Prep Your PPC Campaigns for 2011 (Formic on iMedia Connection)

20 12 2010

Amidst your 2011 planning and the year end rush to the finish line, don’t let your PPC campaigns take a back seat to last minute deadlines.  As an advertiser, your campaigns may be long overdue for tune up and there is no better time than the present to prepare them for the new year.  Start planning ahead for a successful PPC program in 2011 by giving your campaigns the gifts they need to be successful.  To help your campaigns perform to your advertising goals and objectives, consider a few of these gifts that are most certainly at the top of your PPC campaign’s wish list this holiday season:

  • Stocking Stuffers: Even if your campaigns have plenty of traffic driving, high converting keywords in their repertoire, they can never have too many negative match keywords to keep unwanted search traffic from wasting budget (by way of un-targeted search queries).  Throw a handful of negative keywords into your PPC campaign’s stocking with the promise of more to come throughout the new year.  These easy and often overlooked additions are simple to find through a process that is right at your finger tips.  In AdWords, navigate to the “Keywords” tab and select “See Search Terms > All” from the drop down.  Start browsing through the results to find negative keyword choices (untargeted search queries that are triggering your ads) and pick out the perfect additions for your campaigns this season.   And, there are plenty of online tools that help generate negative keyword suggestions with your specific campaigns in mind.

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SEO WordPress plugins to make your life easier

13 12 2010

Are you one of the 17 million WordPress powered blogs or websites out there?  If so, have you done your part to optimize it?  If you haven’t yet, do not fret.  The following is a list of 5 fairly awesome WordPress plugins that can help simplify this process and boost your search results.

All in one SEO

This plug-in can canonicalize your site or blog, add analytics tracking code, change your permalinks to readable urls and allow you to modify your title and meta tags.  If you’re lazy they will even generate them for you!


Redirection is a WordPress plug-in to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation(which can be a huge hassle).

SEO friendly Images

If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according to the options you set.  Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid.

Sitemap Generator

This plug-in will allow you to generate an xml sitemap for your blog or website, but also offers options through WordPress to customize it.

SEO Smart Links

This plug-in allows you the option of linking pages to certain keywords or phrases residing on your website or blog.  It also includes nofollow link options.  No more need to manually tread through your website and set-up your internal anchor text!

Formic Media Seminar Series: Social Media Usage Policies

11 12 2010

Social media is becoming a very important piece of the marketing plan for many businesses, both small and large. In order to carry out the social media aspect of the marketing plan, companies are calling on employees to help create content, monitor the social media universe and participate in conversations on behalf of the brand. As you can imagine, this can lead to less than ideal situations if an employee divulges confidential information, responds in a way that is offensive or just plain has incorrect company, or product, information. For this reason, it is becoming imperative that any company participating in social media, where employees are asked to manage content and communications, must create a social media usage policy. These policies outline what employees can, and can’t, do when utilizing social media for work. Even outside of work, all employees are an extension of the brand, and must use common sense and be held responsible for their actions/comments. Formic is partnering with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, a local Portland-based law firm, to discuss the importance of a social media usage policy. Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt will discuss specific components of usage policies, as well as, provide tips on how to draft a well written policy. Join us for this free Social Media Usage Policy seminar. Register today.

Cost: FREE

Date of Event: Wednesday, January 12th

Location: Formic Media Inc.

300 NE Failing St. Portland, OR 97212



Google Hotpot Chooses Portland

10 12 2010

I assume you are reading this blog post to first find out what in the world Google Hotpot is. Well, it’s just another installment from Google in their quest to rule the universe. This particular product is very social in nature as you essentially receive recommendations from friends on places they’ve visited and reviewed. The more you review businesses and use Hotpot, the more recommendations you’ll receive.

As a user, I don’t get it

Frankly, I don’t get it. Google already allows you to personalize results when you log in to your Google account and commence the searching process. Furthermore, Google Maps allows you to review Places through its Google Places product. I understand that Hotpot will provide recommendations based on what your friends have rated, but I feel it’s rather unnecessary at this point. It seems like an extra step that some may find useful, but for me, I’ll pass for now. I imagine Google has much bigger plans for Hotpot, and what we’re seeing may be the tip of the iceberg, but at this point, I’m not buying. I can get recommendations from friends via social media apps/sites like Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook Places already. Why add another one to the mix that doesn’t offer up anything new?

As a marketer, this sounds interesting

Even though I’m not a huge fan as a user, I do like how Google is marketing the new product. As a marketer myself, I must take note and appreciate the thought and effort behind the launch. Google is debuting Hotpot in Portland, OR, which I reside, so it’s exciting to me to see how users and businesses react to the new product. Google is starting with local businesses that are already highly rated and reviewed. They will provide these businesses with marketing materials to help drive customer reviews (and get businesses to claim their Place pages if they haven’t yet). Some of the marketing materials being provided are window stickers, business cards, pens and even fortune cookies. Google even plans to buy local newspaper and billboard space to promote this new product.

If you’re a local business (especially in Portland), perk up and do what you can to try to get in on this new product. Reviews play a large role in how you rank in the Google local search results, so the more you can market your business and get folks to review you, the potential for increasing your local rankings rises as well. Plus, if you can get kitschy marketing materials from Google for free, it can only help increase conversations at your establishment as customers will ask what it is for. This provides a great opportunity for the business owner/employee to ask the customer to review their experience.

How to get in on the Hotpot fun

In order to start making Hotpot work for your business, you first need to have a claimed (and verified) Google Place page. If you haven’t done this yet, your slightly behind, so get on it (or contact us and we can help). Next, you’ll need to submit this form to obtain your marketing kit (unless Google has already contacted you…Voodoo Doughnuts, I’m looking at you). After you receive your marketing kit, or even before, start talking to your customers about it. Try to educate the repeat customers (since they’re obviously already fans) so they leave reviews either on your Google Place page, or even start using Hotpot.

I’d love to hear what others think of Hotpot from either a user’s perspective or a marketer’s.

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