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Archive for May 2009

31
May

The Non-Responsive Penalty

The Non-Responsive Penalty: Ignoring Us Will Cost You

The Two Types of Clients

The Two Types of Clients in BusinessYes, there really are only 2 CORE TYPES of clients that exist in the world:

The Hyper-Responsive Client

This client is the most fun, the most engaging. Can also be the biggest pain in the ass due to their Ultra-Type-A personality.  Key Characteristics:

  1. Make progress and results. Period.  In any direction.
  2. Extraordinarily vigilant about anything you request from them
  3. Extraordinarily vigilant about anything they request from you
  4. Tendency to request progress updates and/or why things are not progressing as quick incessantly
  5. (Usually) extremely grateful

The Non-Responsive Client

The lazy businessman’s dream. They go for long stretches of time (as long as three months) without so much as an email, a call, an anything.  Can be a worse pain in the ass when they finally get around to reading any communiques.  Key Characteristics:

  1. Results-orientated (when they finally look at them)
  2. Vague memory. Claims to have emailed/called about a particular issue multiple times, but can never remember when
  3. Uncanny tendency to impede any/all strategies formulated and clog progress on those strategies
  4. Mostly grateful because they know they’ve been immovable objects throughout the process, but secretly spiteful that you “pushed” them through the process instead of letting it “happen naturally”. (A.K.A. We never have to pay for anything because we authorized nothing)

Pretending We Don’t Exist Will Cost You

That's right. Just keep pretending we don't exist.

That's right. Just keep pretending we don't exist.

It’s the non-responsive clients that forced me into this position in the first place. It sucks. I don’t want to do this either, but you’ve forced my hand.

I know, I know, you ‘haven’t gotten any of the emails I sent”. And, strangely enough, you never got the voicemails I left. I also know you are “extremely busy”, but are you really that busy that you can’t return phone calls or emails? In over 2 months?

I’ve been doing everything I said I would. You get your reporting and analysis. You get your strategy and recommendations.  We have conference calls, I explain things that could be confusing in great detail, and we even have face to face meetings. And now I can’t get you to authorize these or pay for them. You’re just sitting on them hoping I’ll forget.

Look. I know economically times are tough. You have to be careful with your budget. But we have a contract. And, I know the “Ignore Penalty” is not in there now, but it’s going to be.  Here are just some of things where the Ignore Penalty comes into play:

The Ignore Penalty Clauses

  1. If emails/phone calls are not responded to within 1 week , PENALTY. *Out of Office auto-response does count*
  2. If information is asked for and is not responded to and/or not gotten to me in a timely manner, PENALTY
    *Timely is relative to the time-sensitivity of the issue. But again, most cases will be 1 week*
  3. If authorization, of any kind, is needed to move forward with agreed upon strategy and is not given, PENALTY
    *For each week authorization is not given, the penalty is applied*

*All penalties multiple for each week of lateness, by 20%.

Jump = How High? Applies to us Both

Believe me, this is going to hurt me as much as it’s going to hurt you. I like my clients. I really do. But you’re going to have to “grow-up” sometime and realize this “internet marketing thing” isn’t a fad. It isn’t just for unshaven twenty-somethings who are doing this for fun. Our business is just as serious as yours.

Hopefully, I never even have to impose the “Ignore Clause”. But, if I do, my hope is that it only takes one time. You expect promptness from me, you want what you asked for immediately. I have no problem with the JUMP = HOW HIGH rule.  Unfortunately that door swings both ways.  And, if you don’t believe it, just keep ignoring your responsibilites.

18
May

Google Greasing the Numbers? So What?

Google Inflating AdWords Conversion Rates (Allegedly)

Does it really matter if Google is inflating the numbers?
Does it really matter if Google is inflating the numbers?

WebProNews published a story over the weekend that may spark some controversy in the coming days: “Harvard Professor Claims Google Conversions Inflated“. There may be hordes of SMBs, Mid-Size companies, and a few large corps lamenting outrage (much of it justified).  Yet, here’s the problem with the Edelman story: it’s not a big surprise. And so all the lamented horror and outrage will not a change a thing.

Why This Story Has No Shock Value

Google, like other corporations, is a “for-profit” company. “Do no evil” may be the motto, but “we make money” is always the bottom line. And, if you were surprised at this, then you need a reality check. They’re a multi-national corporation, a hydra-headed beast with their tentacles in just about every facet of search marketing and functional web.

Not to mention that the AdWords platform has been a “racket” since it’s inception, under the guise that even the “little man” could get top placement. Any system based off of what particular businesses are willing to pay for keywords is going to be (not that there is a better system out there). Google introduced “Quality Score” as a way to level the playing field (supposedly), but that too still takes into account what you are willing to bid for a particular keyword as a large part of the equation.  Don’t bid enough, and it doesn’t matter that you have highly relevant and targeted content around a keyword(s).  You get a less than satisfactory quality score and don’t get the impression share you need to drive conversions anyway.

Let’s also not forget to mention that this is the crown jewel of the Google money-machine. It behooves them to show that their product actually works and helps make conversions. After all, it’s a product that anyone can use, right?  Sure.  Just put down your set budget, pick your keywords, throw the lever wide open, and watch your traffic and conversions roll in.

Edelman’s argument holds some water, as far as the Chrome Ominbox (suggested search), but he delivers no actual numbers of inflation, just that they are inflated.  But, I’d trust the argument more if there were actual percentages of inflation, say the conversions offered by AdWords is 5% inflated from what you could normally expect to see in ROI.

In The End, It Doesn’t Matter

Refuse Google? Search Marketing Suicide.

Refuse Google? Search Marketing Suicide.

That statement may seem overly simplified and cynical, but the fact is, no one is going to stop using Google or Google AdWords, inflated conversion rates or not. They have captured over 70% of the seach market and have become a verb synomomous with search. Not being there is search marketing suicide, frankly, because Yahoo and MSN don’t hold enough of the market to be competitive and return a profitable enough ROI.

Not being in AdWords ultimately does mean less conversions, especially for those with newly begun SEO programs. The two are intwined in such a fashion that, unfortunately, one without the other means that it will only take more time to build a strong(er) presence within the SERPs. Remember that Google tailors its algorithm from everywhere, grabbing all the data it can to deliver the most trustworthy, relevant results for any given query. That includes AdWords data.  Sorry, but it’s true.

And, if you’re just now starting to realize that this “search thing” is essential, then:

1) Please remove the incredibly dark and heavy boulder you’ve been living under and join us

2) You need this shot of “search adrenaline” not only for search presence, but so you can give the GOOG the inside track to discovering your pages. I’m not talking about indexing, that’s what XML sitemaps are for; I’m talking about Google discover what pages should be making their way up organically because they do a great job on the pay-per-click side.

Established sites within the SERPs don’t need to worry about this as much; hence the reason they’ve established themselves organically. They’ll feel it in traffic numbers to be sure, but may likely see their bounce rate drop and their overall site conversions increase. They could drop out of PPC and not feel it at all on the bottom line.

In the end, you have to play the AdWords game. It’s not a choice, it’s not an option: you play or you perish.  It’s that simple. Don’t depend on PPC as your life-line, but use it to your advantage. It’ll do no good to bitch and moan about inflationary conversion rates because Google doesn’t care. And neither should you.

11
May

Google Doodle: It’s Back

Google Doodle is Back!

Google Doodle is Back!

The Google Doodle Entries

If you have a child in K-12, then the deadline for a “What I Wish for the World” entry ends this week.  Last year there were some amazing entries from kids of all ages, and this year is no different.

Vote For the Google Doodles

Check out this years online voting entries. And remember to vote for the kids.

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