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Yahoo! Answers is a great way to interact with potential customers and other consumers that have questions surrounding your industry, product, or service. People ask all kinds of questions over there, and get some interesting answers as well. I have utilized this site for many clients — not for links, but for interacting with people who need answers.
I’ve spoken before about Yahoo! Answers and how best to utilize it. The short of it is:
- Know how and what to search for when identifying questions.
- Answer the question first, don’t sell.
- All links are no followed, so don’t rely on them for link juice.
- Report spam … there is tons of it.
- Keep up with your answers and vote.
Now for the real stuff. Yahoo! recently changed the way they do links. In short, any link in an answer isn’t hyper-linked until you get past Level 1. Yahoo! Answers has levels that allow you to do more in a day to gain points. The more points, the higher your status, trust, and coolness factor (ok, not really on that last one). Here is the info on how to get more points and what the levels are.
Basically, the change is good to help combat (though it doesn’t help completely) the people that create thousands of accounts, spam with answers that are fraudulent or other kinds of spammy, and then drop the account.
What to Do
So if you just got on Yahoo! Answers and are wondering how people are going to be able to get to that awesome link you just referenced, don’t fret. I’ve noticed that people in Level 1 who link to other sites are not only not hyperlinked, but also have their links truncated. If you can get past level 1, and it’s fairly easy to do so (shh!!), those links that were not linked before do become linked later.
So don’t be spammy, put some work into it, and Yahoo! Answers will pay you back in the long run. The more best answers you get, the more business you could get. These questions rank very well in Google and Yahoo!!
I heard of a rapping Southwest Airlines attendant today … that is what online marketing is about. But can you plan that? No. The best ideas come from thinking outside the box and empowering employees to be the best for your clients.
Sometimes I can sound like a broken record – your business is different, there is no right answer for everyone, the answer is always “it depends.” But the goal in all of that is to make our clients and friends in the business take the examples we have seen and inspire ideas in their own lives. That is the ultimate goal in New Edge Media blogging, to inspire and be inspired. We know that each of us at NEM are learning everyday, no one knows everything in this business, and that is why we love it.
My inspiration has come from a large number of sources in the past year, but I want to focus on one. The mothers who have shaped and defined many parts of this business. Look around at some of the best minds out there and they are mothers doing what is best for their family and their own personal development.
Note: There are fantastic dads too, their countless and beautiful stories have inspired me as well. I don’t want to sound biased, it’s just moms have been very apparent in my world recently.
There is the now infamous Mothers in Business competition that host a number of well know names vying for your vote. I know we have all heard about this one. I am voting as often as I am reminded on twitter, but I more enjoy reading about and stumbling upon the businesses of the other lesser known mothers out there who have changed business because they are that strong. Their families supplement the strength they naturally have, and they turn that into a power to change the world.
I met a woman recently who started a daycare so that she could spend time with her then three, but going on five children. That business has grown to be one of the top 25 daycare businesses in the United States. She is dedicated to the care and development of all her children (not just the 5 biological ones) and her employees. She gets that it is her employees that make her business great.
New Edge Media was started by such a woman who wanted to support her family and start an agency close to home that had the values she held so dear. Brandy has been an inspiration to me and I would dare to say many others. Just like every other woman out there running a successful business. They are not doing it alone, but they are doing.
So just shy of mentioning specific women who have inspired me recently in the industry, I want to thank you all for being an inspiration to me and everyone else around you. You know who you are.
So what is your inspiration today?
Question: What skills are required of a PPC consultant/manager that are not required of an organic SEO consultant/manager?
This was perhaps one of the most intriguing questions I got when asking my favorite people on twitter what they wanted to know about PPC. More than anything it is tough because I consider myself both, I am an Internet marketer before anything else, a mutt of the industry. Because I think there are more like me than not, I have a feeling that there aren’t going to be large differences. There are so many things that each side does that are the same, just in different mediums.
Let’s start with an example job description for each, they are listed at the bottom, sorry, but they are long :). These are real but I’ll take out identifying marks. Remember these are just examples, we are a young industry and therefore the job descriptions can be extremely variant. There are probably more requirements than I list here, so if you have more differences that you know of, please list them in the comments.
There are more similarities than differences in these two areas of Internet marketing, which does not surprise me. They are both mid level positions and therefore require 2 years of experience and a Bachelor’s Degree. Please note that one requires it and one it is optional. From what I can tell in experience, a degree is not required because no one teaches this subject yet. But I think it helps when going for either position.
Personal skills required in both are attention to detail, organizational skills, and relationship management. I think attention to detail is listed in almost any job description, but Internet marketing it is a major requirement. In paid search, if you mess up one destination URL, you could spend thousands of dollars on exactly nothing. And in SEO … well just look at code, enough said. The same can be said for organizational skills, try building a campaign or css stylesheet without it.
The relationship management area covers a lot of things, verbal and written communication with the company is the main area. Being in a new industry means that we all must be able to work with every department to build the best campaigns possible.
More specific skills include keyword research, copywriting, competitive research, and reporting. Everyone has to love Excel and we know that. Name one internet marketer that doesn’t know Excel or a similar program and I’ll show you someone not doing their job right.
The final similarity is in industry knowledge; we all have to know the new industry trends. Reading everyday is always and will remain part of our job duties. Otherwise our skills become archaic and the methods we use become stale.
First off, lets begin with SEOs. The one major difference is that SEOs have to be self-starters. I think this is actually true of SEO versus PPC. Yes, there is some of that to PPC, but it’s more of a requirement for an SEO. PPC has the metrics and goals that are set in stone and tied to the company finances (which I am about to go over). SEOs have the task of navigating something that fewer people understand (or pretend to understand). SEOs have to work with IT people, web designers and executives that do not get anything, so they almost have to make their own to do list.
Now for the answer to the question: I know that was a long lead in …
The things that a PPC manager needs that an SEO manager doesn’t necessarily have to have are all focused around money and testing. A PPC Manager has to have their main focus on ROI. There are numbers tied directly to what they manage and reporting those numbers and keeping to goals is more prevalent in PPC than in SEO. Each has goals, but in the eyes of a CPA, PPC is more focused on the bottom line.
In that same respect, a PPC manager is also very focused on budgets and spending. Again, there is a taste of this in SEO, but a PPC manager needs to have full understanding of the budgeting process and be able to comprehend the process over time. It’s not about “set it and forget it.” If you are doing that, you are doing it wrong.
The final area that a PPC manager has to focus on that isn’t required of an SEO manager is the testing of campaigns. Testing landing pages, keyword match types, and ads are a daily occurrence for a PPC manager. There is not an end to the cycle of testing; things can always be tweaked to be better. Keeping up with those tests, analyzing results, and making the necessary changes is not usually something SEOs do on a regular basis.
My final findings … the differences are minor. If an SEO wanted to get into PPC, there is little they’d have to change. Focus and goals are the major differences, but as for traits in the person, those are the same. Take your drive for code and make it into a drive for ROI. It might take some time getting used to testing what seems like the same thing over and over, but understanding the small differences and exact science of the relationship of landing page, keyword and ad is what makes this fun.
Looking for a job as an SEO or PPC manager? Check out our favorite job search site: The Online Beat
Example Job Descriptions
- SEO strategy and implementation tactics
- Identifying and building relationships with key industry contacts
- Research keywords, clients and competitors
- Keeping on top of industry trends/innovations with regards to search engines
- Manage all aspects of SEO campaigns from generating reports to conducting site audits to client contact
- Generating all keyword/link/rank/index related deliverables
- Maintain brand identity while pushing creative boundaries and exceeding client expectations
- Own your project and follow it through to launch
- Form close and productive working relationships with staff from all departments
- Recommend/implement optimization tactics from data intensive reporting
- Bachelors Degree
- 2-4 years of hands-on SEO experience (preferably in an agency setting); SEM knowledge
- Proven track record of successful SE0 strategy and implementation
- Strong knowledge of search properties, search engine algorithms and ranking strategies
- Excellent written skills: experience writing professional/technical documentation skills
- Excellent verbal skills: ability to communicate complex SEO issues in an articulate manner to all audiences
- Solid understanding of interactive marketing/online media space
- Strong organizational skills, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail
- Self-motivator always looking to improve upon OGM’s projects and processes
- Manage PPC campaigns across three major PPC platforms (Google, Yahoo!, MSN).
- Achieve a targeted ROI for all ad spends.
- Ensure optimal campaign performance.
- Manage keywords and messaging based on performances of campaigns.
- Perpetual testing and optimizing of new keywords, ad text, position and landing pages.
- Reconciliation of budget spend for PPC clients.
- Monitoring and comparison of competitor’s campaigns.
- Work with Account Reps to manage relationships with our clients.
- Utilization of proprietary and third party reports and analytics tools.
- Analyze click and conversion data, ad expenses, ROI, etc.
- Research other PPC related online marketing opportunities that could be viable to our clients.
- Must have excellent attention to detail and the ability to effectively multi-task in a deadline driven environment.
- 2-4 years experience in managing PPC campaigns.
- In-depth knowledge and experience with Google, Yahoo!, MSN PPC platforms.
- Proficiency in working with Excel spreadsheets and analysis.
- Experience with keyword research, keyword research tools and keyword selection.
- Knowledge of web analytics applications.
- SEM copywriting skills.
- Detail-oriented organizational skills and above average written and communication skills.
Additional Qualifications/Skills Preferred – Not Required
- Experience using third-party PPC bid-management applications.
- Bachelor’s degree with interest or emphasis in communications, marketing, advertising, computer science, or related field.
- Industry experience.
- Google Ad Words Certified.
People have been going bananas recently about Google’s Quality Score and how it affects their campaigns. I am going to agree with most articles out there and say the buzz around it is a little much. And some people are getting the wrong information. So here is the DL on Quality Score in 10 seconds:
It takes into account the relevance of the keywords in your ad group, the ad, and the landing page in a campaign. The closer related they are the better. Brad Geddes has a good list of what is known as parts of the quality score.
“The reality of the quality score is actually quite simple … Essentially, it’s a measure of trust – difficult (but not impossible) to manipulate – and it causes far too many people to run around in circles chasing their tails.”
So a friend asked on Twitter if SEO could improve PPC quality score. Yes. Like everything else in Internet Marketing, SEO and PPC are very closely related and can impact the other. Just like PPC rankings can increase the trust of a natural ranking, SEO principles can help improve PPC quality scores (if they are in need of help).
In SEO there is a focus on keywords and relevance of pages to popular keywords. Looking at quality score, if your landing page isn’t being viewed by Google as relevant, you can work on SEO elements like content, title, and meta tags to make the page more relevant. Google’s Quality Score algorithm is becoming much like their natural algorithm, both focused on relevancy using popularity (CTR) and keyword similarity. Playing the game means building pages for your searchers/clients. The better they like it, the more relevant it is, and the less you will pay for the traffic you get.
So SEO and PPC – go out to lunch, become friends, swap stories, and share information. It’s amazing what you can learn from each other and how this information can make your individual campaigns work much more efficiently.
After reviewing why you should be paying for traffic rather than just relying on organic results, the team at New Edge Media want to take it a step further. One of the reasons to use paid search was to balance your online campaigns. But we are sure people (and clients) want to know how a paid search campaign can improve the performance of an organic campaign? Basically how do they balance each other … well here we go, how to use PPC for SEO purposes.
There are a plethora of tools available to SEOs when it comes to keyword research. Google made us all happy when they added numbers to the AdWords Keyword Tool. But none of that is worth a thing without knowing what actually converts visitors. There are keywords that are traffic builders but not converters. Running a paid search campaign allows you to see within the first few months exactly which words convert to your company’s end result, be it sales or form fills. That allows your SEO team to see which keywords they should be optimizing for before the others in their campaigns. Internet marketing is and should be about conversion first, not traffic.
Share of Market
Your analytics program will only let you see the traffic that is hitting your site. There is no way with pure SEO tools to see total market share. Even the numbers that Google publishes are spot on. Really, none can be, all numbers are inherently just a bit off, but running a PPC campaign can give you a better idea of how many people are searching for the products you offer. Using that number and the number of clicks, paid and natural to that keyword for a certain time period can give you a good idea of market share. One metric that all marketing and business people understand.
Conversion and Trust
There has been a large amount of research done to prove that running paid search along side naturally high ranking keywords results in not only a higher click through rate on the organic side, but also increases conversion rates. This is because searchers trust the business that is ranking organically and paying for advertising, it’s a sign of relevance and stability.
The take away here is that for most companies the balance is what you should be going for. Use all sides of marketing to do your best. There is no one set combination of mediums that will work best for you because it’s different for everyone. But for the 80% of companies out there that paid search works for, utilize it for your SEO campaigns too. Just as social works to increase SEO, paid search impacts it too.