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Mission Control: Valuable marketing news, insights and info for industry leaders.

MISSION CONTROL The Key to Lucrative Link Building: Quality, not quantity Our philosophy is that iron sharpens iron, and that’s why we partner with winning businesses. We know that you have an edge in your business market. Our goal is to continually sharpen it.

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f your business is focusing on full-blown link building efforts, there’s a few things you need to know—especially if the number of links you’re getting aren’t producing the results you hoped for. While many link building services offer measurable monthly links as part of their services, you should know that the bulk of those links are commonly produced by off-shore link building farms at low cost. The result: A vast number of low-quality, unsubstantiated links that don’t actually produce results. So while the number of links coming in on a monthly basis may appear to justify the cost, the truth is that those links are often flagged as spam— thus yielding zero ROI or worse. Less equals more when it comes to link quality

If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact our Sales Manager, Steve Kroll at (262) 437-2314 or email skroll@rocketclicks.com

When it comes to backlinks and solid link juice that’ll actually impact your positioning in the SERPS—quality trumps quantity. Here’s why: Link Publicity (i.e.  merit-based link building) uses high-level strategy and research to obtain the most authoritative links to point back to your website. The more authoritative the links (despite the quantity), the stronger the link juice, which is especially important considering that search engines like Google now possess increasingly sophisticated web-crawler algorithms. Anyone can spam a weblog with links, but not everyone can draw in the vital, hard-toget dot com, dot edu and dot gov links that truly make your site stand above the rest. To build these types of links, you need to put in the time and effort; you need to make connections; and you need to think about your link building as a PR initiative rather than a stockpile of monthly link numbers to present to your CMO. In sum, merit-based link building is the only way to build a solid, long-lasting foundation of authority. If Link Publicity piques your interest and you would like to know more, please contact Rocket Clicks at (262) 437-2314. 

Vol 1 | No 1 | Aug '10

Top 5 AdWords Myths Common misconceptions about keywords Google recently put out two useful "AdWords Myth Dispeller" blogs that serve to dismiss a few of the common myths many associate with AdWords. Dan Friedman of the Inside AdWords Crew says, "there's lots of misinformation floating around the web about the way AdWords works, and our AdWords support teams get to hear most of it— since many of the same issues seem to keep popping up again and again." With this being the stimulus behind Friedman’s blog, we thought we’d cue our readers in to the Top 5 AdWords Myths Debunked on Google's official Inside AdWords Blog. Myth 1: Spending money on Google AdWords will influence my website’s ranking in Google's free search results. Fact: Google AdWords and Google’s free search results are entirely independent of one another. Spending money on AdWords won’t impact your ranking in Google's free search results. Similarly, canceling your AdWords account won’t get your website banned from Google’s search results. If you’d like to learn more about how your website ranks in the Google search results, check out Google Webmaster Central. continued on page 3 

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Every month Rocket Clicks features a 5-question Q & A with entrepreneurs, innovators, thinkers and leaders (i.e. really smart people). This month we interviewed Jack Born, an industry leader and thinker in affiliate marketing. Jack Born teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their revenue through affiliate marketing. He was handpicked in 2008 by Perry Marshall, author of the Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords, to be his marketing manager. Prior to 2002, he was a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch. He left the corporate world in 2002 and has worked as a consultant, merchant, and affiliate ever since.

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How do you help cut through the noise of competing affiliates and resonate to your ideal targets?

Jack Born (JB): The better you know your audience and their problems, hopes and goals, the better you’ll be able to discover who your audience already knows, likes, trusts and what other products they’re buying. The more accurate your answers, the more likely that you’ll find untapped opportunities to develop an affiliate partnership. I often have my clients go through an "Avatar" exercise. I tell them to think of their audience as one person. Give that person a name and write some paragraphs about who they are, what their life is like, and what problems they have. If your audience is broad and your products appeal to many types of people, then pick one and create an avatar for that segment of your audience. Your market isn’t an amorphous crowd of buyers — it’s individuals. If you have a strong picture of who they are, what their habits are, what they read, what they want, what they hate, and what they fear — then you’ll quickly discover unexpected opportunities to reach them.

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What are some of the challenges and pitfalls of selling through affiliates?

JB: Any time you have a third-party promote your products and services you run the risk that they’ll misrepresent your company. You need to actively review what’s being said about you by your affiliates to protect your brand and decrease your liability. You also run the risk that your affiliates will become your biggest competition in promotional channels you already succeed in. When you’re connecting with affiliates through an open-enrollment network like Commission Junction, Share A Sale, or ClickBank, you especially run the risk that a well-trained affiliate can outrank you in the search engines for keyword phrases you already succeed with. It’s also common for affiliates to run paid search campaigns targeting your product names and company name. Your best course of action to reduce your exposure to these pitfalls is a two-step process of documentation and enforcement. You document the terms of the affiliate role and responsibility through a well-

constructed Affiliate Terms of Service document that all affiliates must sign. For example, a thorough Terms of Service Agreement will specify what terms affiliates can build paid search campaigns around and what they can't. Subsequently, you enforce your agreement through proactive research. To make the job of auditing your affiliate's promotions more efficient, you can filter your affiliate referrals for three groups, which you should pay special attention to: 1. Your most active and successful affiliates 2. Your new affiliates making sales 3. Your affiliates with above-normal refund rates or complaints Some other risks you should be aware of include affiliate fraud, tax issues with paying affiliates, opening your sales process to competitive spying, opening up your conversion rates and refund rates to competitive spying, and affiliate poaching from your competition. To address the tax and fraud issues, I’d recommend restricting your enrollment process to certain affiliates and get professional help from a qualified tax expert.

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Are there other tips and strategies you can share?

JB: Absolutely. I have a training series that delivers quick, actionable ideas that any entrepreneur can use to navigate the confusing options involved with selling through affiliates. To receive my free tips go to: www.jackborn.com/affiliateideas

To get the full interview, check out

5 Questions with Really Smart People

at RocketClicksBlog.com/JackBorn

AdWords Myths continued… Myth 2: Google AdWords has declined my credit card. Fact: Google itself doesn’t actually decline credit cards. The decline usually takes place at your bank, your card-issuing institution, or its payment processor. If your credit card gets declined, your first step should be to check and make sure you’ve filled out the Billing Preferences page correctly. Some common mistakes include: • Missing or invalid credit card number or security code • Missing or invalid expiration date • Missing or invalid billing address and/ or telephone number Once you’ve got that squared away, make sure that there aren’t any problems with your card itself. Be on the lookout for issues with your: • Credit limit • Maximum amount per debit • Number of possible debits within a certain period If you suspect this may be affecting your AdWords account, contact your bank or

card-issuing institution. You should also be sure that your card allows for online debits and automatic debits. Myth 3: Your conversion rate can impact your quality score. Fact: The conversion rate of your ads does not affect your quality score. Some advertisers using AdWords conversion tracking mistakenly believe they should set an easy conversion event on their landing pages to artificially boost their conversion rates. In reality, this won't affect quality score and will simply make it harder to measure the true value of your AdWords investment. Myth 4: The AdWords keyword tool suggests keywords to use. Fact: The keyword tool doesn’t make any kind of recommendations about which keywords you should be using. The keyword tool just analyzes related queries that might benefit you and displays them. It's up to you to decide which keywords you want to include in your account.

You should always assess the tool’s results in the context of your advertising goals. When you do so, the keyword tool can be a helpful way of finding new, meaningful keywords. This includes potentially profitable ones you aren’t currently using and those that you might have excluded as negative keywords in order to protect your click-through-rate. Myth 5: Upper and lowercase letters in AdWords keywords matter. Fact: The AdWords system doesn't distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters. • "NYC" is the same as "nyc" • "Android Phone" is the same as "android phone" For the sake of simplicity, we recommend that you enter all of your keywords as lowercase letters. 

BEST OF THE WEB: Nuggets from our Industry Weblog, Twitter Feeds, and best-of-the-web Facebook Articles Entrepreneurship: Origin Story

Strategy: Link Bait

Google: Mobile Ads Blog Launch

NPR aired a fantastic episode of This American Life about the power of origin stories in America RocketClicksBlog.com/OriginStory

Ian Lurie cues you in on link bait strategy and how there's really no secret recipe, just persistence RocketClicksBlog.com/LinkBait

Google launches new blog dedicated to news, info and updates from Google's Mobile Ad Team RocketClicksBlog.com/MobileAdsBlog

Books: Eat That Frog!

Social Media: Failing To Deliver?

STAY IN THE L

Author Brian Tracy breaks down seven simple steps to boost your biz and personal productivity RocketClicksBlog.com/EatThatFrog

Recent data indicates that Twitter and Facebook, used as lead gen tools, may actualy hurt B2B sales RocketClicksBlog.com/SocialSales

RocketClicksBlog.com Facebook.com/RocketClicks Twitter.com/RocketClicks Twitter.com/RCLeaderQuotes

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