Web Crawling, Click Fraud Detection, and Coffee. Oh My!

CAYK’s Current Research & Development Project  (Part 1) 

11,407,243 – This is our current count of websites that have participated in the Google Ad Network to date. (Websites that allow Google to place their ads on them.)

Now that you know that, how do you pick which websites to show your advertisements on? That’s a big number after all, and it’s the only representative of the ad placements that we’ve come across during this R&D project. After all, Google isn’t publishing that list anytime soon, so we’re left to build the list without their help.

It’s not difficult to rule out large portions of available ad placements with the tools provided within the ad management platform. However, even a small targeting change often wipes away millions of domains without actually knowing with any degree of certainty whether or not they would have otherwise brought value to a client’s advertising campaign. Worse is that the placements that remain after targeting updates haven’t actually been vetted. While this is the nature of the industry, it’s certainly not good enough for us.

Data-Drive Marketing vs Research and Development
Where lies the line between the two?

By the very nature of digital advertising, every online advertising decision is bordering on a big data project. Selecting advertising placements is a great example of this phenomenon, with millions of websites that can be targeted, how do you decide which are worthy of advertising funds, and which are not? It may be a bold approach, but we’re working towards vetting each one individually.

It starts with tracking down domains participating in the ad network. This means first crawling as many sites as you can and gathering previous crawl data wherever you can find it. Of the 248,555,113 domains in our overall database (248.5 million!), approximately 4.6% have had tell-tale embed scripts or DNS calls that show participation in Google’s Ad Networks.

The scope required to do anything on this scale has led to a long journey of learning with the singular purpose of doing the best job we possibly can for our clients. It’s been actively worked on (nearly every single day, (weekends too!), for over a year! In our upcoming mini-series, we will break down some of the key milestones of this project, speak to the many hurdles and challenges which needed to be surmounted, as well as help explain how these learnings are already bringing value to our clients!


Is Your Calgary Internet Marketing Company Changing With You?

Several years ago, a monumental shift took place in the Calgary web design industry: Companies like ours started realizing websites alone weren’t enough, and began offering bundled Internet marketing packages to clients.

Since then, designers and business leaders alike have come to see that it takes a lot of different elements, working together, for a website to be successful. Some of the most common and important include:

  • Company blogs
  • Search engine optimization campaigns
  • Social media marketing
  • Internet advertising
  • Content changes and additions

However, as important as each of these pieces is, the exact ways you use them to reach your Internet marketing goals can change dramatically over time. As an example, one business might want a heavy dose of search engine optimization in the beginning, but could shift their attention to social media down the road once they start receiving lots of search traffic.

The point to be made is that your Internet marketing partner should be changing tactics and ideas as your goals change from one quarter or year to the next. And, if they aren’t adjusting their techniques, it’s going to be a matter of time before you start seeing declining results.

We recommend that you only work with businesses that embrace responsive Internet marketing, the way our team did a few years ago. These types of plans don’t just spell out what we are going to do for our clients now, but also when we need to meet with them to reassess in the future.

You don’t have the same business you had a year ago, and you probably don’t need the same Internet marketing plan anymore, either. Why not get in touch with us today and let us put a system in place so your marketing can evolve with the rest of your company?


Two Things Clients Love About Responsive Marketing

More and more Calgary businesses are turning to us for responsive marketing, and it’s no surprise – since we started rolling out these programs, owners and executives have seen it as a smarter way to accomplish their bottom-line goals. That’s because responsive marketing focuses on what you need for a given period of time, which can change and evolve, rather than working towards a certain number of web pages or blog posts, for example.


In other words, it’s all about results.


As we have recently noticed, however, that isn’t all Calgary companies appreciate about responsive marketing. In fact, there are two side effects of the process that our clients have come to love:


1. They get more direct input into their marketing plan. Because responsive marketing strategies change over time, frequent contact with the client is required. That might sound like a lot of work, and a commitment of time, but in reality it ensures that everyone is on the same page. If you have ever had the feeling that your design team didn’t understand what you were trying to accomplish, or wasn’t getting the right results for you, then it’s easy to see why this extra communication can be so valuable.


2. The results of each technique or activity are examined closely. In order to figure out what the next steps are in your responsive marketing plan, it’s important to go back and look at what’s already been accomplished. A lot of Calgary web designers skip over the process of studying analytics and reviewing past results. With responsive marketing, though, the whole process is geared towards finding the best outcomes, which means you can look at the effectiveness of different tools and strategies along the way.


Responsive marketing is a natural way for us to work with our clients because it puts everyone on the same side of the table, working towards the same goals. To learn more about how it works, or to get a free review of your website and Internet marketing plan, get in touch with us soon.

Online Marketing

3 Things That Can Trigger a Change in Your Responsive Marketing Plan

By now, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of responsive Internet marketing that has changed the way we work with our clients. In short, it allows businesses to pay us for results, instead of specific activities, so that we can respond to changes in the market over time.


But, you might be wondering, what sort of changes will those actually be?


They can vary by company and industry, of course, but here are three of the biggest:


1. Your products or services change. The most obvious reason for your marketing plan to change is that your company has changed, as well. In other words, if you are emphasizing different products or services (or perhaps trying to reach a different kind of customer or follow a different type pricing strategy), then it only makes sense to amend your approach and try something new.


2. Your competitors change. Although it would be nice if you could only worry about your own company, the reality is that you probably have competitors to keep an eye on, too. If you notice something in their strategy or Internet marketing that changes, it might prompt a similar response from your business.


3. Your Internet marketing plan has been successful. As an example, imagine how you might want to change your approach if you move from the sixth page of Google results to the first, or if you have acquired thousands of followers on Twitter. Success brings its own set of challenges, and it often requires a change in planning, strategy, and direction of online marketing activities to pursue.


Could responsive Internet marketing be the missing piece in your sales puzzle? Meet with the CAYK® team and we’ll be happy to outline our services, show you client case studies, and give you a sense of how we can use responsive marketing to help your company achieve more.

Online Marketing

Is Agile Marketing Hard to Understand?

For clients who have been with us for a number of years, or those coming from relationships with other business web design companies, the concept of agile marketing can be hard to understand. It involves a different way of approaching Internet marketing services. Instead of a contract that outlines which services or packages you’ll get for your fee, it has a more variable feel – the exact mix of products or activities might change over time.

If that seems a bit confusing, you just need to look a bit further.

Agile marketing isn’t so much about different services as it is a different philosophy. It’s an approach focused on achieving a certain set of results, even though those results might change over time, just like your Internet marketing plan.

If you still have doubts or concerns, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Agile marketing is more collaborative. Because it involves a continuous give-and-take of ideas, not to mention marketing goals, it’s naturally more collaborative than traditional design arrangements are. That means more work, but also a bigger say in the future of your business.

It makes your Internet marketing plan more flexible. One of the best features of agile marketing is that it is extremely adaptable. That way, if something changes with your business (like your competition, prices, or marketing strategy), you can change your approach at the same time without having to abandon your previous design contract.

Agile marketing is about paying for more of what you need, and less of what you don’t. Because it’s all about getting you what you really need in the moment, you can work with your web design team to prioritize the services and activities that are moving you towards your goals fastest.

If you would like to know more about the CAYK® system of agile marketing, or just see how an agile Internet marketing plan might look for your business, call us today to arrange for a presentation.

Featured Search Engine Optimization

The Yin and Yang of Search Engine Optimization

If you work with a great business web design team, then chances are good that you’re getting mixed messages about search engine optimization lately. That’s because there’s a bit of “Yin and Yang” going on, with a few different priorities and realities competing with one another.

If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is. Here are the three things you really need to know:

1. Search engine optimization is still very important. Current estimates suggest that Google is processing more than 2 billion queries per day. Even though a small percentage of those might be in your area or industry, it’s clear that maintaining a strong search profile is important if you want targeted visitors coming to your website.

2. But, it’s also hard to influence search rankings directly. Even though Google positioning is as important as it ever was, it’s getting harder and harder to influence search rankings directly. That’s because Google doesn’t want to see lots of keywords, junk links, and other obvious attempts to “optimize” your business website. So, the focus has to be on long-term quality and organic growth, not quick fixes.

3. Your position probably isn’t as important as you think. Getting to the first or second page on the major search engines can do a lot to help you grow your business. Beyond that, though, some of the gains probably aren’t as big as you might think. For example, lots of research shows that the fourth position on a results page converts nearly as well as second, and so on. If you have the right product and offer, people will find you.

The bottom line is that search still matters, but not in the same ways that it used to. Having a good business website with lots of links and strong content is your best strategy going forward, and the marketing team at CAYK® can help you build one.

Why not contact our Calgary marketing agency today and let us help you make the most of your search engine optimization and online marketing opportunities?



3 Major Online Marketing Predictions for 2013

This is the time of year when all of us – and especially business web design and Internet marketing professionals – look ahead to a fresh 12 months and wonder what they will bring. Some of our thoughts and ideas will be spot on, while others will turn out to be misguided in hindsight.

Today, we’ll try to get past the wild guesses and get down to what you need to know. By looking at current technologies, existing trends, and the overall state of the online marketing industry, we can zero in on those ideas that don’t just seem very likely to happen, but can also have a big effect on our clients’ plans for the year.

With that in mind, here are our three bold online marketing predictions for 2013:

1. Social media marketing and search engine optimization will keep getting closer. Google and the other search engines are increasingly looking for fresh, relevant content. There is no better place to get that than the rapidly growing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This year, expect to see more social pages listed in search engine results.

2. Mobile computing will continue to take over the world. Looking at the proliferation of smart phones and tablets is like watching the growth of the Internet all over again. As millions of iPads, Kindles, and Androids are going online every month, businesses are turning to mobile sites and responsive web design as important ways to give customers what they want. Specialized mobile websites and mobile advertising are poised to take the next step, and possibly even overtake “traditional” Internet marketing methods.

3. Content creation will take center stage for the most efficient Internet marketers. Having a relevant blog, video production, and social media marketing strategy is giving businesses of all sizes an enormous advantage, and each of those comes down to smart content creation. Giving your customers more of what they want is a great idea for every part of your Internet marketing plan.

Is your business ready to take advantage of the most important Internet marketing trends in 2013? If not, now is the perfect time to talk with a member of our team and see how we can help.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Calgary Marketing News Online Marketing

4 Reasons to Make the Switch to an Agile Marketing Plan

If you have been following our blog lately, or spoken with a member of our team, then you already know we’ve become big fans of agile marketing, which is focused on results instead of activities. But, if you still aren’t convinced it’s time to have a conversation about it, here are four good reasons every Calgary company should consider making the switch to agile marketing today:

1. Agile marketing makes you more focused. Because agile marketing focuses on results, the process begins with clearly defining goals and ambitions. This can be an important step in and of itself, because it forces us to cut the extraneous and boil your plan down to the real-world outcomes you want from your Internet marketing plan.

2. Agile marketing is responsive. Not only does Internet marketing change from month to month, but so do your customers, your marketplace, and your competition. By putting in a responsive plan that can shift gears quickly, you make it easy to keep up with the latest trends, ideas, and development.

3. Customers like agile marketing. No, your best customers probably won’t ask you for agile marketing by name, but they will appreciate the fact that you are reaching them with the right messages, via the right mediums, at the right times.

4. Agile marketing gives you the best value for your budget. Agile marketing is all about getting the biggest possible impact from your available resources, not forcing you to spend more on Internet
marketing. If you’re more interested in the bottom line than trying every new fad or idea, then it’s a good strategy for you consider.

Why not set aside a few minutes to talk with the CAYK® Calgary Internet marketing team about agile marketing this month? We don’t need much time to give you the basics, and it could end up having an enormous impact on the future of your company.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Calgary Marketing News Online Marketing

One Hidden Benefit of Agile Marketing

Lately, we have started introducing an agile marketing philosophy into the way we handle Internet marketing for our Calgary clients. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it basically refers to the practice of taking available resources (usually time and money) and devoting them towards a specific marketing goal, rather than a set list of ideas or activities.

This turns out to be a great thing for clients, since it lets them focus on the results that matter most without worrying about signing up for specific tools (like search engine optimization or social media marketing) that might not work for them in the long haul.

We have noticed recently, however, that there is another hidden benefit or side effect that is largely underrated: Agile marketing helps you take dead weight from your marketing plan faster.

In other words, because agile marketing is all about taking resources and using them in the right way, it’s also about not using them in the wrong ways. That might sound like wordplay, but it isn’t. In this economy, it’s absolutely critical that every organization squeeze the highest-possible ROI from their investments, whether they are in marketing or another area of the company. By making your short- and long-term goals more clear, and spotting the things that aren’t working faster, you effectively get a bigger marketing budget without spending any more money.

Time and time again, we have seen companies waste money on marketing projects and pieces that they don’t really need, simply because investing in them has become a comfortable habit. With agile marketing, we can take the focus off of what’s easy, and start putting it on the things that are working – making it a net positive for any Calgary business.

Want to find out more about agile marketing, and what the CAYK® team can do to help you grow your sales without spending more? Call or e-mail us today to set up a free consultation with a member of our team.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Calgary Marketing News Online Marketing

The Biggest Problem With Online Marketing Plans… and How Agile Marketing Fixes It

There are literally dozens of different reasons that an Internet marketing plan could fall short of expectations. In working with different organizations throughout Calgary over the years, however, we have noticed that there is one single limitation that can be especially crippling: Even the best online marketing plans become outdated quickly.

That isn’t to say that web designers, advertising agencies, or even clients are doing things incorrectly. It’s just the nature of doing business on the Internet – if you aren’t ahead of the curve, you’re quickly falling behind it.

Lately, the team here at CAYK® has been embracing a new philosophy, agile marketing, that largely corrects this problem. How does it accomplish this? By turning Internet marketing from a series of ideas, activities, and lists into a set of goals with a “budget” of time and money allocated to reach them.

If that sounds vague, think about it this way: When you watch a game of football or hockey on TV, you’ll notice that the teams make substitutions, formation changes, and tactical adjustments all the time. Their goal is always the same – to score more points than the other team – but they are highly dependent on lots of little tweaks and strategy shifts to help them reach that goal. Any team that skipped this ongoing adjustment process would likely fall far, far behind their competitors.

Business over the Internet can sometimes work in the same way. Although your focus on a certain type of customer or sale should be consistent, your specific approach (as it relates to things like blog posts, search engine keywords, pay-per-click ads, social media, and more) will probably need to evolve over time, and maybe on a month-to-month basis. That’s what agile marketing is all about.

If you’re looking for an Internet marketing plan that stays up to date, and makes the most of your available time and investment, then you should talk to a member of the CAYK® team about agile marketing in Calgary today.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+