Energy efficiency advocate Mike Rogers died on December 18, 2018. Rogers was best known for his work establishing the Home Performance With Energy Star program.I first met Rogers in 2003, when I interviewed him for an article in Energy Design Update. Like me, Rogers lived in Vermont. Every few years, we’d bump into each other at a conference, and once we encountered each other by chance on a hiking trail. (We were both climbing Camel’s Hump at the time.)Rogers was a leader in our industry, and an all-around good guy. He died too young, the victim of a rare and aggressive form of cancer. We’ll miss him.Anyone interested is reading more about Rogers’s remarkable life should read his obituary in the online version of Seven Days.
Rockets win 10th straight, top Kings John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH CJ McCollum added 29 points for the Blazers (32-26), who go into the All-Star break six games over .500.“Going into the break, how tight the standings are in the West, needing to come up with a big win, and we came up with it. So it’s probably our best performance, if not the best then definitely top two or top three,” said Lillard, who has scored 133 points in the last three games, the highest point total for that span in franchise history.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLillard is also the first player in the league this season with at least 39 points in three straight games.Portland spoiled Durant’s fifth career 50-point game and first this season. He added seven rebounds and six assists, but despite his efforts Golden State had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell a half-game behind Houston for the league’s best record. Durant said the Warriors need to have more of a sense of urgency.“Teams get up to play us. They want to beat us, and they give us their best,” Durant said. “Some guys are going to have great nights against us. They did tonight.”Portland had lost four of its last six, including a 115-96 loss to the surging Utah Jazz on Sunday night.Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic left that game and was listed as questionable against the Warriors with low back soreness, a right calf strain, and right oblique pain. But he started and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.Golden State’s Draymond Green was also questionable with a sprained left index finger, but he also started and had 16 points and 12 rebounds.Portland jumped out to a 19-8 lead after Lillard hit a pair of 3-pointers and McCollum added another. Lillard’s layup extended the Blazers’ lead to 38-18.Lillard finished the first quarter with 18 points. Portland led 63-51 at the half.Durant made a 3-pointer and a free throw to narrow the score to 74-73 in the third quarter, his second four-point play of the game. It was as close as the Warriors could get in the quarter and Portland led 92-87 going into the final period. Durant had 18 points in the third quarter alone.The Blazers were 10 games below .500 at the All-Star break last season. Portland is in sixth place in the Western Conference, a half-game up on the Nuggets and Pelicans.“Like I said, it’s a tight race. There’s a lot of teams in the mix and you get to the point of the season where teams are fatigued physically and mentally,” Lillard said. “To be a leader of a team you’ve got to be willing to lead the charge, and not just by saying it, it has to be your actions.”TIP-INS Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Warriors: Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked before the game if he’s still feeling mentally fried. “No, I’m going to Hawaii tomorrow,” he said. … It was Golden State’s first game on Valentine’s Day since 2007. They had won five straight on the holiday. … Durant on the 50 points: “I took the same shots tonight as I always take. I just happened to get more of them up.”Trail Blazers: Lillard was presented with his All-Star jersey before the game. It will be Lillard’s third All-Star Game. … Former Blazer Bill Walton was part of the television broadcasting team, but during a few timeouts he joined the stunt team in tossing T-shirts to the crowd.SPEAKINGKerr spoke before the game about Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida.“Nothing has been done. It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, movie theater. It’s not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country, to actually do anything. That’s demoralizing. But we can do something about it: We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we’ll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It’s disgusting.”UP NEXT:Warriors: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 22.Trail Blazers: Visit Utah on Feb. 23. View comments Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum The Blazers led by as many as 20 points in the first half but Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer tied it at 99 with 7:10 left.The Warriors couldn’t get ahead and Lillard’s 3-pointer put Portland up 109-101 with 5:05 to play.Durant’s 3-pointer closed Golden State to 114-111 but McCollum got a 3 for the Blazers on the other end with 2:15 left. Durant’s reverse layup and a pair of free throws cut the margin to 117-115 before Evan Turner’s free throws padded the lead for Portland.The teams traded free throws before Durant nailed a 3-pointer — but the officials said he stepped out of bounds. After review the call was confirmed and the Warriors (44-14) couldn’t catch up.“It was obviously kind of a signature win for us this year so far,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “We knew we were going to have to score points to have a chance to beat them and we made a lot of good plays. Dame was terrific from the start.”ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard clenches his fist after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard said it may have been Portland’s best win of the season.Lillard had 44 points and eight assists, and the Trail Blazers overcame Kevin Durant’s 50 points to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 123-117 victory on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT
MANILA, Philippines—University of the East may have finished the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament on a sour note, but there were two players who made their mark for the season.ADVERTISEMENT Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Kath Arado and Lai Bendong distinguished themselves from the rest of the field as they took home the Best Libero and Setter trophies Wednesday.The Lady Warriors finished the season at the no.7 spot with a 3-11 record but the team’s overall performance did not diminish the duo’s worth, but it did create a little surprise for the both of them.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I was really surprised when I knew it at first but it’s amazing that I got this blessing,” said Arado in Filipino. “We expected that the winners would come from the Final Four teams and when we entered our final year all our focus was on the team and not on the individual awards.”Arado was the undisputed leader in her position, taking the top spots in both the Best Diggers and Best Receivers tables. UE’s defensive stalwart averaged 6.94 excellent digs per set and had an efficiency rating of 60.82 percent in reception.Arado’s closest competitor in terms of digging was Adamson University’s Tang Ponce who averaged 6.87 excellent digs per frame while National University’s Jennifer Nierva was the second in receptions with an efficiency rating of 50.62%.Bendong, on the other side of things, averaged 6.81 excellent sets per frame for the Lady Warriors with the Lady Eagles’ Deanna Wong coming in second with 6.29 excellent sets per frame.“Kath and I never thought of the individual awards because the team standings were more important for us but this is still a blessing for us,” said Bendong.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES The pair may not have lifted UE’s fortunes, which were dark throughout their whole five-year stay with accumulated 63 record, they were still happy to leave behind their reputation as two of best players this season.“We’re happy we’re going to leave UE that even though we weren’t able to improve our team standings we were able to give inspiration to the younger players that their big sisters worked hard for these awards,” said Bendong.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Bucks seeking 2-0 lead over Raptors in East finals Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess
Below are our actual show notes from Episode #1. They might not mean much to you, but maybe you can follow along, use the links, etc. It also helps search engines index the content more easily, since they can’t tell what we’re saying in the video. Introductions – Karen Rubin and Mike Volpe from HubSpot We’ve been experimenting with a new concept… “live TV” at http://HubSpot.tv. We all know that on the Internet, anyone can be a publisher with a blog, and it is easy to publish a video or audio podcast. Now, you can even stream live video from your computer or even cell phone. So we’re giving it a shot. Karen Rubin (HubSpot Inbound Marketing Consultant) will be joining me for a rundown of recent marketing news. And because this is web2.0, you can chat live with us and ask us questions, so you’re part of the show. If you want a sample, we recorded our first (alpha) show for your viewing pleasure. Check it out below, along with our show notes and links.Tune in today at 4:30pm EST at http://HubSpot.tv to our live broadcast and tell us what you think.Recorded HubSpot.TV – Episode #1 – August 8, 2008 Topics: Search Challenge Email as Most Popular Online Activity –http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/06/search-challenges-email-as-most-popular-daily-online-activity/ Olympic Marketing Tips from Colleen Coyne – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itFC-SkacFQ — http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/4261/8-Marketing-Tips-From-An-Olympic-Gold-Medalist.aspx Originally published Aug 14, 2008 2:30:00 PM, updated October 01 2019 Marketing News – McCain Campaign Ads go viral – “Obama Celebrity” ad gets 2m+ views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHXYsw_ZDXg – Newer “Obama = God” ad up to almost 1m views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mopkn0lPzM8 –Paris Hilton response to McCain ad… (as a promo for Funny or Die) –http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/64ad536a6d — BUT, is it having an effect? What is it saying, really? Is making fun of someone hurt them… or maybe help them? Sign off – What are you doing this weekend? Marketing Tip of the Week — Start a LinkedIn Group Forum Fodder — LinkedIn Groups – Are they great? Should you have one? How are we using them? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: I have a friend who works at a very big national publication and is a genius at making lists for the web. Her lists go viral and generate millions (I mean literally millions) of pageviews. She sees this as a curse. Because she wants to be a “real” journalist, meaning: someone who writes articles. But she’s so good at lists that her editor keeps her doing those instead.I’ve told my friend that she has been blessed with a gift, that she should forget writing boring articles and instead launch her own site doing nothing but lists. (For an example see Listverse, which is amazing and — I warn you — addictive.) My friend won’t listen. She insists on seeing her lists as second-class citizens of the media world.She’s not alone. Among some old-school journalists there exists a kind of snobbery about articles written in list form. They’re derisively called “listicles” (list + article) and are considered kind of cheesy, the stuff of workout magazines and mindless websites like Buzzfeed.Thing is, people love Buzzfeed. And people love lists. Consequently, lists drive traffic, which is why website editors demand them, which is why you see so many of them on the internet. That’s why this article is created in the form of a list. If I wrote it as an article, nobody would read it. But if I make it a list, there’s a chance it will get shared and Liked and linked and tweeted.That’s also why this post is loaded up with photos — because somewhere deep down in the dark recesses of your reptile brain, there is some kind of prehistoric trigger that gives you a squirt of dopamine every time you scroll down and find another shiny object. It isn’t magic. It’s psychology. For various reasons lists are almost impossible to resist. We asked a few shrinks to explain. Here’s why:1) Because lists overcome chaos.“As human beings we come into a world that seems chaotic, and we have a desire to make sense of things. When we create lists we are creating order out of chaos, and the structure helps to alleviate our anxiety,” says Doug Foresta, a licensed clinical social worker and clinician at Change Happens in Chicopee, Mass. (Note: That is not a photo of Doug Foresta.)2) Because hey, that’s how God does it.As Foresta points out, Moses didn’t come down from the mountain and say, “Here are a few things to think about.” Nope. He came down with 10 Commandments. For what it’s worth, Buzzfeed took that same example and a bunch of others and made a listicle called, “18 Totally Convincing Pieces Of Evidence That Jews Invented The Listicle.” I know what you’re thinking: But what if God doesn’t exist? Look, friend. This is a marketing blog. Let’s not get all philosophical, okay? Someone could get hurt.3) Because lists save precious brainpower.“We are all moving fast in our hyper-stimulated environments. We want facts delivered rapidly with information packaged in tiny, quick bites. This requires little from us. It takes away our need to slow down and think critically or analytically about things,” says Marcy De Veaux, a depth psychologist and assistant professor at California State University, Northridge. 4) Because lists create a sense of mastery.A list “organizes thoughts and offers an overall feeling of understanding and solidity regarding one complex topic,” says Jaroslava Toutonghi, a psychologist in Prague who also has an MBA. “If you just list one thing, it’s never as convincing as listing the 10 best, the 10 strongest, the 10 most successful. All of the 10 options will share one common theme, and that common theme will be interpreted as a direction, a thing to follow.” You may not be able to snatch the pebble from a blind man’s hand, but when it comes to skimming listicles about cute kittehs or ways to get better abs, you’re a fourth-degree black belt!5) Because we are afraid of death.Wait, what? Well, that’s what Umberto Eco told Der Spiegel, and he’s a famous author (The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum) and big-shot intellectual who once curated an exhibition at the Louvre — about lists. “How, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. … It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die,” Eco says. Each individual list may end, but there’s no end to the number of lists we can write.6) Because lists help us remember.It’s why you make a list when you go to the grocery store. Knowing how many can help you remember the actual items. Like this woman, who knows she has three kids, but can’t remember what the little one was called, or where she left him.7) Because let’s be honest — nobody reads anything anymore.As Farhad Manjoo pointed out in Slate recently, nearly 40% of readers bounce out of an article before they even read the first sentence. Most never get past the halfway mark. People don’t read — they scan. Hey, chances are you’re not even reading this; you just glanced at the boldfaced part and jumped to the next item.8) Because PowerPoint has turned us all into mindless corporate zombies.This is my own personal theory, and I’m no expert, but I think it holds water. We see so many PowerPoint presentations, in every context, that our brains (or what’s left of them) have been trained to consume information in bullet points. Why fight it? Give the zombies what they want.9) Because readers know a list has an end.A regular article is like a baseball game — in theory, it could go on forever. (And sometimes it does, if the article is in The New Yorker.) With a list, on the other hand, you know before you start how long the journey is going to be. And you know when you’re getting close to the end. Everybody loves that feeling of getting closer to a destination — the end of a long car trip, the end of a book.Oh, and look — now you’re nearly at the end of this article. Does your brain hurt from all that non-thinking? No, of course it doesn’t! Because it was a list!The Bottom LineIf you’re an inbound marketer and you’re trying to create content that draws customers toward your brand, think about putting things in list form whenever possible. Pro Tip #1: McKinsey & Co. and other consulting firms believe that you’re better off using an odd number of items rather than an even number, according to author Duff McDonald, whose history of McKinsey, The Firm, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September.Pro Tip #2: Check out this article from the HubSpot blog for tips on how to make a really compelling listicle. Why do you find lists so compelling?Image credit: dierk schaefer Productivity Originally published Jun 12, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Jun 25, 2013 7:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Anyone been to Google today? It’s paying homage to architect Antoni Gaudi, who is most famous for designing the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona (and may or may not be the origin behind the word “gaudy,” according to some in my friend circle). If you haven’t Googled yet today, the image is to the right — now you’ll understand why it was hailed by Mashable as “barely recognizable.”Anyway, there are more important things going on today than goodles (Google Doodles … think we can make it stick?). There are super moon snapshots galore. Apparently Saturn’s going to be making an appearance soon. Obama’s singing Daft Punk. There’s just a ton of big things going on, you guys. Here are the biggest news stories from the world of marketing.Instagram Is Totes Cramping Vine’s StyleCharlie Warzel over at BuzzFeed is postulating that Instagram’s new video feature, which is integrated with Facebook (obviously), is kicking Vine’s butt because Vine showed up first. Wait … what? Well, the idea is that Instagram sat back and watched Vine, learning from their mistakes.”Looking back, old App Store reviews now read like an instruction manual for the Instagram team, with the most negative reviews calling for nearly all of Instagram’s new features, like filters, better privacy settings, longer clip lengths, and the ability to upload previously recorded videos,” Warzel reports.I buy it … though the Topsy data showing Instagram link shares surpassing Vine link shares doesn’t convince me this is a permanent trend. I think it might just be people getting excited about this shiny new toy. We’ll see, though. Personally, I will continue to use neither, and let the more creative people out there rock it.Watch a Shark Eat a Cute SealOh … oh my … NO! Discovery Channel put out a commercial to promote 2013’s Shark Week, also known as the best week of television and the week I’ll be conveniently “working from home.” But then there’s also an adorable baby seal in the ad, and … well, yeah, just watch.It’s obviously meant to be funny (and it totally is), but I’m sure there are some seriously shocked seal fans watching out there. Either way, kudos to a job well done on your advertisement, Discovery Channel. As our regular readers know, I’m a big fan of well-executed ads, and Discovery Channel is one of the few that delivers A+ content on a consistent basis.QUICK! What’s Your Phone Number?Doctors in South Korea have identified a huge uptick in something called “digital dementia.” It’s prevalent among so-called internet addicts, and in short, describes the inability for people who are extremely digitally connected to recall basic details because of the ease with which they can typically access information. A few years ago, I was most worried about carpal tunnel as a side effect of my office work, but as an inbound marketer I can’t pretend this affliction hasn’t crossed my mind, too. What do you think marketers — do you forget details more easily than you used to because of your constant internet use?Elizabethan Facebooking, Tudor TweetingSounds like my kind of social networking. The New York Times published a piece around the ongoing debate about the impact of social networking on our society. Are we getting dumber? Are our attention spans dwindling? Are we killing the economy? Yes! Unequivocally! Death to all the social networks!Well, the piece puts this debate into perspective by going back to the 1600s, in which similar fears arose around the social network of that day — the coffee house. It’s a fascinating read, especially if you’re a history buff. Check it out.On Viable Career Opportunities and Tank Top WearingWe hear a lot of hoopla about millennials struggling to find jobs. But luckily, The Onion has helped shed some light on popular summer jobs so you know where to look to make some cash.Alternately, you could apply to a real job, like the one we just published today for an Associate Editor. Only it’s not a summer job … it’s like, full time. For real. Like, you can work here for a long time. That kind of thing. Oh, and to clarify, it’s not only open to millennials. So if you found a typo in this blog post and you’re itching to comment about it, perhaps check out the job posting instead? #productiveoutletsWhat other amazing stories did we miss today? Keep us all in the loop! Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
PPC Originally published Aug 19, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: In PPC, there are lots of metrics to track, so it can quickly get confusing and then overwhelming. Marketers often ask me, “What’s the one metric I should optimize for? I just want to know the top one or two levers I can pull to make a difference!”In my experience, looking at thousands of Google AdWords accounts and billions in combined spend, there are two metrics that correlate most strongly with success:Account Activity: You get out what you put in. This isn’t too shocking; advertisers who do more work on their accounts get better results.Quality Score: Higher Quality Scores generally lead to lower costs, so optimizing for Quality Score is essentially the same as optimizing for ROI.Why You Should Spend Time Optimizing for Quality Score Since Quality Score is really a measure of relevance, it’s a powerful predictor of your success. And it makes total sense — Google’s main goal is to keep users happy so they keep using Google, and keep clicking results. More relevant ads, campaigns, and landing pages get more clicks; that raises your Quality Scores and — since Quality Score determines both your ad ranking and what you pay per click — everybody wins.So once you’ve committed to spending more time in your account, what should you spend your time on? I recommend that you focus on optimizing your Quality Scores, which is the metric most likely to lead to higher rankings, more clicks and leads, and lower costs for those actions.How much lower? Let’s take a look.New Data Shows AdWords Quality Score Can Save You Up to 50% on PPCIn 2009, Craig Danuloff crunched some numbers to show that a Quality Score of 10 could save you 30% on cost per click, or CPC. (Sadly, I can’t link to the post because the Click Equations blog now redirects to Acquisio.) But that was over four years ago, and I was curious to see if the data had changed.To investigate, I did a manual analysis of several hundred new clients that WordStream signed up in the first two months of 2013. What I found is that average impression-weighted Quality Scores have fallen in the past four years. In 2009, a Quality Score of 7 (out of 10) was average. But today’s impression-weighted average Quality Score is just slightly over 5. The distribution looks like this: Therefore, accounts (or campaigns or ad groups) with average volume-weighted keyword Quality Scores better than 5 can be considered better than average, and are thereby benefiting relative to most advertisers. Accounts with average Quality Scores lower than 5 are below average, and those scores are detrimental to your account. I used this data to re-run the calculations and see how much a Quality Score higher than 5 saves you on CPC compared to the average advertiser. Here’s what I found: As you can see from the chart, the savings have increased. Some highlights: A Quality Score of 6 is 200% more valuable than it was four years ago! A Quality Score of 6 was previously below average, and increased your CPC by 16.7%. Now, a Quality Score of 6 decreases your CPC by 16.7%. A Quality Score of 9 is twice as valuable as it was in 2009, saving you 44.4% compared to 22.2%. A Quality Score of 10 now saves you a full 50% on CPC. That means if all your keywords had Quality Scores of 10, you’d only be paying half as much as the average advertiser. Pretty crazy, right? And if you’re thinking, “So what? I don’t care about cost per click, all I really care about is cost per acquisition” — fear not. Quality Score lowers your CPA, too. I did a similar analysis based on CPA and found that high Quality Scores also correlate with lower CPAs:With a Quality Score of 10, you’ll pay 80% less per conversion than an advertiser with an average Quality Score of 5. These savings are mostly driven by lower costs per click. This is why optimizing for Quality Score is such a good use of your time.Benchmarking AdWords Quality Score: What Should You Shoot For? As I mentioned above, average Quality Scores these days hover around a 5. So anything higher than 5 is going to benefit you, relative to the average AdWords advertiser. That means you should shoot for a bare minimum impression-weighted average Quality Score of 6. However, it’s important to note that higher scores save you more. If you want the full 50% savings, you need the gold standard Quality Score of 10.The fastest way to find out your impression-weighted average Quality Score in AdWords is to grade your account using the free AdWords Performance Grader. This tool will do an instant audit of your PPC account across 8 different key performance metrics, including impression-weighted Quality Score. Your report will calculate and display your average Quality Score and plot a distribution of the number of impressions happening at each visible Quality Score for the last 90 days, and compare that to a “Recommended Curve” for your business. Here’s an example of what the Quality Score section of the report looks like:If you don’t like what you see (the example account above is well below average), it’s time to start working on improving your scores. Here are three tactics to try: Use ad extensions. AdWords ad extensions, such as sitelinks, make your ads bigger with more places to click, so they increase CTR at no extra cost.Write better ad text. Test different messaging to find the ad text that speaks to your audience. And use your one allotted exclamation point! Bid on brand terms. Branded keywords tend to have really high clickthrough and conversion rates, so they bring up the average for your whole account. This is a guest post written by Larry Kim. Larry is the founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.Image credit: Philip Taylor PT
Originally published Sep 5, 2013 6:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 SEO and Content Marketing Topics: Every 24 hours, 2 million unique blog posts are published. In light of this statistic, the quest to claim the #1 spot on Google’s search results for key terms in your industry suddenly seems harder than ever, doesn’t it?Google’s search algorithm uses myriad different factors, known as “signals,” to determine quality of content. The factors and their relative weights are all a closely-guarded secret, but you’ll be pleased to know that content creators aren’t completely left out in the cold. It’s critical to not just acknowledge Google’s quality guidelines, but to also make them an integral part of how you approach the production of web content. What Are the Quality Guidelines? Matt Cutts and the rest of the web-spam team offer webmaster guidelines, with a stated intention to “help Google find, index, and rank your site.” The site covers technical and user experience tips before delving into content quality, with a clear caveat that the guidelines aren’t intended to be comprehensive. It’s definitely in your brand’s best interest to avoid using deceptive principles just because they’re not illustrated on the list, and uphold “the spirit of the basic principles.” There’s no substitute for reading the guidelines, but the points consist primarily of the following: Create blog content, landing pages, and site pages for people, not search rankings. Don’t try to trick anyone, and don’t use any tactics you wouldn’t feel comfortable explaining to Cutts himself. Invest significant time and resources into differentiating within your niche, and providing value. Google also contracts with third-party organizations to utilize human quality raters, who use a prescribed method to describe the quality of search results. This feedback doesn’t measure the quality of content or affect results, but instead is used to determine how accurately their algorithm is indexing results by quality. Google has various categories into which content is separated, too, that help determine which articles pass the quality guidelines and which do not. Vital content is stuff that would come directly from a particular company’s site about their products or services. Useful content might answer questions the company website does not, provide reviews about the products or services, or perhaps suggestions for use. Relevant content might include an overview, expand on previous content, or perhaps answer less in-depth questions. Slightly Relevant would, as you may have guessed, provide information that only marginally relates to the topic at hand. Off-Topic, obviously, is content that has nothing to do with the search at all. These third-party organizations manually fight spam under these categories, while also seeking out dirty tactics, including cloaking and redirects, unnatural linking to and from websites, hacked sites, automatically generated content, user-generated spam, hidden text and keyword stuffing, and content with little to no value. Following several leaks of the guidelines given to search raters, an annotated version of the document has been made public. While the 43-page document is pretty much the opposite of light reading, and there’s plenty of information that’s not particularly relevant to inbound marketers, there are some outstanding insights on the definition of spam that are well worth incorporating into your research. What Quality Means for Your Content Strategy In a recent interview with Eric Enge of Stone Temple, Cutts encouraged marketers to “raise the quality threshold of content,” especially when it comes to accepting blog posts from guests. To be clear, originality and quality are definitely intertwined in the eyes of Google. The search ranking guidelines include a look toward expertise and authority, and you certainly aren’t giving the impression that you know what you’re talking about, or are willing to do the legwork on research, if you’re just regurgitating basics. Writing something that’s already been covered by your competitors won’t do you much good unless you add value to the topic. Taking your competitors content and making just a few minor tweaks could even do you some harm. Does continual effort to differentiate in search of quality mean you should exclusively focus on newsjacking, or pick a very narrow focus and stick with it permanently? No, but it adds weight to the concept that content reflects your company’s voice. Your CEO should put significant energy into building a company that adds value to your market, and your content should do the same thing. Quality means delving deeper into topics that fit your company’s focus, and that doesn’t necessarily require choosing a narrow vertical. You can keep your focus broad, but delve deeper into mapping your content toward buyer personas. You can develop a trademark irreverent tone that’s not currently being used by anyone in your market. However you choose to present your content, the most important thing to remember is that it must provide some value. Seek out other articles on your company’s subject and determine the ground that has already been covered. You may want to summarize those points, but the real meat of your work should be wholly your own. Dig more deeply, provide a new angle, make unusual comparisons, and offer your own voice, your own knowledge, and your own interpretation. How you share your quality content is up to you, but it must be something different enough to provide value in a way that no one else is.What Quality Means for Your SEO StrategyCloaking. Hidden text. Keyword-stuffing. Deceptive page titles.These are all practices explicitly forbidden by Google, but they’re not the only ways to suffer poor SEO. In the words of Enge, “just because Google doesn’t currently enforce something, doesn’t mean they condone it.” Will your search rankings suffer if you’re occasionally using long tail keywords in a slightly unnatural way? Perhaps, and if they don’t, they could suffer in the future.However, I couldn’t help but get stuck on one component of their quality guidelines, which recommend you ask yourself “would you do this if search engines didn’t exist?”Would content marketing in the digital space even exist without search engines? While some search experts have theorized that the internet could become so saturated with content one day that solutions like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are rendered useless, that day’s pretty far into the future — if it ever comes. In the meantime, we’ll stick to the best practice of writing content for our buyer personas, creating helpful content that gets resurfaced and referenced time and time again, and optimizing for user experience.Are These Quality Guidelines Enough? Do Google’s quality guidelines contain all the knowledge you need to stay out of hot water, and create content people love? Probably not, but that’s okay. In fact, it’s probably by design — because the intent is clear: Google doesn’t hate content creators or SEO, they just probably won’t reward anyone who isn’t willing to put the legwork into building an authoritative website over time. There are no shortcuts. Bill Faeth is Founder and CEO of Inbound Marketing Agents (IMA), a gold HubSpot partner in Nashville, TN. Check out IMA’s latest ebook, The Science of Enterprise Lead Generation.Image credit: Robert Scoble Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack