Category Archives: Paid Search

Facebook: The New Display & Search Channel

60% of consumers that leave an advertiser’s site are exposed to a retargeted ad on Facebook in the first hour.

If you aren’t thinking about advertising on the Facebook Exchange you are missing an insane targeting opportunity. Check out this article on the topic: Facebook: The New Display & Search Channel

SageRock Free Friday Training Show

friday internet marketing
We just wanted to let you know that the SageRock Free Friday Internet marketing show is happening this afternoon! Sure, we haven’t actually decided upon a name yet, but who cares?

We’ve recently realized that many of the visitors to our site don’t know this is actually a thing and are therefore missing out on a wealth of online marketing knowledge that we give away weekly- for Free!

So, what is this all about?

In short, every Friday afternoon at 3:15pm EST, Sage and Greg from SageRock present an hour long online marketing show. It’s irreverent. It’s occasionally funny. Greg curses too much. This isn’t your average show.

Tuning in to the show is as easy as watching a YouTube video and we’ll guarantee that it will be worth your time.. or your money back! If you can’t figure out how to watch a YouTube video, our Free training seminars are probably too advanced for you so don’t bother ;-)

If you have an online presence.. If your company wants to learn how to increase their profits.. If you want to learn what’s new with Google, Yahoo, and Bing.. or if maybe you’re just looking for some random bit of entertainment while you waste away the tail end of your work week – Congrats! This is for you!!

Tune in live and for FREE around 3:15pm EST every Friday at:

If you can’t make it this week (Boo! You suck! (Just kidding) We want to see you!!) but want to be reminded of future shows, sign up for those reminders here:

Facebook Personal Promoted Posts – Are They Worth It?

As a brand with a fan page on Facebook, you’re constantly competing with personal updates for News Feed presence. The offer of Promoted Posts for your brand offers you an advantage that you will quickly feel if you want to expand the reach that your brand posts have. In October, Facebook began offering personal users the option of promoting their own posts for $7 a piece. But the question remains.. is it worth it?

On the day that Facebook announced this feature, I tried it out. Here is my initial reaction [maybe NSFW]:

I should probably just stop this post here and let you figure the rest out on your own, but I won’t. Instead, here is how I arrived at the above conclusion:

1) Find a suitable and relevant image and post it on my wall. I chose.. Romney vs Anchorman

[view my original Facebook Post here]

This was during the 2nd Presidential Debate in 2012 and knowing that a large portion of my friends on FB were Democrats, it seemed like a funny and logical choice for a post.

2) Being very familiar with how fan page posts work, I decided to promote this for $7. (The current price for personal users on Facebook)

On viewing your newly posted Status Update, look near the bottom of your post and you will see the option to promote your post:

promote personal acebook post

3) The Billing Process

As soon as you click promote you are taken to a checkout screen that asks for your billing information. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here beyond what they show you at the end:

Facebook Promote an Important Post

facebook post promoted

Everything looks good so far, right? Just wait…

Facebook Promoted Post Credits

Facebook credits? What is this? For many people that play Zynga games (like Farmville) or other things that might charge on Facebook, perhaps this is a common screen. For me, however, I was like.. WTF is a Facebook credit?

Apparently my $7 had bought 70 Credits. So, every 10 credits is a dollar? Apparently that’s not the case and FB credits are actually a currency that fluctuates in value. You can read more about this here:

4) Aside from the value of Facebook credits, I was totally lost here. I figured that since I had essentially purchased an Ad on Facebook that this would show in my Facebook Ads Manager:

FB Ads Manager

But there was nothing there! NOTHING! NADA!

Instead, the only info you’ll find is in your billing information or in viewing how your post is actually doing now that you’ve promoted it.

5) So how did my post do after promotion? Was that $7 well spent?

Facebook Personal Promoted Post

Do you see that?

My post was shown 8.4x more times because it was promoted! Wait.. what?

“Promoted posts stay higher in news feed to help people notice them. So far, your post has had 8.4x as many views because you promoted it.”

As an advertiser, there are a ton of red flags that go off when looking at a results like this. Almost 10x more views seems good at first, but compared to what? How many people actually saw this post? How many would have seen it if I hadn’t promoted it? How engaged were these viewers? How many shares, comments, likes, etc. were directly related to the money that I spent? How long was it promoted for?

Well.. those answers are totally hidden. There is no room here for you to look at the dollar amount spent and how it helped you. Nothing. Seriously. Statistics are useless unless they are presented in a comparative manner and Facebook flat out refuses to give you this information.

The end result of a promoted, personal Facebook post is no better at all than any personal post that hasn’t put $7 in Facebook’s pocket. Would we recommend this for personal users? What do you think?

SpyFu – Deviously Fun!

SpyFu is my favorite of all tools:

SpyFu Keyword Spy Tool for Keyword Research | SEO Software & AdWords Tools

I like it because it’s deviously fun. Oh yeah. And it’s really helpful.

The gist of it is that you can type in a domain or key phrase and learn really cool things about that key phrase or domain.

So you can learn what key phrases that domain name is bidding on. You can learn what organic phrases they are ranking for.

Then you can compare 3 domains to see how each of them does organically and in paid search.

All of these reports are exportable. So you can take the phrases each of these companies are bidding on or ranking for and use them in your own campaigns.

You can also see what ads they are using and the history of the ads. So you can see what ads these companies are trying.

SpyFu is a fantastic tool for spying on your competitors and then using that data in your own campaigns.

So I decided to do an in-depth video on SpyFu this past Friday.

You can see that here:


I do a free show every Friday at 3:15 ET. We look at tools and the latest happenings in the Web marketing world.

You can register for free for that show, if you’d like here:

Friday Internet Marketing with Sage – FREE ONLINE CLASS!

Getting my head around Paid Search for today’s SageRock System Session

Today starts the Paid Search In-Depth Series in the SageRock System.

This is a multi-session series covering all the fundamentals of setting up paid search campaigns in the primary search platforms.

We will be studying:

  • Google AdWords
  • Google AdWords for video
  • Microsoft adCenter
  • Facebook Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads

There are more ways than ever to effectively advertise your business online. There are also more ways than ever to over spend and get taken advantage of.

We will be looking at items such as:

  • Tracking – How to determine value and success.
  • Campaign setup – How to organize items for maximum effectiveness and profitability.
  • Maintenance – How to maintain and grow your accounts.
  • Growth – How to determine when and if to expand your campaigns and try other venues.

I’ve never been the paid search person at SageRock.

When it was just me and Rocky, Rocky ran paid search (awesomely, may I say).

Then we’ve had some really top-notch people running paid search for us over the years.

Greg is flat out awesome at paid search.

Our lead paid search person is Alison Krejny. She has a lot of experience working in some very advanced paid search environments.

The link to Alison above is a video she did with me. In it, she says she is “a numbers nerd.”

She loves numbers.

As I look at the people who are really good at paid search, the recurring trait I see in the people is that they are detail people.

People that like working with details tend to do very well in paid search.

For what it’s worth, I believe people can become detail people. I don’t believe it’s something you are born with. I’ve been a detail person in other points in my life.

But I am most certainly not a detail person now. You can ask anyone in my life and I’m pretty sure they will agree.

So, I am not the person usually entrusted with paid search here at SageRock.

They usually relegate me to my own pet paid search projects.

That said, I had a time period where I was on the paid search panels at Search Engine Strategies conferences. So, paid search is definitely not foreign to me. I just feel more at home in link building and social.

Because of that I’m anticipating co-teaching this series with Greg. I probably will take the general lead on the sessions. But he will make sure I’m not saying anything crazy. And he’ll make sure I haven’t left anything out.

I’ve expanded the subjects in teaching it this time around. I typically only talk about AdWords and AdCenter (which is now Bing Ads).

But I don’t have an upcoming topic to cover Facebook ads or LinkedIn Ads. So I want to cover those too.

So as I get this all straight in my head, the overarching points I want to make are:

  • Understand quality score and how it effects your cost.
  • Understand match types so you know what phrases you are actually paying for.
  • Understand negative keywords to refine your targeting.
  • Understand the various networks that your ads could appear.
  • Understand how to organize your campaigns so you have the most control while not making things too difficult to manage.
  • Understand how to determine if your campaigns are effective.

Those are the items that initially come to me. I’m sure there will be more.

For what it’s worth, this is one of a long series we’re doing at the SageRock System.

I just finished up Google Analytics.

I’m doing paid search now.

And upcoming series include:

  • Landing page optimization
  • Organic (on the page) SEO
  • Link Building
  • Webmaster Tools (Google & Bing)
  • Email
  • Display (Facebook, AdWords and Ad Networks)
  • Retargeting (site and search retargeting)

The SageRock System includes many things. But not the least of which are these sessions. All of them are recorded and archived so you can follow up on missed sessions.

You can learn more about the SageRock System here.