Apr 19, 2017 @ 5:45 pm in Email Marketing by 0

SendPulse Brings AI to Improve Email Marketing

Of all the digital marketing channels email marketing is probably one that has been there the longest and has always been a favorite of marketers both for driving revenue as well as for creating consistent brand recall. Technology has evolved over time and so did the way we approach marketing. E-commerce companies have been most successful when it comes to driving revenue through email marketing and availability of extensive consumer data, sophisticated segmentation and re-targeting mechanics makes email marketing all the more powerful. On the other end of the spectrum, B2B businesses have been using email marketing in different shapes and forms. While brand connect emails are common , most B2b businesses are investing significantly in sophisticated email automation systems for lead nurturing that can actually translate to measurable revenue. Read More >>



Sep 13, 2016 @ 9:32 am in Google Adwords, SEO by 0

Why Google Adwords Keyword Planner is Not The Best Anymore ?

Google Adwords Keyword Planner is probably the first tool every SEO and search marketers turns to when they think about keyword research. While Google has been incredibly helpful in providing the tool, over the years we have also seen the tool evolve and unfortunately, it is becoming less and less helpful. It has often been discussed that the data shown in Google Adwords keyword tool is kind of skewed to push advertisers to spend more.

The latest update to the keyword planner they announced a month back, took that a level further where Google clearly discriminated against advertisers with low spend, providing them with only limited data in the keyword planner. Not just that, even for other advertisers, this “limited data” update can get triggered if you hit a certain threshold of daily searches for search volume data. Thought conveniently, Google has not specified what is the threshold number. Presumably, you can be a large spender and yet end up with limited search volume data. Read More >>



Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:55 pm in Google Adwords, Paid Search by 0

Google Adwords Character Limits for Expanded Ads & Best Practices

I typically do not post about standard changes in Google Adwords policies, rules and regulations as they are typically covered in details by Google and there is hardly any new value to add. However, Adwords character limits for ads have undergone recent changes with Google’s introduction of the Expanded Text Ads and this could have significant impact on how they impact your campaigns. So, first let’s address the basic questions -

What Are Google Adwords Character Limits for Ads

A standard Google ad has five elements – Headline : 25 Character, 2 Description Lines : 35 Characters each, Display URL can accept upto 255 characters though only 35 characters are shown and the Final URL. It is important that your Display URL domain is same as the domain for your Final URL.

What are Google Adwords Character Limits for Expanded Ads

For an expanded text ad Google Adwords character limit has increased by 47%. Two Headlines – 30 characters each, one Description Line : 80 Characters. There is no separate field for Display URL and it is extracted from the Final URL, though you can customize the path.

Read More >>



Jul 30, 2016 @ 7:14 pm in Social Media by 0

Complete Guide to Rock Your Brand on YouTube

It has been 11 years since YouTube.
It is the second largest search engine.
It is the most visited social network site on the planet.
6 out of 10 people today choose Online Video over Live TV.
46% of people today consume online video on mobile.

And yet more often than not Internet marketers use YouTube as “one more social network” rather than a powerful way of connecting and reaching their target audience. While some selective major brands have been killing it on YouTube, most others have been limited to launching their TV Ads, their product demo, an office party or an off site event. Long term commitment to strategy and brand storytelling is often missing. Here is a guide to help brands and small business to get started with YouTube the right way.

Read More >>



Apr 25, 2017 @ 7:20 pm in Google Adwords, Paid Search, SEO by 0

What Keywords Are My Competitors Using – This is How You Can Find

Competitor analysis is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy and when it comes to search marketing knowing what keywords your competitors are using could just be the perfect piece of competitive intelligence that you need to beat them in their own game.

If you have searched in Google for “What keywords are my competitors using”, you definitely believe that there is a way to get that info, other than your competitor divulging the same voluntarily, (which is no less than an utopian dream). I am going to show you exactly how to find your competitors keywords for Adwords and or SEO.

Tools to Find Your Competitor’s Keywords

Finding your competitor’s keywords whether for Adwords or SEO isn’t really that difficult if you have the right tools and know how to use them right. There are only a handful of such competitor analysis tools and I particularly prefer SEMRush or Spyfu. (You can read my comparison review of Spyfu, SEMRush, Keywordspy and Ispionage if you want). However for the purpose of this post we will use SEMRush to show you how to find your competitor’s keywords.
Read More >>



May 19, 2016 @ 4:55 pm in Digital Marketing by 0

Marketing Framework & Hacking Beyond it – My Deck from DigitalFest, Hyderabad

This days I rarely get the time to make a post on this blog but every time I speak at a conference I make it a point to post my presentations from the conference up here – well, it serves multiple purposes. Some of the attendees who prefer to have a copy of the deck can view and download and of course it is an easy opportunity for me to add a new post to this otherwise lazy blog :)

This morning I was speaking at the Digital Fest, Hyderabad and my topic was Digital Marketing Framework & Hacking Beyond It. I used Dave McClure’s Pirate Metrics and showed how it can be used as an activity framework for Digital Marketing and the “Hacking Beyond it” was more interesting, as it had real case studies on how digital marketing can get to an all new level with creativity and out of the box thinking.

Enough said, the deck is given below, if you would want to view or download :)



May 19, 2016 @ 5:02 pm in Mobile Marketing by 0

Mobile App User Acquisition : Launch & Growth Strategies – Speaking at NGDC 2015

Mobile apps and games are an inherent part of digital mix for most brands today. While there’s no less of indie developers who are publishing their games and apps – established brands are pouring in significant amount of investment on developing mobile apps as well as marketing them. Acquiring users for mobile apps becomes increasingly important for businesses to achieve their end objective, whether mobile works as a new customer acquisition channel, transaction driver or a customer engagement platform. Click to view the Presentation on User acquistion at NGDC. Read More >>



Apr 22, 2017 @ 7:12 pm in Google Adwords, Paid Search by 2

Comparative Review of Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage

spyfu vs. semrush vs. keywordspy vs. ispionage
With businesses pouring in millions of dollars into paid search and more specifically Google Adwords, Adwords competitor analysis tools are getting more and more importance today.The four major players dominating the market are – Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage. While all of them are comparable, there is often a debate on which one is the best. It is very unlikely to come out with a clear answer if you compare Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage, however, in this post I am trying to put together some objective data on few parameters and also provide a short subjective review of the tools based on my experience of using them.

Features Spyfu SEMRush Ispionage KeywordSpy
Keyword Base Nothing Specified 800,000,000+ 92,000,000 127,000,000
Domain Base 77,000,000 130,000,000+ 17,000,000 Nothing Specific
Countries Covered US, UK 117 Countries US, UK, Canada 32 Countries
Export Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Language Support  English English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish  English  English
Customer Support Live Chat, Email, Phone US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Toll Free Phone, Email, Live Chat(Skype) Email, Phone Email & Live Chat
API Access Yes Yes Limited API Access No
Pricing Monthly Packages $49( very limited) – $299 Monthly Packages $99.95 – $399.95 Monthly Packages $69.95(extremely limited) – $299 Monthly Packages $89 – $139+
Free Trial Yes Yes No Yes
Website Spyfu Website SEMRush Website Ispionage Website KeywordSpy Website

The above data provides a basic understanding of the features but is definitely not comprehensive to make a decision, especially if it is the first time you are buying a tool like this. I have personally used all these tools and if you would ask me to pick two from the list I would pick SEMRush and Spyfu and if you ask for one, it would definitely be SEMRush.

Why I prefer SEMRush and Spyfu over the others

The size of the database is not the only thing you should be looking at for buying an Adwords competitor analysis tool.Though SEMRush has one of the largest database there are other factors that you should be considering.

Over the years of using these tools I have noticed the effectiveness of such tools also largely depends on what is done with the data – to be more precise what sort of reports are you able to get from the tool. Also, the user interface of the tool is extremely important as it directly effects your learning curve with the tool and also your day to day productivity while using it.

I like Spyfu for the fact that it is really focussed on Search and does a really good job at it, whether you are looking for organic or paid search intelligence. The API functionalities are particulalrly effective if you are looking to work on large agency level accounts. Also, it is probably one of the most trusted tools by SEM stalwarts in the industry.

My fondness for SEMRush however stems from multiple reasons..

a) It is the only competitor research tool that provides data from 29 databases across 27 countries. With all the other tools if you are looking to get data for any other market but US, you are in for trouble.
b) The interface is super clean and extremely well planned that automatically pushes the users to the next steps.
c) It also provides competitor intelligence on Video ads and Product Listing Ads and have recently launched a Display Intelligence section as well. This is one tool that pretty much serves all your competitive intelligence needs.
d) I have tried running 3 different accounts that I manage personally through these tools and SEMRush returned the most accurate results ( not 100% but very close), followed by Spyfu, KeywordSpy and Ispionage.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experience if you have used any of these tools or if you are looking forward to buy one, I would suggest you get started with SEMRush Free Trial.

Some Updates on SEMRush & Spyfu

It’s been couple years I wrote this post and things have changed, so I have Updated the post again on 22nd April 2017, with some data elements in the table and more importantly couple of these tools – SEMRush and Spyfu have launched a lot of new features in this years. While a full blown review of SEMRush and Spyfu is in order, here is a quick snapshot of some of the new features that has been introduced.

SEMRush Review – New Features

While SEMRush is known for their SEO and SEM competitive analysis features over the last couple of years they have enhanced the search intelligence features extensively as well as introduced a lot of new features across Social Media, Video Ads, Content and PR , Brand Monitoring. Given below are a list of additional features beyond the core Search Marketing competitive intelligence features.

SEO Content Template
This is a very interesting feature that is still in Beta but proojected to come out of Beta on May 1st 2017. Here you can enter your targeted keyword and the tool will provide you with an SEO template which includes :

  • Semantically Related keywords
  • Some of the domains from where you should be acquiring backlinks
  • Recommended Text Length
  • Readability Score for the Current Top 10 competitors.

This recommendations are based on your top 10 organic competitor analysis. This given an excellent background when you start to create your content for the targeted keywords and could be really helpful for SEO.

Brand Monitoring

  • Monitor your brand reputation
  • Discover New opportunities
  • Track Backlinks

Video Advertising Competitor Research

  • Uncover your competitors video ad strategies
  • Discover top advertisers
  • Identify opportunities on how to make money from your videos.

Display Advertising Research

  • Identify Top Publishers and Advertisers
  • Analyze competitors’ display ads
  • Identify New Publishers
  • View Display Ads across devices

Social Media Monitoring and Analysis

  • Keep track of your social media campaigns
  • Research your competitors social media presence
  • Visualize data

PLA Compeititve Research

  • Identify your Product Listing Ads Competitors
  • Get insights into your competitors’ product feeds
  • See your competitor’s best performing PLAs

I think with all these features been added, SEMRush is becoming a very comprehensive tool to be used across all digital marketing channels and activities and is creating a clear competitive advantage over other similar tools. If you haven’t tried SEMRush still now, you can take a Free Trial here .

Spyfu Review – New Features

Keyword Groupie
This allows you to easily organize keywords into targeted groups. You can start with a list of keywords, the tool will help delete duplicates, add additional data like competition, cost etc and club them into relevant groups. SEMRush also offers a very similar feature called Keyword Magic Tool.

Spyfu Custom Reports
This is a highly useful report if you are an agency. You can not only generate the SEO results or Adwords recommendation report ( Adwords Advisor Report) but you can customize them to make the reports look branded with your agency. You can -

  • Add your logo
  • Remove Spyfu branding from the report
  • Editing the reports to hide any section that you might not want to show to the client
  • Add a consistent theme design across your report

Unfortunately Spyfu doesn’t offer a free trial like SEMRush but they do commit to absolutely hassle free cancellation and the tool is definitely one of the best. You can try Spyfu here.



Jun 15, 2015 @ 9:46 am in SEO by 0

Google Asking Feedback on Search Result Quality

Asking customer / user feedback can play a major role in improving any product and that has been proven time and again. And now, Google has started endorsing the  same by asking feedback for it’s search results. Yes ! Search, which has been Google’s primary area of dominance and though there is not much of competition in most of the geographies for them – Google is now actively asking feedback from users on whether they are satisfied with search results or not.

Google Search Asking for Feedback

Small Pop up box asking feedback on search results quality.

This urge for continuous improvement is probably what separates the best from the rest.



Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:06 am in Other by 0

Marketing Today – My Presentation at SKASC National Conference

Last week I had an invitation from SKASC college in Coimbatore to do a guest lecture at their two-day National Conference on Business Processes. This is a two day even organized by the college where they invite over 40 speakers across India and couple other countries, from different industries to come and deliver lectures on industry trends ad insights to the students. I had very short notice to prepare and wasn’t very sure of the audience profile, so thought it would be better to talk about the overall trends in marketing and its changing context rather that diving into the details of specific digital marketing channels.

I wanted to leave a clear message for the students and help them understand how modern marketing has moved away from being interrupting broadcast nature to a very personalized and contextual mode and the underlying factors enabling this change.

While the presentation doesn’t do justice to itself without the narration, I hope this would give you at least a broad understanding of the message. Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.