Catherine "Cat" Seda

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Find Your Tail Terms

In my April Internet marketing e-zine, I answered two questions from my readers (the first Q&A was "Is Someone Stealing Your Web Articles?"). Here's the second one:


Hi Catherine. Your Entrepreneur magazine article “Not So Fast: Don't just throw more money at pay-per-click--make it work for you,” was interesting. I am trying to make a mark in a niche market for educators. I have hooked up with Google AdWords in the hope I could make more contacts, but their methods of limiting common keywords at an unreasonable cost seems counter productive. Can you clarify what you mean by "tail terms" in your article? Thanks for your assistance.

~ Al Baggetta, Baggetta_Ware English Teacher Software and Testing Resources


Thanks for your question, Al. “Tail terms” are low-cost, low-volume keywords that are highly targeted for your business. In search marketing, these are gold.

See, bidding on single words (or even broad phrases) could quickly blow your budget on pay-per-click (PPC). For example, if you sell car insurance, DON’T bid on “insurance.” With the competition these days, even “car insurance” may be too broad and cost too much (generally speaking, more competitors mean higher bids). Instead, dig deep to find a targeted tail term like “florida car insurance quote.” Now that’s targeted! True, not as many people will search for that keyword, but the ones who do are definitely your ideal clients. That’s why tail terms are very, very profitable.

Tail terms are valuable in search engine optimization (SEO) too. It’s much easier to get ranked for them. Let’s see…there are currently 405,000,000 results in Google for “insurance.” You want a “Top 10” ranking? Good luck! Here’s an easier way…there are only 1,650,000 results in Google for “florida car insurance quote.” Ah…much better! (I know 1.6 million seems impossible but really, that’s not so bad.) So, optimize your web site for tail terms and you’ll catapult to the top of the organic search results a whole lot easier and faster.

Here's my “Not So Fast” article Al is referring to.

Got an Internet marketing question for me? Send your name, URL and question to my assistant (at info[at] Your question and business may be featured next!

To Your Online Success!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Tips

These days, it’s easy to waste money on PPC, if you're not careful. Here are 5 profit-protecting tips I shared in my May “Net Sales” column for Entrepreneur magazine.

Not So Fast . . .
Don't just throw more money at pay-per-click--make it work for you.

Let's face it: The costs of pay-per-click advertising on search engines continue to climb. These days, your competitors can include fellow entrepreneurs, large corporations, shopping sites, affiliates and ad publishers. With so many competitors, is pay-per-click worth it anymore? Yes--but you need a smarter search strategy. Here are five ways to reduce your costs while reaching new customers.

Diversify. Google AdWords isn't the only PPC player in town. Try Yahoo! Sponsored Search and Microsoft Live Search. Also test PPC on directories like and, as well as shopping sites like These sites might not deliver as many clicks as Google, but competitive keywords can cost a lot less per click.

2. Go local. To cut PPC costs on popular search engines, target a local audience. First, bid on regional keywords. For instance, bid on "scrapbook store Chicago" instead of "scrapbook store." You can also use the search engines' geotargeting features to display your ads only to people who are located in specific cities, states or regions.

3. Find tail terms. Forget bidding on single words or broad phrases. Unless you're interested in branding benefits, these keywords usually aren't profitable. Bid on your "tail terms," which are low-cost, low-volume, supertargeted phrases.

4. Write prequalifying ads. Although this seems counterintuitive, it works. For example, you could use "CEOs" or "consultants" in your ad copy to qualify people before they click. You'll pay for less traffic while connecting with your ideal customers.

5. Optimize your landing pages. Get more of your current clicks to convert into customers. Test new copy and design elements on the web pages people land on after clicking your ads. Small changes can create big results.

You can't just throw more money at pay-per-click and hope it will bring you more business. Instead, try thinking "less traffic" to identify ways to cut PPC costs while reaching a highly targeted audience of shoppers online.

© Entrepreneur

Is Someone Stealing Your Web Articles?

Are you writing articles and submitting them to web sites and blogs? If not, you should. This is a free way for you to share helpful information. Plus, by getting a link from your article to your web site, shoppers and search engine spiders will be directed to your business.

Oftentimes, one article you write can appear dozens of times on the web—without any work on your part! That’s because some site and blog owners will take your content to build up their own. In some cases, this is harmless publicity. In other cases, you need to protect your content from being misused to promote someone else’s business. Here's this month's Q&A from my e-zine which you can sign up for at


Article marketing is one component of my marketing mix, and I try to keep a close eye on where my articles are picked up. Recently, I happened upon an Internet site that has me listed as a contributing author and features a photograph that isn’t me. They also have it set up to appear that visitors can e-mail me directly through this site, which is not the case. I'm wondering if there are any Internet regulations and guidelines that regulate this kind of activity?

~ Lisa Manyon,


Hey Lisa, I checked out that site. (I won’t share the URL because of what I’m about to say…)

Yup, it seems they’re harvesting content from the web. Several site and blog owners do this. Instead of creating unique content, they scrape the web taking what’s already out there. That’s because a content-rich site can get top search engine rankings, which of course, drives people to that site filled with articles…and ads! You could consider this free publicity. However—

Obviously, the fact that it’s not your photo is a problem. Also, I noticed the other “authors” have articles published on that site; you only got a bio. You *could* e-mail your photo and an article.

But wait…

It bothers me, too, that the links don’t go to you. That site is using your name to trick visitors into e-mailing them, or linking to another page in their site. Not cool. Plus, when I clicked one of their ads, I went to an advertising site and couldn’t go back using the “Back” button. Gross. In this case, you may want to consider these options:

E-mail the site owner, nicely asking him remove your info from his site.

If that doesn’t work, check out Wikipedia’s article on the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act ( You may find the section on “Example of DMCA Takedown Provision” helpful in crafting a copyright infringement letter.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer so this is not legal advice. Wikipedia is not a legal resource, it’s a free encyclopedia written by volunteers around the world. I’m just saying there’s some insightful info here.

If the site owner still ignores you, and this peeves you, hire a lawyer to write a “cease & desist” letter.

Sign-up for Google Alerts ( and Yahoo! Alerts ( to stay on top of sites that use your personal name, company name, and product or service names (this is a handy tool for monitoring your competitors, too). Sounds like you’re doing this—good job!

In general, I don’t recommend using free article sites. It’s much more effective to contact niche sites that are relevant to your business and already have high search engine rankings for the keywords you want. If your article is published, you should get a link from your article to your site.

[NOTE: Give other sites (or blogs) articles you use for special promotions or in your newsletter. DO NOT send articles posted on your web site (or blog) because the search engine spiders don’t like duplicate content--your original content should help YOUR business, not someone else’s!]

Yes, this takes time. But it’s effective. A link from a high-ranking, niche site to yours is a quality link. This is good search engine optimization. It’s also good for generating new business.

What’s your #1 Internet marketing question? Send your name, URL and question to my assistant at info[at] -- your question and business may be featured in my newsletter next.

To Your Online Success!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Kill Your Squeeze Page

YUP. That’s what I wrote alright.

Kill your squeeze page. It’s deadly.

I know, I know. You probably heard at some seminar how a squeeze page can skyrocket your e-mail list. True, it can. But if improperly used, it kills your opportunities to get search engine rankings and media coverage.

Want to know why?

Want to know what’s a “squeeze page?”

Then dive into my April article for Entrepreneur magazine, called "Squeeze Play." (Okay, okay, you don’t have to kill it…completely. Read on to find out why. Squeeze pages, do you love ‘em or loathe ‘em?)

Squeeze Play

Offering your site visitors something for free can help grow your contact list--but be careful not to drive them away.

Growing your e-mail list is essential. The bigger your list, the more people you can communicate with over and over. Yet persuading people to opt in can be a challenge. A squeeze page, which offers something free in exchange for an e-mail address and possibly other contact information, has been heralded as the list-building magic bullet. But be careful--it can backfire.

Generally speaking, a squeeze page isn't part of your website. It's a stand-alone page that doesn't link anywhere else. Nor does it feature information other than your free offer. Eliminating distractions is smart. This keeps people focused and gets them to opt in.

It's often effective to use a squeeze page as a landing page for individual marketing campaigns. For example, you can buy an online ad, promote your free offer in it, then direct viewers to the associated squeeze page. Or you can write web articles and then link to a squeeze page from your byline (a short bio). Your options are limitless--that's the good news.

The bad news is that many business professionals are killing their publicity potential. They're using a squeeze page as the entry page to their website.

First, search engine spiders can't fill out forms, which means they can't get to your site's content. Don't block spiders from giving your site free rankings.

Second, journalists searching the web won't see your site, either. Most won't bother forking over their contact information hoping your free offer has something they might want to quote--they'll move on instead.

A squeeze page that acts as a gatekeeper to a website can also scare off potential customers. They might opt in if you or your company is a trusted name. However, with growing concerns over spam, spyware and viruses, people are leery about opting in to something that can harm them.

Although a squeeze page is a powerful list-building tool, when used to hide your compelling content from people until they opt in, you risk losing them. Carefully choose when and where to use one.