows know that 299 Steps to Website Heaven is available for just £3

That’s it! It probably took about 20 minutes all told, and he’ll continue getting affiliate payments every month while his links do all the work and sell for him.

Like I said, it’s not a life changing amount of money, but it’s better than nothing and might pay for a night out once a month – so what are you waiting for? Sign up as an affiliate now and get started!

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Research Keyphrases for Better Business Blogging

If your blog is a business blog then the chances are you’re hoping to promote your products or services, and get more sales, right?

Well the great thing about blogs is that they do well in Google, IF you think about how you’re blogging.

You may already know the keyphrases you’re aiming to get good results for on your website, so let’s translate that info into your blogs.

Today, instead of writing a blog, pop over to the Google Keyword Tool and type in your keyphrases to see what other variations come up.

Pick a few of these variations and start thinking how you can incorporate them into your blog titles and copy.

In the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Ebook I talk about the structure of a blog that is written to do well in the search engines, but for that you’ll need to buy the book 😉

Now, don’t just choose generic phrases that have lots of searches – think carefully about this – you want targeted relevant traffic to your blog, right? So think targeted and niche, not generic and widespread.

For example:

Generic phrases:

plumbers

accountants

tax returns

gifts

hotels

kids clothes

business advice

Targeted phrases:

plumbers in berkshire

advice from accountants

last minute tax returns

mothers’ day gifts 2011

low cost hotels in bristol

designer kids clothes

local business advice and help

You can get some great traffic and quick wins on search engines by using less generic phrases.

I cover this in depth in 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven.

Also consider downloading my free 67 Tips on Blogging for SEO.

Your challenge today is to find a handful of useful phrases you could use in your blogging.

This is an extract from the latest Nikki Pilkington ebook The 30 Day Blog Challenge – kickstarting your blogging in just 30 days – get it now while it’s still only a fiver!

Need business blogging help? You need this ebook :)

11,000 words, 56 pages, and more blogging hints tips and help ideas than you can shake a stick at!

We’ve been working on the 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook for a couple of weeks now, and if I do say so myself, it’s looking fab!

Here’s the list of contents to whet your appetite:

Overview
Welcome to the Challenge
Day 1 – Are you ready?
Day 2 – Top Tips
Day 3 – Call to Action
Day 4 – Questions questions questions
Day 5 – Be their guest
Day 6 – Say something nice
Day 7 – A day in the life
Day 8 – Picture this
Day 9 – SEO
Day 10 – Make it work
Day 11 – How did you do?
Day 12 – Round up, round up
Day 13 – Sing, sing a song
Day 14 – How did you start?
Day 15 – Blog post post mortem
Day 16 – Spread the word
Day 17 – Tag, you’re it!
Day 18 – Comment cava?
Day 19 – Review time
Day 20 – More questions questions
Day 21 – Registration agitation
Day 22 – Ask away
Day 23 – Heads up
Day 24 – Everyone has one
Day 25 – Receive a guest
Day 26 – Testimonials
Day 27 – Multi National
Day 28 – Subscribers
Day 29 – Interview
Day 30  – What did you learn?
Appendix I – Resources to help your blogging
Appendix II – Blogging books
Appendix III – Articles to help your blogging
Why small businesses should blog more
You’re not blogging for YOU you’re blogging for THEM
Make blog posts look better with Zemanta
Want to create more hype about your products or services?
Choosing keyphrases for blogging
Why you should always include a picture in your blogs
A blogger’s code of ethics
And Finally…

If I do say myself, it’s a great book, and at just a fiver, how can you say no?

Visit the 30 Day Blogging Challenge eBook page to find out more and purchase.

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Why you should have 2 blog titles for most blogs you write

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.

Image via Wikipedia

In the past few weeks, more and more of my mentoring clients want to talk about blogging, and in particular how to get more people to read their blogs.

“I’m Tweeting and Facebooking my blogs like mad, but I still only get a handful of readers, and that peters out after a few days”, one client said on the phone to me last week. And others are saying similar things.

It’s then that I ask the question: “How many visits do you get from the search engines to your blogs?” and the answer is invariably “Not many”.

But written well, a blog can be a traffic generator for months and even years.

See, it’s easy to think up a catchy headline for a blog, one that you just KNOW will have people who ‘follow’ or ‘like’ you clicking like mad. But you need to reach more people than just those who already know who you are.

What about the people searching on Google for the solution to a problem? Looking for a source of information? Perhaps looking for the exact thing your blog is written about, and in need of your services / products? They don’t know you from Adam, and they don’t follow you on Twitter or Facebook, but they’re your ideal customer. How are you going to reach those people?

In order to appear in (decent) results on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc, you need to think about what people are searching for. And write your blog title accordingly.

“Oh but that means a really dull and obviously written title for search engines, and my blog is more creative than that”, said another client last week.

And I see her point – you don’t spend ages crafting a fantastic headline only to have to stuff it full of keywords so that it appeals to a search engine.

And that’s where an SEO plugin comes in handy.

Most SEO plugins for WordPress (we use All in One SEO) allow you to craft TWO titles for your blog posts. One of those titles will appear as the headline of the blog, so you can be as witty and clever as you like without worrying about those pesky search engines.

The OTHER title is one that appears at the top of the browser, and the one that Google will take into account when deciding where to put you in the results.

So, as an example, this blog is called “Why you should have 2 blog titles for most blogs you write” – that’s the title that will be Tweeted out, put on Facebook, show up in the blog listings etc.

blog1

However, the SEO title, as you will see from the top of the browser, is “How can I get my blogs to show up in Google? Two titles!”

blog2

That’s because I know that no-one is searching for ‘2 blog titles’ but I know that people are searching for ‘how do i get my blogs to show up in google’ and variations thereof. I could have made my SEO title “SEO for blogging – how 2 titles will help” or “Getting blogs into search engines – use 2 titles” – get the picture?

So when writing your next blog, think about the people who AREN’T following you, don’t know who you are, but are out there looking for the solution you provide. Write 2 blog titles for every post and let me know how you get on!

(As an aside, because I write a lot of my blog posts in response to questions, the titles I write tend to do OK in Google, so I don’t always have 2 titles – you may be the same, in which case, carry on 🙂 )

** UPDATE ** This blog post is now on the front page of Google results for the search “get my blogs to show in google” and “How can I get my blogs to show up in Google?

blog3

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They know your name – So what?

Every time I go to a networking event (and I go to a lot!), I obviously spend some time telling people there what it is that I do.

And invariably, someone will sit there listening, then a smug smile will start to spread across their face. They wait until I finish, and I know what they’re going to say;

“I don’t need your services. I’m already number one in Google”

I take a deep breath, as always, and say “That’s fantastic! What are you number one FOR?”

The smug smile is replaced by a slight look of bewilderment.

“FOR?” they query.

“Yes” I say, “What do people type into Google to see you in the number one spot?”

Their brow crumples, they look around a bit, then they look at me with almost a look of pity.

“My company name…” they say, the tone of voice and ensuing gap leaving me under no illusion that they wanted to add the word “stupid” to that sentence.

I take a deep breath…

And then it begins – the argument as to why being found for your company name isn’t the most fantastic thing in the world.

Let’s think about it guys:

Scenario 1.

You meet someone out and about, and give them your business card. They pocket it, find out more about your company and decide they may want to get in touch with you.

6 months later they’re at their office, and thinking “I really need to speak to that nice chap John, from that company that made handmade greetings cards. What was the name of the company? Oh yes, ‘John’s Handmade Greetings Cards’ “

Off they toddle to Google, type in John’s Handmade Greetings Cards, and hey presto! You’re number one, they get in touch, and all is well with the world.

Of course, they could also have gone to their business card holder / box / drawer / corner of the room, and found you that way. The fact is that they already knew you and your company name, so it was easy to find you.

Of COURSE you should be number one for your company name – by default this should be the case, unless you have a very generic business name.

So, Scenario 2.

You meet someone out and about, and give them your business card. They pocket it, find out more aout your company and decide they may want to get in touch with you.

6 months later they’re at their office, and thinking “I really need to speak to that nice chap John, from that company that made handmade greetings cards. What was the name of the company? Oh God, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Now I know he was a lovely guy, and I know what his company did, but for the life of me I can’t remember his company name. Now where did I put his business card?”

Now let’s say they can’t find your business card. Not to panic – the internet will come to the rescue, right?

Off they toddle to Google, type in “handmade greetings cards”, and they find….

What do they find? Not your site. Because you’re happy being top for your company name.

They find your competitors – and lots of them. And someone else gets the business.

Imagine another scenario, where the person searching has never even met you, heard of you, thought of you, and most definitely hasn’t dreamed of you.

Are they going to be searching for your company name? No.

Are they going to be searching for your products? Yes.

If you are only ranked highly under your company name, will they find you? No.

So what can you do?

Right now, take a piece of paper and a pen. Split it into two halves – one half headed “Where” and the other “What”.

In the “Where” part, write down the areas in which you work – eg Leicester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire.

In the “What” part, write down what it is you do or provide – eg “SEO,search engine listings, internet marketing training, site reviews”

Thos things now form the basis of the type of search phrases you want people to find you for:

  • internet marketing milton keynes
  • internet marketing training milton keynes
  • site reviews northampton

etc.

Now check if your site is findable for those phrases. Not sure? Visit our site at www.nikkipilkington.com and apply for our free report to find out.

If your site can’t be found for the services and products that you provide, then you are missing out on visitors, and therefore on business.

Being found for your company name is good – but it’s only a start. Think of all the people that know who you are. Now think of all of the people that don’t. Which is the larger category? And in that case, who should you be targeting?

===

It's competition time again!

Google Lego 50th Anniversary Inspiration

AND THE WINNER IS: Angelika Davey – well done Angelika, we’ll be in touch!

In this fab November competition we’re offering our Bronze Higher Google Listings Package to one lucky winner – for free for 6 months! That’s a great prize worth over £1000!

If you’ve been struggling with SEO, aren’t sure what key phrases to focus on, or are just unsure where to start, our Package could be a great help to you.

You get:

  • Extensive key phrase research – find out which key phrases are actually worth targeting
  • Google Webmaster Tools Setup – essential to find out what’s going on with your website
  • XML sitemap – to tell Google about the pages on your website
  • Submission to directories – including ODP, a great asset to Google Listings
  • Onsite optimisation of each page of your website  (up to 10 key phrases)
  • Advice and tips
  • Weekly reports of positions
  • Ongoing recommendations
  • 1 article per month written for link building purposes – submitted to 3 main article websites and yours to use where you like!

Usually this would cost a minimum of £499 set up and then £100 a month – but we’re offering it free to one lucky winner.

So, what do you have to do?

All you have to do to be in with a chance of this great prize is sign up to our newsletter using the form below – it’s THAT simple! Sign up now to be in with a chance!

Already a subscriber? Simply use the boxes top right of this blog post to sign up to receive new blog posts via feedburner, and we’ll put you in the draw too – if you do both you’ll get 2 entries!

The random draw will be made on november 30th, so sign up now before you forget!

Email:
Name:

==

Creative Commons License photo credit: manfrys

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