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Monthly Archives: October 2014

What Steps To Take When Your PPC Competitors Start Playing Dirty?

PPC Competition

Just as SEO or search engine optimization has some white hat and black hat techniques, PPC campaigning is also not an exception. When it comes to PPC campaign, the holistic approach is bidding on the competition’s keywords and this indeed is an acceptable practice. But as always, there are rules of engagement and you playing by the rules don’t mean that your competitors are also doing the same. There are different black hat PPC techniques that are prevalent in the market nowadays and the concerns of this article will not only give you some examples but will also let you know how to combat against such strategies.

The crime scene with the help of an example

Recently there was an advertiser who was strictly following all the guidelines of AdWords for a PPC campaign, the ads were structured perfectly and their message was straight for the visitors. The landing page was also perfectly done and was also relevant to the ad. In fact, if we had to talk about the best practices for implementation for a PPC campaign, this would be the epitome. But the only problem with this was that the landing page itself was all about slandering the brand that belonged to the client.

In fact, the entire site was dedicated to speaking ill about the product of the client discussing how their product was better. The competitor even went so far as to say that the client’s product was “dead”. Such scenarios are not unheard of but it is sad to notice that such situations are hard to keep track of. Building time to monitor and track competition is the only way to stop such black-hat PPC tactics.

Steps to protecting your brand name in paid search

It is important to defend your brand in the PPC channel by comprehending the options that are available as an advertiser. Check out how you can use AdWords to your advantage while protecting and expanding your brand.

  1. Know the AdWords trademark policy: Most large companies have trademark managers who have rules about how the trademarked things should be used. These guidelines should be passed down to the marketing campaigns. AdWords will investigate trademark infringement only after a holder files a complaint but Google suggests that the dispute be settled between the advertisers first. There are also particular policies for resellers but moving the needle on these types of cases is a huge challenge.
  2. Ramp up your GDN: The Google Display Network can help you reach people throughout the web and when you ramp up competitor and branded campaigns, you can strengthen your brand over your competitors. Although running a search network PPC campaign on the keywords of your competitors is necessary, yet the impression share that you’ll get is becoming lower day by day. By running a competitor campaign on the GDN you can grow impression share on competitive terms.

So, your best bet is to monitor and track your competitors on a daily basis, understand how the rules and strategies work and know when to call Google for help and when to become proactive yourself.

Is It Right To Copy The SEO Strategies Of A Top Site?

copy the seo strategies

There are indeed some big sites that can teach us a lot about SEO. But is it correct to copy the SEO strategies of a top site? Should your own SEO emulate the same optimization that is also found on the top websites? If you wish to get a straight-cut answer to this question, you need to give a close look at Amazon.com. Amazon.com is directly into the business of SEO and it employs more SEO professionals than any other company in the market, it is right at the top of the list. Amazon incorporates SEO into almost everything, both programmatically and manually.

Amazon is one of the most trafficked sites, a website with hundreds of millions of indexed URLs and hence it enjoys the luxury of being able to test more things than any other website, that too at a deeply intricate level. If all this is true, copying Amazon’s SEO will certainly do good to your website right? Well, not so fast!

A bird’s eye view of the SEO strategies of Amazon.com

If you consider Amazon.com to be an SEO expert, it transcends reliance on guidelines, rules and maxims. It has a deep awareness and understanding of Amazon’s content and authority, how search engines generally behave and how search engines respond to the on-site optimization of Amazon. In other words, it knows when to break the SEO rules. You want some proof? Let’s take a look at the homepage of Amazon.com.

  • The title element: Their title, “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more” is 83 characters long. In most search engine result pages, Google cuts it off and Bing hardly shows Amazon.com – Official Site. Although 83 characters is not terribly long, it is pretty clear that Amazon doesn’t care about surpassing what the search engines display. It is aware that most visitors arrive on their site through navigational queries. When people see the homepage, they soon that this is their destination. Amazon has world class site search, even if the homepage isn’t the specific page for the visitors.
  • Meta Description: If you check the meta-description, you will find out that it is 304 characters long. Why would someone write such a long meta-description? SERP listings are the only places where meta-descriptions are shown but Amazon is different. As there are millions of authors, affiliates and vendors, it knows that the meta-description will be copied by other websites and hence they use this strategy. Their complete marketing message acts like a billboard wherever it travels.
  • H1 element: There is no H1 element in the homepage at all. When you optimize your homepage for SEO, do you include a keyword targeted H1 headline? If yes, then why doesn’t Amazon? Well, its homepage enjoys massive link authority. Moz ranks Amazon.com #12 on the list of the web’s most important sites. It has a PA of 97 and DA of 99 and there are 3.6m followed links from 118k root domains to the same page. Perhaps Amazon’s testers found that the presence of an H1 tag prevents the page from appearing in search results and so they ruled it out.

Instead of going further into the details, let’s end here with a word of caution. Just because a website performs well in search doesn’t make it a role model for another website’s SEO. Poor decisions can have negative upshots.

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