Sunday Morning SEO: Using PPC to Test Keywords

Like the title of my column implies, I do a lot of SEO work – both for clients and my own sites.  However, I’ve recently started getting into PPC, or pay per click, marketing.  This has been a great education.

One of the things that I’ve learned is the importance of testing.  The fundamental principle in PPC seems to be to test every variable you can think of so your campaign is as efficient as it can be.  PPC is the fastest way to drive targeted traffic to your site.  However, if you’re not constantly testing in order to improve your campaign, you can quickly lose a lot of money.  We as humans are not perfect, so your first ads and keywords will have to tweaked as you gain data from your testing.

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Google developing category filtering for AdSense ads


Google has announced that it’s launched limited beta testing of a new feature: the ability to filter certain categories of advertising so that they don’t appear on a publisher’s site at all.

Google says that this is one of the top requests from publishers, explaining:

Category filtering will give publishers the ability to block ads that fall into specific categories such as dating, religion, and politics. Regardless of how ads are targeted, they’ll be filtered if they’re within one of the selected categories. We’ll also show the percentage of recent revenue that ads in each category generate, so publishers can predict how filtering selections will impact their revenue.

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Movable Type Monday: Etelos Partnership, Plugin Development, HTML Tidy, and More

Happy Monday, folks! We talk a lot here about making Movable Type easier for customers to install. Many have hoped that MT would start showing up in some of the “one-button install” systems available to hosting providers. We’re starting to see that happen, most recently on the Etelos Marketplace. These kinds of easy installs go a long way in convincing businesses to give MT a try.

A couple of useful things this week for plugin developers. First, if you’re new to plugin development, David Raynes has started a series of posts on plugin writing 101. This looks to be especially useful if you have some Perl experience, but aren’t sure where to start with MT.

Also, for more advanced developers, Six Apart released their unit test suite for plugin development. To learn how to use the test module, check out the first full tutorial in David Rayne’s series.

Speaking of plugins, we’ve got some new ones to tell you about:

Tidings — Also from Six Apart, Tidings is a content filter based on HTML Tidy. You can use it to clean up HTML, XHTML, and more. It can be especially useful for ensuring user-submitted code doesn’t break your site.

SyntaxHighlighter — For those of you that blog about programming, this will definitely come in handy. Written by Makoto Kawasaki, this plugin lets you post syntax highlighted code.

MediaURLs — This plugin, created by Scott Boms, makes it easier to take advantage of separate domains and subdomains for different media files. This is an important technique for speeding up page loading, so it’s nice to see a plugin to simplify the practice.

What have you done with Movable Type this week? Let us know in the comments.

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Find Good Long Tail Keywords (Part 3)

In my last post, I gave the second step to finding good long tail keywords: targeting the keywords on your initial keyword list. Here is the third and final step.

Part 3: Check your keyword logs.

After your target keywords, wait a couple days and then check your keyword logs.  You’ll extrapolate that data to find more long tail keywords.  This step is important because your keyword logs provide some of the best data of finding long tail keywords. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Find Good Long Tail Keywords (Part 2)

In my last post, I gave the first step to finding good long tail keywords. Here is the second step.  Also, I’ll talk about part three next Sunday.

Part 2: Target the keywords.

Targeting your keywords is a pretty simple process.  But many bloggers make one of these two common mistakes.

First, don’t spam the keyword in your blog post.  Most bloggers don’t seem to have this problem, but it’s worth mentioning just in case.  Google has penalties for keyword spamming.  Also, keyword spam is annoying to your readers.

The second mistake is more common: not being aggressive enough with your targeting.  Yes, I know I just talked about not spamming but some bloggers make the mistake on the other end of the spectrum.  They barely include the keywords in their posts. [Read more…]