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Detecting Click Fraud

November 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Click fraud is the elephant in the room, except this elephant is slowly eroding the budgets of marketers around the world. It’s not something most people are comfortable discussing because they often have no solution to solve the problem. The good news is that while click fraud is elusive, it’s possible for you to detect if you know your campaigns well. Here are the signs you ought to look for, and what to do if you suspect you are a victim.

Click Fraud Might Be Occurring if…

If your display advertising campaigns experience sudden spikes, increasing or decreasing clicks you receive, you could be part of click fraud. People have the tendency to believe click fraud happens to individuals, but it’s an attempt at manipulating markets. It can inflate the worth of keywords that don’t have much value, and increase competition unfairly for keywords that do have high response rates. Sudden changes can signal a larger disturbance, especially in campaigns that perform consistently.

You may also be a victim of click fraud if your click thru rates spike suddenly. You will often notice increased traffic coupled with a higher bounce rate, a sign that users are quickly clicking off the ad. This could be an indication that someone is using a botnet to influence the market.

Handling Click Fraud

The best thing you can do is report potential click fraud to the ad exchange you work with. They can review your banner advertising, and check IP addresses of visitors to see if the users are fake.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR, responsible for strategic sales and business development. Ted Dhanik helps companies publish engaging ads across a variety of platforms through the ad exchange engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik is available online through his blog, or at engage:BDR.

How to Leverage Data to Drive Sales

October 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Writing excellent marketing copy is one of the biggest contributors to your overall conversion rate in a campaign. The trouble is coming up with that copy in the first place. You never want to start from a blank slate, so your alternative is to draw inspiration from outside sources. Once you’ve learned how to leverage data you’ve gathered from social networks and your own data, your banner advertising will see great improvements.

Analytics and Social Signals

There are basically two types of signals you can use to inform your copy: social signals and your own analytics. Social signals refer to the potential interactions that can occur on social media. “Likes,” for example, signal that users are generally interested in seeing more of something. Same with “Pins” from Pinterest, where users can actually start threads of conversation by pinning something. The easiest method to find something popular is to just search for the highest stats. Numbers only tell half the story though.

You should look through user comments to try and identify common themes. Are users upset about how something works? Do they need extra parts to make it work better? The more you know about how they use the product, and what they use it for, the better your chances of selling it effectively.

Your Analytics should also inform some of your display advertising, especially when you know which pages are most popular on your site.

Conclusions

Social signals can be very powerful indicators of interest for a product or service. Even if you go by numbers alone, you can easily spot what’s popular.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR, a digital marketing company that specializes in display and video advertising. With a career in inside sales, Ted Dhanik has helped major brands like MySpace.com find more visibility through engaging ads. Ted Dhanik is currently living in Los Angeles, where he practices direct marketing and business development.

How to Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads

September 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Content marketing is often overlooked in the world of affiliate marketing, because it’s a strategy that is believed to take too long. In fact, content marketing plays an important role in display advertising from the marketing and publishing side. Whichever side you fall on, these tips will either help you understand how optimization works or perform it for yourself.

Optimize a Blog

The key to any blog is a good theme that you can organize content around. It should be something easy to identify, like tech or home improvement, and it should be something you can update regularly. The biggest advantage is the traffic you gain, especially if you can learn a bit about your audience. If a blogger installs analytics, he will be able to track who visits his page and learn more about those visitors.

On the marketing side, good blog optimization is a component of solid targeting through buy-side platforms.

Buy Traffic

Buying traffic means that your banner advertising is shown on a blog or a website that has content on it. Your ads are typically matched by relevance, among other key metrics like bidding rate, so good content is crucial to good ads.

Landing Page

Content also plays an important role on your landing page, where it motivates users to do something like fill out a form or buy a product. Content should always be the first thing seen on screen before scrolling., and you should use concise language that communicates the strengths of your campaign. It also helps to utilize keywords in this content, as customers are more likely to be receptive to an ad that contains words they are searching for.

Bio: Los Angeles based Internet marketing expert Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik has worked for Web properties such as MySpace.com and LowerMyBills.com, where he became adept at creating campaigns that perform. Ted Dhanik offers advice through multiple channels online, and at engage:BDR.

Tips for Mobile Advertising

August 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Mobile advertising is a fairly new form of digital advertising that relies on some techniques that are similar to desktop. You will still find banner and rich media ads, but the sizes and locations will be vastly different. Test different formats to find the ideal ads for mobile.

Ad Hosting

Special care should be taken in figuring out where an ad is actually hosted. Some ads are hosted within a smartphone application, which can present problems when it comes time to track conversions. Other ads are hosted on Web pages, which can present issues if the site isn’t properly scaled to match the mobile experience.

Speed is another issue. File sizes should be kept as low as possible, and you should test your ads before deployment if possible. Internet connections can be an issue, but large file sizes only complicate that problem. Always ask your buy-side platform which sizes are preferred if you need design guidelines.

Ad Formats

It’s helpful to break banner advertising campaigns into ad formats, so that you can easily track which sizes are performing best for your campaigns. Be sure to include individual tracking code for each ad size, and this will help you identify which sizes are most effective.

Final Thoughts

You will find some overlap in the performance of mobile and desktop ads, especially with regards to messaging. However, mobile users are more apt to search by location and may be more likely to buy than to wait for a return phone call.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a direct marketing expert based out of Los Angeles. Ted Dhanik has worked for brands like MySpace.com and LowerMyBills.com. Find Ted Dhanik, and engage:BDR, online.

Why is a time clock necessary at the workplace?

July 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Allied Time

If you work at a factory, an office, or any workplace that is very particular about time, it is only necessary that you should have a bundy clock, Lathem time clocks, orPyramid time clocksto ensure that you know exactly how much time you spent working. Can you imagine the absurd situation you would find yourself in if you work for twelve hours but you would only be credited instead for eight hours by your employer? If you complain and insist that you have been working for twelve hours, it would be very difficult to prove such a fact if you did not have any concrete evidence to support it. Even testimonies or statements made by your co-workers could be considered as dubious and self-serving at best. You see, having a bundy clock at the workplace is not just for the employer’s benefit. As a matter of fact, it’s even a bigger benefit to you so you can earn the wages that you deserve. Nobody wants to be underpaid, and this is the most accurate way for you to ensure that you are getting paid for the work that you’re doing. As an employee, you should know the rights that you are entitled to. And one of those is the statutory minimum wage. Another thing you need to pay close attention to is any collective bargaining agreement that your worker’s union may have executed with your employer as well. Make sure that you get paid correctly for what you’re doing.

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Your office should have a time card machine. It’s only necessary that your employees should punch out and punch in to be fair to them.

Tips to Conserve Budget in Display Advertising

April 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Ted Dhanik

It may be easy to secure the go ahead to start a display advertising campaign, but budgeting for one can be a difficult process. Your best bet is to start with a safe budget that allows you to spend on a campaign without losing money on a renegade ad group. Here are some tips to help your cut your budget and maximize the effectiveness of your campaign.

Learn about the Customer

Learning more about the customer will greatly reduce ad spend for your campaigns. It helps identify irrelevant sales pitches, and focus your messaging until you’ve distilled all but the most essential copy. You can also use customer data to help your targeting. If you know which region of the country is likely to buy, or which age group is most interested in your product or service, you can find an ad network that will feed you traffic from those sources.

Segment Campaigns

Run several kinds of banner advertising campaigns, but segment them so you can identify what works and what does not. If you’re only running one campaign, you’re missing out on the opportunity to see what else could work. You might not even have the strongest performing creative. When you segment ads, you can test multiple ads with different targeting.


Test Frequently

Testing the basis of any successful campaign, but you need to know how to properly A/B test before you set out to create a winning campaign. Take your original ad, focus on the weakest aspect of it, then choose one item from that ad to change. Run the changed version against the original version, making sure that each ad gets substantial traffic, and then record your results.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a marketing professional with over fifteen years of experience. As the president and co-founder of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik knows the principles of media buying and banner advertising. Find more tips to launch your campaigns when you visit Ted Dhanik online.

Basic Tips to Run Better Campaigns

March 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Ted Dhanik

There are a host of options to advertise with, but you’ll waste a lot of money trying to figure them out if you don’t develop a system for yourself. Even though ads and creatives are different for every promotion you run, the process for running these campaigns should remain relatively constant. It’s helpful to envision what your campaign’s goals are. For example, a campaign that is set up for conversions will send customers to a landing page that is high converting, and moves them to other pages for upsells. A branding page will focus on delivering excellent content or a compelling offer.

Before you get into advanced tactics like retargeting, understand how to increase leads with these tips.

Segment Campaigns

Segmenting campaigns by keyword allows you to track activity by user query, a good indication of the interest for your topic. Keyword campaigns can be equally effective for conversions and branding. In a conversion-based campaign, the user’s query helps inform the content that will be on the page. For example, “car insurance rates” may lead the user to a rate table where he can choose from several quotes. Insurance organizations who want to increase brand potential may run an ad to a page that discusses how customers receive the best rates by using their service.

You can also segment by targeting method, choosing whether to show text or display advertising. Segmenting also helps you reach demographics from a specific location, or with specific interests.

Manage Targeting

In order to segment by demographic, you must first define the qualities you’re looking for. Most paid-traffic platforms offer some form of demographic targeting that you can utilize. Try to target:

  • Interest: what is the customer likely to be searching for? Usually, the interest corresponds with your product or service, like financial news and home refinance offers.
  • Age group: Certain age groups are more likely to visit certain websites. Knowing the age group that primarily buys your product or service helps you narrow your filter and target them.
  • Location: Location may correspond with a service, like a painter who can only service people in the area, but it might have some other usage too. For example, health insurance programs are often available in one state but not all states.

Target some or all of these segments in your banner advertising, and you’re likely to see better returns. It also helps you to know these qualities about your customer base, as you can quickly expand into other networks when it comes time to scale your efforts.

Bio: With over fifteen years of experience in the direct marketing space, Ted Dhanik is an expert in sales. As the co-founder of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik has helped businesses leverage the power of the Web to increase sales. Locate Ted Dhanik online to increase your business leads.

Choosing the Right Punctuality Software for Your Business

February 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Allied Time

Once your company reaches a certain number of employees, it becomes necessary to keep an eye on their punctuality so you know they’re keeping to their schedule. Fortunately, this is easier than ever thanks to companies like Allied Time that deal in clocks and software companies can rely on to keep them on top of their employees’ punctuality issues.

Depending on the size of your company and the type, if any, of problem you’re seeing in your staff, some options will work better than others. That being said, some type of tech is absolutely necessary so you can track your staff’s attendance throughout the day, week, month and year.

Perhaps one of the best options to go with is a fingerprint time clock. This device allows you to easily track your employees because only they can sign in or out. Without such a system, many employees feel pressured to check in for their colleagues who are otherwise late.

You can also add software to this that will provide you macro reports of your staff’s punctuality and also give you the option to drill down to individuals so you can show them how bad their problem is becoming.

Make sure you take advantage of the many options out there today for keeping track of your employees’ time.

Allied Time sells all kinds of employee Time machine options you can use to enhance punctuality. For example, your company can a Biometric time clock and attendance system better track your employees’ attendance thanks to options like those from Icon time systems.

Making Your Ads More Clickable

February 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Ted Dhanik

Companies like Pringles, Red Bull and Volkswagon craft visually stunning banner advertising that help to sell more than products. These ads sell ideas, with well-crafted copy and eye-catching visuals. A good ad tells a story and involves the user in its concepts, but a good ad also conveys a point and knows when to let the story go in favor of the benefits. Only testing will determine which technique works best for you, but you can use some simple design tricks to make your ads more clickable.

Use Common Sizes

Beginning with the large rectangle size (336×280), the most successful ad sizes are the medium rectangle and leaderboard. The wide skyscraper rounds out the list, but whichever size you choose, you want your ad content above the fold. Think of “the fold” the way SEOs see page one on Google. You’re bidding on the chance that the user won’t scroll very far in the content, so the closer you are to the top, the better for your ad. Using common sizes helps ensure that you don’t have conflicts with the website that you’re trying to broadcast from.

Use Buttons

Buttons are one of the most effective parts of your display advertising. Buttons serve two purposes: something to draw the user’s focus, and something to call the user to action. Your entire banner is clickable, but that button helps center your user on the ad. Visually, the user looks at the focal point of your ad (usually the person or primary colors that are in the banner), then the eye is drawn to the next point of focus. That next point is almost always the button, with a call to action inside. Use colors that will attract the user, like greens, yellows, or oranges. Avoid reds and other colors that might detract. Of course, these rules will not work for every situation (Netflix employs red surprisingly well in their ads), but they do help as guidelines for the beginner.

Frame Your Ad

Knowing the common sizes for your ad allows you to frame them with a small border. Try not to conceive of the border in the literal sense of a frame outlining the ad, this is more like white space. This is a visual trick to help make your ad stand out. The advantage is that you create your own space for the ad, relying less on the margins defined by the webmaster. Try to leave about one to five pixels of whitespace around your image for the best effect.

Readable Text

In search advertising, you have the advantage of knowing how many characters you can fit into an ad, and the format never changes. A banner ad can fit the same amount of text without a problem, but the presentation is much more important. Cluttered text will throw off the user’s focus, and doesn’t serve your ad all that well to begin with. Bold the most important text, use divisions in the banner, and try to utilize colors and effects to make your text stand out. Clear, readable copy is just as important as the writing itself.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a thought leader in the direct marketing space. As the co-founder and president of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik has been helping businesses expand their customer base through optimized placements. Tips on how to succeed in direct marketing can be found by visiting Ted Dhanik online.

Behavioral Vs. Contextual Targeting

February 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Ted Dhanik.

The battle between contextual and behavioral targeting is just now coming to the forefront of display advertising. For a long time, advertisers utilized in-context links and ads to sell their products. Because of the nature of search, mainly that people tend to ask questions of search engines, contextual advertising was a reliable means for advertisers to draw upon text from the pages they were present on.

Google’s Impact

Google search ads were excellent tools for context, then organic optimization came around. This became a new twist on the idea of context, namely that you could use existing articles to try and sell your products. Google’s platform, and the size of its customer base, was a turning point for banner advertising.

Mobile Ads

The addition of mobile changed the playing field yet again, emphasizing the ability to target users by location. Aside from the changes to design that were ushered in by mobile, marketers started to toy with behavior. The theory suggested that users on smartphones were already in a position to buy if they just had the right information.

This is where behavior has become such a hot topic. Smartphones enabled marketers to experiment with new methods of tracking user behavior. Google’s Analytics program futher bolstered these efforts with the inclusion of event tracking. Soon, marketers could measure everything from a user’s location to whether they hit “play” on a video and how long they kept watching. The more marketers learn about the behavior of their audience, the better equipped they are to catch the user at a point in time where he is likely to buy.

Behavior Tracking

Behavior helps marketers adjust their efforts based on what a user does and has done. Now, a user searching for new shoes is shown ads based on what he has actually looked at. If he has placed shoes into a shopping cart, but not bought them, he may be shown a coupon for the purchase. This “next level” ad technology has helped marketers better connect with their audience by retargeting them.

Behavior tracking also helps marketers identify contrasting trends, like people who continually shop for one model of car and end up buying another. Behavioral targeting allows marketers to review this behavior and show effective ads to the end user based on what he actually wants.

Behavioral targeting has given way to the newest trend, retargeting. Through identification of users who have already seen an ad, marketers can further adjust their value propositions to try and sell again. These ads “follow” a user around the Web and serve relevant content based on past experience.

There is not one clear-cut winner in this skirmish. Most marketers will inevitably test both of these strategies in an attempt to improve conversion, but understanding which is likely to be more successful for your campaign is key.


Ted Dhanik is the co-founder and CEO of engage:BDR, an advertising network for direct marketing. Ted Dhanik has been a thought leader in the sales and direct marketing industries for over fifteen years. For more information, view Ted Dhanik online.

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