SEO Agency Launches Google AdWords Campaign Targeting Blueglass

Vizion Interactive, an SEO Agency, has launched a Google AdWords campaign where they are specifically targeting searches for a competitor’s brand name. But, in this case it’s Blueglass, an interactive marketing agency that has had its share of controversy in the past few weeks. The majority of the employees at Blueglass, based in Tampa Florida, have left the company recently, and Blueglass apparently as a company (in the US) is collapsing.

The following is a screen capture of the Google AdWords ads that Vizion Interactive is currently running (as of the posting of this post):

SEO Agency

Originally posted on Jeremy Schoemaker’s Facebook page, Mark Jackson, the President and CEO of Vizion Interactive, had this to say about why they are running Google AdWords ads targeting Blueglass:

I’m the President of Vizion Interactive and thought I’d provide a perspective on this. I am friends with Richard Zwicky and had a lot of respect for what the folks at BG were able to do. That said, as you are – I’m sure – aware, BG has not provided any direct notice to their clients that they have shut down. And, in case you weren’t aware, even employees of BG have received no formal notice and have no idea (for example) if they still have healthcare insurance.

Since the “shut down”, I have interviewed many former BG folks (wonderful people) and while we may be marketing ourselves to former BG clients, we are also trying to bring on board former BG employees. To me, this is not a “bad thing”. I have witnessed my fair share of “bad” in our Industry and try to be part of the solution; not the problem. I didn’t create this mess. However, if I can, in some small measure, help folks find work (I’m told that 35 employees and as many as 35 F/T contractors were affected), I’m gonna do that.

The big question here is really whether or not bidding on a competitor’s keywords (or, in this case, the competitor’s brand name) is acceptable, and whether or not you should bid on a competitor’s brand name when that company is losing customers? Essentially, one could argue that Vizion Interactive’s motive is to “poach” clients away from Blueglass, a company that so publicly is failing.

To be fair here, I have to disclose that I formerly worked for Vizion Interactive.

Update:
Vizion Interactive apparently launched this campaign the day after the news about Blueglass broke.

Vizion Interactive, Blueglass, Greg Boser Tweet

Vizion Interactive is one of the companies rallying around Blueglass to hire their employees, as they were terminated from the company in mid-April 2013.

PPC Specialist Job Opening: Dallas Texas

Here at Standing Dog, an interactive marketing agency based in the Dallas, Texas area, we have a job opening for a PPC (Pay Per Click) specialist. Ideally we’re looking for someone who is Google AdWords certified.

Here is the official job description for the opening we have. If you’re interested, get in touch with me or you can find the job opening listed on LinkedIn and apply that way.

Job Description

Standing Dog specializes in the hospitality, real estate and entertainment industries and is seeking a PPC Specialist to assist with the day-to-day management and support of the e-marketing initiatives for our clients. Standing Dog Interactive is a full-service Internet marketing agency that provides our clients with a range of services such as website design, development, SEO, SEM, and other online media.

Responsibilities:

– Design, develop, and manage PPC campaigns; including account structure, keyword research, bid strategies and management, ad copy writing and other core PPC capabilities.
– Provide analysis of existing PPC campaign performances and devise actionable optimization insight for recommendations and strategies to align with our client objectives.
– Partner with account managers to define successful KPIs, and produce and deliver successful campaign performance reports.
– Prioritize between dozens of opportunities to choose the most important tasks.
– Remain current with industry trends, while continually leveraging new tools and industry best practices to boost efficiency of campaigns.

Desired Skills & Experience

– 1-2 years of Paid Search experience, including;
– Experience working with analytical software (i.e. Google Analytics, WebTrends, Omniture)
– Experience using offline PPC management tools (i.e. Google AdWords Editor, Microsoft Bing Ads Editor, Yahoo! Search Marketing Desktop)
– Knowledge of third party bid management tools (i.e. DoubleClick – DART, DFA)
– Google AdWords and Google Analytics Certified; preferred
– Bachelor’s degree required; preferably in a related field
– Strong proficiency with Microsoft Excel (i.e. formulas, if statements, pivot tables, formatting)
– Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
– Creative, analytical and takes initiative, along with a strong attention to detail
– Ability to work self-directed, under pressure, meet agency deadlines, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and review and analyze data

Standing Dog is an Internet marketing agency comprised of recognized industry professionals. We are successful at helping companies reach their target customers, generate leads and drive revenue online. Our team of experts offers digital strategy and execution, from search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, local search marketing to social media marketing and management.

Benefits:

We offer our employees competitive compensation, based on previous experience and a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and 401K plan with employer contributions, as well as a positive and team-based working environment.

Standing Dog Interactive has made the Inc 5000, Fastest Growing Private Companies list, three years in a row.

5 Musts for Lowering CPA and Raising Conversion Rates on the Google Display Network

By Marc Poirier, CMO/Co-Founder, Acquisio

Before you get started on the Google Display Network (GDN), or even if you’re already engaged in display campaigns there, it’s important to understand the five aspects of this channel that most greatly affect the outcomes of those campaigns, and to manage these aspects with precision and daily awareness.

1. Test Keyword Lists
It’s not enough to just test one keyword against another; marketers on display networks should be making lists of keywords to test against the others. These lists will consist of the keywords you are using to go after certain topics and groups of people, and when you test them against each other you’ll garner information on how well those audiences perform and meet your needs.

Keyword lists should contain at least 20 keywords, and should be run for a minimum of two days. This gives you time to gather some click data, which can be analyzed to determine the most effective formula. When you’ve found a winner, keep making groups and testing them. It’s something that needs to be done on an ongoing basis.

2. Manage Ad Placements
What we have found is that, every now and then, a certain domain or URL will come up as surprisingly profitable. The bulk of the time, however, those pages that relate most closely to the subject you’re advertising will have the greatest success.

Because ad networks, like GDN, are not perfect, it takes a lot of time to manage the placement of your ads, and to make sure that you’re not getting a whole lot of useless impressions or clicks.

Watch carefully for those pages that seem to be getting a lot of attention without performing, and be sure to eliminate them. Those that perform well can be added to your Managed Placements, whether at the domain or page level. Dedicating more resources to high-performing pages seems an obvious strategy, but it’s important to be watching out for the good and the bad in this area.

3. Configure Bid Prices
With good keyword lists and high-quality placements, you’ll be increasing your Quality Score, which will allow you to make better decisions when it comes time to managing your bids. With daily attention to finding the sweet spot for your bid prices, you’ll be able to lower your CPA sooner than you might think.

4. Ad Testing
With display advertising, good creative is key to engaging your audience. You should always be looking for the ads that attract the most clicks and are demonstrating good conversion rates on your landing pages. This is best done by running at least two per AdGroup, giving you the opportunity to test one against the other. It’s a never-ending process that needs to be managed on a daily basis, with low-performing ads eliminated from the equation before they start taking up too much of your resources.

5. Pay Attention to Daily Budgets
Your campaigns each have a daily budget, which is a part of the overall Account budget. Those campaigns that require budget, but don’t achieve conversions should be watched closely, and eliminated when they start keeping the high-performing campaigns from improving. With more resources dedicated to higher-converting budgets, you open yourself up to more working capital, and you have a chance to go after even more conversions at the same overall ad spend.

These are aspects of display advertising that need to be paid close attention to, and all of them on a daily basis. While tools that manage all of these things for you are available and can have a great effect on your advertising campaigns, it can be done by closely monitoring both the success and failure of these important aspects of display marketing.

Keep a close eye on the results, and you’ll lower CPA while yielding higher conversions.

Marc Poirier is a professional Internet Marketer with more than a decade experience in the Search industry. He is Co-Founder and CMO of Acquisio where he leads all sales and marketing activities. He often speaks at events like SES, SMX, Ad:Tech, TFM&A and OMMA, and writes columns and articles for various publications, including Search Engine Watch, Visibility Magazine, SES Magazine, and the Acquisio blog.

Prior to his position at Acquisio, he was founder and president at Canalytics, a boutique SEM and SEO agency which was widely regarded as one of the most active Google Analytics Authorized Consultants in the world. He also held various e-marketing management positions for technology and software companies that include Komunik – an email marketing software vendor, Cognicase – a Canadian leading IT consulting and systems integration firms, aside from being a strategic consultant at U.S. based marchFIRST.

Marc began his entrepreneurial career in 1996 while working on his Ph. D. in Cognitive Science. That’s when he co-founded Webaxis Alliance, an interactive agency that worked on major Canadian web sites such as sympatico.ca and canada411.ca.

Logic361 Launches Automated Bid and Ad Recommendations Software for Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing

logic-361

There is a new automated programmatic Search Engine Marketing analysis software out there that attempts to identify Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Advertising revenue and cost savings opportunities. At a time where everyone seems to be cutting costs wherever possible because of the economy, this is a much-needed tool for search engine pay per click advertisers.

logic-361-homepage

Logic361, a leading pay-per-click search advertising analysis software company, has launched SEM Opportunity Dashboard, a major new feature of its free, hosted search engine advertising analysis software application for Google Adwords and Yahoo Search advertisers.

Logic361′s SEM Opportunity Dashboard is capable of instructing a search engine advertiser to; “increase bids on these keywords and pause those keywords… re-write these ads and pause these other ads… by following these recommendations you can expect to increase conversions by “X” dollars and decrease costs by “Y” dollars.”

logic-361-sem-opp-dashboard

The SEM Opportunity Dashboard has the unique ability to expose tens of thousands of dollars of hidden opportunities to increase revenue and decrease costs for pay per click (PPC) search engine advertisers.

Automated Financial Reporting
Know the dollar amount or percentage of the advertising spend that actually generates results. Ad spend that generates value typically ranges from 65% to 90% of total ad spend. Logic361 recommends calculating the value of conversion metrics (cost-per-conversion, spend-to-value or ROI) separately and compare them to the cost of advertising that produces no value (investment keywords.) This type of analysis provides the ability to fine tune KPIs and measure goals. Many advertisers take this analysis one step further and analyze trade name keywords separately.

Logic361′s newest functionality combines years of collective best practices expertise from companies that include GM, Home Depot, ING Direct, Real Networks, Neiman Marcus and Wine.com with advanced PhD level programmatic data analysis techniques.

The SEM Opportunity Dashboard is available right now and is included in SEM Profit Analyzer, a free hosted software account. To sign up for a free account and test it out, you can go here.

Logic361 was recently recognized by Forrester Research and was included in The Forrester Wave TM report. The Company’s customers range from start-ups to Fortune Top 10 companies and include both B2C and B2B direct marketers. Logic361′s software monitors and analyzes over 3,500 search engine advertising accounts per day and over $100 million in annual search engine advertising. Logic361′s hosted, on-demand search advertising analysis and management software eliminates the need for search advertisers of all sizes to make investments in technology or IT personnel.

Google Adwords is a registered trademark of Google, Inc. Yahoo Search is registered trademark of Yahoo, Inc. Logic361 is not affiliated with Google or Yahoo.

Is Your Business Built on Pay Per Click PPC Quicksand?

Winton Churchill
Guest Post by Winton Churchill

Your success with pay-per-click may be setting you up for a revenue shortfall.

This is one of the challenges I see impacting those with a complex sales cycle.

Recently a client came to me who had been very successful in just this type of situation. They had uncovered some great keywords and had very skillfully exploited them in the PPC environment for over a year. Then one of their competitors discovered the keywords as well and a bidding war ensued.
Soon several other competitors joined the party. Within 3 months the cost of PPC had risen out of reach for this client and a foundational pillar of their revenue stream was gone…wiped out completely!
Just because a company finds a “good” set of keywords, it doesn’t mean they can drop their guard on their other strategies.

This is one of the reasons I insist on a good email marketing program for my clients.
With email you can target your best prospects very precisely using reports, white papers, audio and video. These tools help you build your own list of interested parties.

If you build that list using PPC you can touch them free of charge in the future if PPC gets too pricey.
The other advantage is that you can use permission-based 3rd party lists from publications very tightly targeted to industry, job function, company size and a host of other variables. The downsides to these lists are that they are expensive and generally not as responsive as a list you build yourself.
The best time to build your email list is when your PPC is working because you will do it at a lower cost.

Don’t be caught asleep at the Pay-per-Click switch.

Email Marketing & Complex Sales Cycles by Winton Churchill

This book contains information which is beneficial to the following people and businesses: small business owners, professional consultants, marketing executives, sales executives and people in technology companies. Most have complex sales cycles which simply means, they form a relationship with their prospects before the prospects make a purchase.

These topics and themes are in your book.
• Building rapport with prospects
• Presenting information in a way that they don’t drown
• Reducing tedious and demeaning sales tactics
• Closing more sales
• Shortening sales cycle
• Reducing stress in sales organization
• Reducing uncertainty about meeting forecasts

The content is easy to understand and it is packed with great information for any business that wants to use email to reach prospective clients. When done right, email is a very powerful marketing medium – Winton Churchill knows how to do it right.

Please, read on for more details.

About Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles

The principles in this book have helped thousands of business people and entrepreneurs increase sales and reduce stress and aggravation…Will you be the next one to benefit?

Why not generate more sales, more quickly?

Are you burnt out on sales and marketing activities because they are so labor intesive and unproductive?

All the glib conversation and backslapping in the world won’t close the deal until your prospect feels, “You’re the one that can help me the best!”

It’s hard to convince prospects, but easier than you think to help them select you.

This book gives you proven methods to help you slash the time and effort required to turn your prospects into clients.

It’s hard to convince prospects, but easier than you think to help them select you.

This book gives you proven methods to help you slash the time and effort required to turn your prospects into clients.

You Will Discover:

– 3 keys to improving the quality of your leads
– 5 techniques to increase the number of leads you get
– 3 little-known conversion tactics that turn leads into revenue
– 1 mistake that dooms most lead generation to anemic results
– 2 unconventional ways to shorten your sales cycle
– 3 ways you’ve been brainwashed when it comes to email
– 6 special needs shared by all complex sales cycles
– 3 critical stages of success (and what to do at each one)
– 18 essential components you need to get going
– 8 indispensable “fast track” strategies to get you on the road to success

Level the playing field!…Compete with your strengths.

Sales Lead Generation Expert Winton Churchill improves the efficiency and effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts for thousands of businesses. If your company experiences complex sales cycles and if you want to increase sales with more effective lead generation programs then GET YOUR FREE SNEAK PREVIEW of his new book: “Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles.” Get it now at: http://www.churchillmethod.com/chapter. [Read more...]

DART Search Now Supports Bid Management and Conversion Tracking Ask Sponsored Listings

DoubleClick   Ask Sponsored Listings

DoubleClick and IAC Advertising Solutions have launched DART Search’s bid management and conversion tracking features for Ask Sponsored Listings(R) (ASL).

DoubleClick Dart Search

There is now deeper integration via the ASL API. If you’re a DART advertiser, then you can now manage your ad business on the ASL Network more productively. In other words, you can now manage your bids for your ASL keywords directly through the DART Search tool–without needing to interface with the ASL Client Console. Additionally, by using the “Create and Email” feature in DART, you can now track conversion performance of your ASL ads.

IAC Advertising Solutions

IAC Advertising Solutions offers marketers integrated advertising opportunities including sponsored search result listings, interactive media, direct marketing and feature rich sponsorships across a network of some of the world’s leading lifestyle and media brands including 23/6, Citysearch, Evite, Excite, IWON, Match.com, RealEstate.com, Ticketmaster, Very Short List and Ask Sponsored Listings. IAC Advertising Solutions is a division of IAC Search & Media, a wholly-owned business of IAC (NASDAQ:IACI) . IAC Advertising Solutions can be contacted at http://www.iacadvertising.com/ or 212-404-1000.

Ask Sponsored Listings is an automated open-auction system that allows marketers to purchase, manage and optimize campaigns on the ASL publisher network. Learn more at http://sponsoredlistings.ask.com/.

DoubleClick is a provider of digital marketing technology and services. The world’s top marketers, publishers and agencies utilize DoubleClick’s expertise in ad serving, rich media, video, mobile, search and affiliate marketing to help them make the most of the digital medium. From its position at the nerve center of digital marketing, DoubleClick provides superior insights and insider knowledge to its customers. Headquartered in New York, and with 17 offices and development hubs and 14 data centers worldwide, the company employs more than 1400 people and delivers billions of digital communications every day.

DART Search is a powerful integrated worldwide search marketing solution that lets search engine marketers manage and optimize all of their pay-per-click advertisements and keywords across all major search engines.

Google and Hearst-Argyle Television Strike Google AdWords Deal

Google AdWords   Hearst-Argyle Television

Google has reached an agreement with Hearst-Argyle Television where Hearst-Argyle Television will be the first television reseller of Google AdWords, Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

Hearst-Argyle Television owns a lot of television stations across the USA and has access to a lot of local advertisers. The following is a map of the USA, indicating where Hearst-Argyle Television stations are located:

Hearst-Argyle Television stations

Google AdWords will now have even more access to small and medium-sized businesses who may not be currently advertising on the web.

Hearst-Argyle Television is the first TV industry reseller of Google AdWords. Under this new agreement, Hearst-Argyle Television, a company that operates 29 television stations and owns more than thirty Websites, will become an “official reseller” of Google AdWords. They will use their “Web sales force to provide marketers in its 26 local markets access to Google AdWords.”

This new agreement is actually an expansion of Hearst-Argyle’s current relationship with Google. In June of 2007, Hearst-Argyle Television became the first independent TV station group owner to establish a content- and revenue-sharing arrangement with YouTube(TM). In fact, Hearst-Argyle Television has launched 26 YouTube Channels populated with news, weather, sports and entertainment videos as well as with original, local television programming and content from its recently launched social-networking site High School Playbook (www.HighSchoolPlaybook.com).

Hearst-Argyle Television also owns a bunch of local websites, including the following:

Boston, MA: TheBostonChannel.com
Manchester, NH: WMUR.com
Tampa, FL: MoreTV32.com
Orlando, FL: WESH.com CW18TV.com
ittsburgh, PA: ThePittsburghChannel.com
Baltimore, MD: WBALtv.com WBAL.com 98Online.com
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: WYFF4.com
West Palm Beach, FL: WPBF.com
Lancaster-Harrisburg, PA: WGAL.com
Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC: WXII12.com
Louisville, KY: WLKY.com
Portland-Auburn, ME: WMTW.com
Plattsburgh, NY/Burlington, VT: WPTZ.com
Kansas City, MO: TheKansasCityChannel.com
Milwaukee, WI: WISN.com
Cincinnati, OH: WLWT.com
New Orleans, LA: WDSU.com
Oklahoma City, OK: KOCO.com
Des Moines, IA: KCCI.com
Omaha, NE: KETV.com
Jackson, MS: WAPT.com
Fort Smith/Fayetteville, NC: 4029TV.com
Sacramento, CA: KCRA.com My58.com
Albuquerque, NM: KOAT.com
Honolulu, HI: TheHawaiiChannel.com
Monterey-Salinas, CA: TheKSBWChannel.com

Google Launches Video AdSense Units

Google AdSense

On the Google AdSense blog there’s a new post introducing video adsense units. You can now add video to your site and make money. This is a very cool new feature, which will add more content to your site–and it also gets us even closer to real “true” contextual video.

AdSense isn’t just for ads anymore; it’s also a place to get video content for your site — and earn extra revenue at the same time.

We’re excited about the launch of video units — a new way to enrich your site with quality, relevant video content in an embedded, customizable player. Simply embed a snippet of code and have relevant YouTube partner content streamed to your site. You can choose categories of video to target to your site, select content from individual YouTube partners, or have video automatically targeted to your site content. Companion and text overlay ads are relevant and non-intrusive. To further blend the YouTube player into your site, you can also customize the color scheme and layout as well as choose from three different player sizes.

If you go here you’ll get a page on YouTube that has a few videos; so far there are three. I’ve embedded them below, feel free to check them out.

Meet the Team

How to get started with Google AdSense Video Units

If you have questions about the AdSense Video units then you should go here to check out the FAQ.

Here’s a common question about how you earn money using Google AdSense Video Units:

How do I earn with video units?

When you place a video unit on your website, you’ll earn revenue from two types of ad formats: companion ads, which sit above your video content within the player and can be either text or image-based, and text overlay ads, which appear in the bottom 20% of the video content area. Ads on video units can be paid on either a cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impression basis.

Keep in mind that you’re paid based on a CPC basis (per click) OR on a CPM basis (cost-per-thousand impression basis), which means that you would be paid based on a thousand views of the video ad. This really depends on the Google AdWords advertiser, and whether or not they choose to pay per click or by CPM.

In any case, I’m pretty excited about this new feature being added to Google, and this appears to be one of the major results of the Youtube/Google merger.

There’s a bunch of other sites talking about this new feature, take a look here to see what they’re talking about:
Google Launches Video AdSense Units But Doesn’t Enable the Feature – Barry at Search Engine Roundtable is reporting that after the announcement he tried to log into his AdSense account and activate the feature (use it). But, apparently he couldn’t have access to it because it wasn’t enabled and didn’t show up yet on his AdSense account. I, too, can report that I tried to log in once I heard about this new feature and couldn’t find it on my account, as well.

AdSense Launch Video Units
Google launches AdSense video units
Google Launches AdSense-YouTube Video Units
Google Launches YouTube Video Ad Units For Adsense
Google Launches YouTube Video Ad Units For Adsense
google.com/videounits – AdSense Video Units Launch Glitch

Techmeme has a lot more coverage here on the new YouTube-Google AdSense feature if you’re interested in looking more into it.

Update:
It looks like the Google AdSense team has now enabled the Google Video Adsense Units, as the feature is now live (about 24 hours after they announced it on the blog). I’ve signed up, linked my YouTube and AdSense accounts, and have embedded the code below to give you an idea of how it looks.

In order to get everything going, log into your Google AdSense account, select the Google Video Ad Units and agree to the terms…then you’ll need to have a YouTube account and you’ll need to get an email verification code from Google. Verify the account and you will then be able to go back to Google AdSense and choose the player options…then you’ll get the code. If you’re seeing the “Watch the latest Videos at Youtube” sentence below that means that the account is still in pending status, I believe that the Google AdSense folks need to approve the account before your code will be live.

Funniest Pay Per Click Keyword Mistake Revealed

Managing a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign can be difficult at times, especially when there’s a lot of competition for keyword phrases that cost a lot. Prices for the most coveted keyword phrases are rising and the overall cost of a PPC campaign in a competitive industry can be downright outrageous, with major corporations spending tens thousands of dollars a month on Pay Per click Advertising. Couple the high cost of a PPC campaign with someone doesn’t know how to manage a PPC campaign properly and it’s downright dangerous.

sponsored results

As someone who manages many Pay Per Click campaigns through the Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing (and has been doing so for several years now), I often come across some pretty outrageous and costly Pay Per click mistakes. I recently uncovered a simple mistake that is costing companies thousands of dollars. This is my all-time favorite (funny) Pay Per Click mistake:

If you aren’t in the Keyword business, then don’t bid on the word “keyword”.

To explain this extremely common Pay Per Click mistake, let’s take a look at the search results on Yahoo! for the word “keyword”. Granted, there are companies (like keyword research services) that literally are in the business of selling “keywords” and “keyword phrases”. These businesses help search engine marketing professionals (and others who manage PPC campaigns) come up with keywords related to your business. But is it appropriate for Dell computers, Frisco Honda, the Quilling SuperStore, and Staples to be bidding on the word “keyword”? Certainly NOT! Take a look at the screen capture below for a sample (click the picture for a larger version):

PPC Keyword Mistake

This common Pay Per Click campaign management mistake doesn’t only take place on Yahoo! Search Marketing. People who are managing Pay Per Click campaigns are also making this mistake at Google, using the Google AdWords program. Let’s take a look at the same mistake made by people managing a Pay Per Click campaign at Google. Today, when I checked the search results at Google for “keyword”, there weren’t many people making this mistake, But, why is a law firm bidding on the word “keyword”?

PPC Keyword Mistake at Google

Exactly how do these people who are managing Pay Per Click campaigns make such a horrible mistake? It all has to do with their lack of attention to detail. Let me explain. [Read more...]

EarthLink Traffic Builder – A Good Deal or Not?

Earthlink

EarthLink Business Solutions, a division of EarthLink, Inc. (the web hosting company), is introducing a subscription service where EarthLink Business Solutions “guarantees” the number of clicks or “visitors” to their customers’ business website.

EarthLink Business Solutions calls this new service “EarthLink Traffic Builder”. The subscription term is 12 months and “guarantees” up to 4800 clicks per year. Although EarthLink Business Solutions’ Traffic Builder starts at $66.95 per month with no setup fees, if you pay $66.95 per month (a whopping $803.40 per year), the guaranteed number of clicks to your website is only 360 clicks (about one click a day). Furthermore, the cost per click (commonly referred to as CPC) is $2.31 per click! This is not the only problem I have with this program.

EarthLink Traffic Builder

What’s important here is that before you sign up for a subscription service like this you understand what you’re really getting into–and that you might not be getting a ‘good deal’.

Once you sign up, EarthLink Business Solutions “develops and optimizes search terms, creates ad copy, and then loads it across its network of search engine giants such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. When an Internet searcher types in a keyword, the businesses’ ads show up adjacent to the search results on the page.”

What EarthLink Business Solutions doesn’t tell you is who exactly will be performing this service for you. Most likely, one of the EarthLink Business Solutions’ employees or one of the company’s subcontractors may be choosing the keywords and writing the ad copy. Are these people qualified and experienced enough to look at your business and your business needs? Will they take the time to get to know you and your business and talk to you about your ultimate goal, which will most likely be to bring more qualified customers to your website? You may be better off hiring someone who has several years’ experience doing this–someone who will not bid on keywords that you don’t care to be paying for.

According to EarthLink Business Solutions, you will “receive monthly performance email messages.” When it comes to a Search Engine Marketing program, this is unacceptable–if a business is paying for clicks to their website this should be monitored at least several times a week if not daily.

In order to get the guaranteed (advertised) number of 4,800 clicks per year, you must agree to a 12 month subscription of $759.95 per month. This totals $9119.40 per year or $1.89 per click (This is $1.89 per CLICK, not per VISITOR to your website. The same person might click on your ad once a day, costing you $1.89 every time they click).

Let’s take a further look at what you get for $9119.40 per year:

If the website attracts more than the guaranteed number of clicks, there are no charges for additional clicks. On the other hand, if an account underperforms, EarthLink Business Solutions proactively modifies the editorial content, keywords, generic and geographical search criteria, and automatically uploads changes to the search engines, guaranteeing results for each service package.

Most likely, EarthLink Business Solutions will pay the search engines a lot less than $2.31 per click. Earthlink Business Solutions will pay the search engines the same price that you could pay if you went directly to Google, Yahoo!, or MSN. This means that EarthLink Business Solutions could end up paying $.23 cents per click, they could charge you $2.31 per click, and they could be pocketing the difference. The search engines call this “search engine arbitrage” and take a dim view of it–they discourage it greatly. For more information about “search engine arbritrage”, search Google for “search arbitrage” or “search engine arbitrage”. [Read more...]