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November 2011 archive

Content Is No Longer King…Long Live the Keyword!

Content The Keyword is King

Back in 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay about his vision for the future of the internet. His position was that content was going to be where real money was made on the internet. I won’t go into the details of his essay, but at the time it was a groundbreaking stance.

It took quite some time, but marketers came to adopt the credo, “Content is King.” We (marketers, I include myself) realized that to be successful on the internet you must have high-quality, free content that draws people. This content must be easily accessed, downloaded, shared…and it must position you as a credible source or a thought leader. This content is the icebreaker that builds rapport and trust with your customer, and then opens the opportunity for a relationship or a purchase. Consistently providing this high-quality free content has been our challenge, and the reason some companies fail and others succeed.

But 15 years later, I think it is time for us to re-envision our approach to marketing on the internet. Content used to be king. It is extremely valuable, and is the cornerstone of that customer relationship, but with the droves of people now constantly connected to the internet on their computers, phones, iPads, whatever…the amount of noise on the internet is now deafening.

In Two Days We Create as Much Information as We Did From the Dawn of Man Up Until 2003

In August 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stated that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. Imagine that for a second. From a marketing perspective, your campaign, your blog post, your tweet competes with the same amount of information as was produced from the dawn of man through 2003 in just 2 days. Talk about a competitive landscape. You really have to have some groundbreaking or incredible info to really make a mark.

But that is looking at things in aggregate. Today’s internet usage sees several hundred million Google searches performed each day, and 770 billion Facebook page views each day, so it’s  imperative that we target our audience and target specific messages to these people.

The Keyword is the New King!

With people producing around five exabytes of data every two days, we can no longer put out a great piece of content and expect to see a flood of traffic to our site that leads to sales/leads/revenue. We can not simply click the publish button and expect for it to be seen. There is just too much content produced and too much noise to compete with. We have to make sure we are found.

It is the keyword that helps us fight through this avalanche of content. Everything we do as marketers should ultimately start at the keyword level. Whether you are writing copy, producing a video, sending a tweet, optimizing your website for search, or targeting a pay-per-click campaign, the keyword is the foundation.

Everything Begins With a Search & Every Search Starts With Desire

Almost every action on the internet begins with a search. You start off with a search engine query, filter the results (both organic and paid), and then take action from there. That initial search results from some desire. You need directions to the closest sushi place or maybe you want to know Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. But no matter how superficial or meaningful your desire, that search query is made up of keywords. They have become the fundamental element of all of our marketing channels. When we think of our customer’s pain-point, we are in fact looking at keywords. We think about what they would search or what words would will get their attention in a headline or 140 character message.

When you boil everything down, it all comes back to the keyword. Even the best content runs the risk of not being seen. It is the keyword that will become king with content in a supporting role. Good content will keep people on the page, and hopefully coming back for more, but in the end it was the keyword that got them to that page and to your site. If you can’t be found, then your work (your content) will go unnoticed.

How to Export Your Campaigns from Google AdWords to Bing Ads

Over the past year, I have begun to notice a significant increase in traffic coming to our websites from Bing and Yahoo.  Although I am personally not a fan of either search engine, it is obvious that there is an increasing number of those who are.  Below are some charts pulled from Google Analytics showing the dramatic increase in Bing and Yahoo search traffic to our website.

The chart above shows over a 212% increase in Bing search traffic from last year to this year.

The chart above shows over a 114% increase in Yahoo search traffic from last year to this year.

I have been dabbling with Bing Ads for the past year, running a few paid ads on Bing and Yahoo, but this data shows that I would be missing significant opportunities if I continued to virtually ignore this demographic.  After realizing Bing Ads were going to be a necessary evil, I begrudgingly transferred several of my campaigns and a percentage of my PPC budget over to Bing Ads.

Being Google AdWords certified, and spending a good bit of my time in AdWords, I am extremely comfortable working in the AdWords interface as well as in AdWords Editor. So naturally, I drug my feet a bit when it came to learning Bing Ads and transferring content back and forth between the two. Google does a great job of providing a plethora of resources on using AdWords including the Learning Center, their YouTube channel and more, but there just isn’t the same amount of information out there for Bing Ads just yet.  I’m going to make your life a little easier, and give you step-by-step instructions on the easiest way to transfer campaigns from AdWords to Bing Ads and the tools you’ll need to do so.

If you aren’t already using them, you’ll need to download the latest versions of Google AdWords Editor (the current version is 9.7.1) and Microsoft adCenter Desktop (the current version is 8.1). The most recent update to adCenter Desktop has made the tool much more user friendly and easy to learn. They are both free downloads which can be found at the following links:

Google AdWords Editor
Microsoft adCenter Desktop

If you’re launching AdWords Editor for the first time, all you have to do is log in with your AdWords Username and Password and it will automatically download all your campaigns, settings and associated data.

To export a campaign from AdWords Editor to adCenter Desktop follow the instructions below.

    1. In Editor: File > Export Spreadsheet (CSV) > Export Selected Campaigns and AdGroups…

      If you don’t have a ton of inactive campaigns, and want to transfer all your AdWords Campaigns into Microsoft adCenter, choose “Export Whole Account…” However, our company has been using AdWords since 2006 and there is no reason for me to transfer the hundreds of old and inactive campaigns to adCenter, so I prefer to individually select which campaigns and AdGroups to export.  You might also want to test a few select campaigns before transferring all your active campaigns to adCenter.


    1. Toggle the Campaigns and adGroups you would like to transfer to adCenter and select OK.

      You’ll then receive a dialogue box asking where you would like to save the spreadsheet. Choose an easy to find and memorable location, save it, and you’re ready to move onto adCenter.


  1. Open Microsoft adCenter Desktop and on the Home tab select Import  > Import from Google

    When the Import Wizard opens, toggle “Import from a file”, choose browse, find where you saved the spreadsheet you exported from AdWords Editor select Open, and then in the Import Wizard select Next.
  2. You’ll then be taken to a dialogue box in the Import Wizard that allows you to map each column in your spreadsheet to the appropriate label in adCenter. It does a pretty good job of matching the correct labels, but you’ll want to double check everything is mapped correctly. Once you’re finished checking all your columns, select Next.

    After the Import is complete, close the dialogue box and you’re up and running.

Now you’re ready to start advertising on Bing and Yahoo. Although Bing Ads has not been my favorite advertising tool by any means, they’ve made some great improvements lately to the usability and ease of both the interface and the Desktop Editor, so you should be a pro in no time. Good luck!

ASPE Awarded MOBIS GSA Schedule

ASPE is proud to announce our switch from the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 70 Contract to the GSA Mission Oriented Business and Integrated Services (MOBIS) schedule.  With this contract, federal customers can now directly purchase training from ASPE.

Most of ASPE’s training services can now be found under our MOBIS schedule. The MOBIS Schedule 874 contract is the second-most popular GSA schedule. It is preferred for federal agencies to procure management and consulting services to better performance and meet government mandated objectives in a timely manner.

All of our course web pages have the GSA MOBIS pricings listed. If you are interested in taking advantage of ASPE’s GSA MOBIS pricing or are interested in learning more information, visit our federal training services page or call us at 877-800-5221.

If you’re not sure whether or not you qualify, visit the GSA Schedule FAQ from Federal Schedules, Inc.

GSA MOBIS Schedule: # GS-02F-0016Y
TIN Number: 68-0517025
D-U-N-S Number: 12-672-0759
CAGE Code: 4DRS7

Web Seminar Recap: Google Analytics: Track Everything with Parameter Tracking

Google Analytics is a fantastic tool, but we all drive traffic to our sites with marketing channels beyond just search engines and pay-per-click ads. More of your traffic than you realize is driven by things like trade shows, your sales team, direct mail, banner ads, TV, and maybe even radio. Unfortunately, you probably have very little data about the performance and success of those sources outside of what a third party vendor might provide to you. That’s where parameter tracking comes in to save the day.

On Wednesday, November 2nd, ASPE Director of Marketing JT Moore presented the free web seminar “Google Analytics: Track Everything with Parameter Tracking.” In this web seminar, JT discussed how to create links with parameter tracking the easy way and track website traffic driven by your sales team, website traffic from trade shows, banner ads and links on third party sites, website traffic driven by direct mail, and traffic driven by TV and radio.

Listen to the recording of this web seminar in its entirety by clicking View Event Recordings (at the top right).

Do you have more questions for JT? Leave your comments or tweet us! Follow @ASPE_ROI on Twitter and use hashtag #ASPEEVENTS.

Congratulations to the Final Free Gas Winner of 2011!

Final Free Gas Winner Has Been Chosesn

With all the events here at ASPE, one of the most exciting has been that over the past six months ASPE has been giving away Free Gas for an entire year! Along with the release of our June catalog, we announced the Free Gas sweepstakes. In the months of September, October and November, three lucky winners were going to be chosen to receive a gas card worth $2,000. It’s impossible to imaging all the possibilities if you didn’t have to purchase gas for your vehicle for an entire year.  You could go on a family vacation, buy that gadget you’ve been wanting for so long, or even pay off your car. With the ever increasing price of gasoline, the possiblities are endless!

In September Ann Elder of Portland, Oregon was chosen as our first winner. Ann was so surprised, she said she wouldn’t believe she actually won until she had the gas card in her hands.  Then in October Joy Toney of Memphis, TN was announed as our second winner. Joy was so excited, she found herself at a loss for words. And here we are, already in November, meaning it’s time to pick the final Free Gas winner of 2011.

Congratulations to Michelle Mayhew of Kansas City!

Michelle wasn’t able exclaim her excitement quite so boisterously. She was surrounded by her co-workers quietly working away, but she “shouted” in a whisper how awesome the prize was and how she couldn’t wait to use her gas card for the first time.

If you weren’t so lucky to win Free Gas for a year, or didn’t find out about it until it was too late, don’t fret just yet.  We promise we have something equally as awesome hidden up our sleeve for 2012. Stay tuned –  it won’t be long before you’ll get your chance to win!