Tag Archives: computer

Tips on using Pay-Per-Click marketing to sell sell sell!

Today I went to a very informative course conducted by Emarketeers about pay-per-click marketing, or PPC. I learnt new jargon and ways of creating an effective online marketing campaign. We spent some time on Google Adwords. We also had a look at Facebook and how targeted it’s advertising can be. Don’t give too much away on Facebook – that’s probably how Made.com made me buy a sofabed from them because I liked Homes Under the Hammer. Granted, it’s a lovely sofabed.

Yoko sofa bed, Made.com

Sleek and sexy, right?

Anyway, I came away with some tips for Adwords success. Adwords are  those ads you see above and on the right hand side of ‘organic’ search results when you do a search on Google. They enable you to do targeted online advertising at a cost determined by you on a website used by billions!

  • Optimise your landing pages. Use the keywords you have chosen to bid on as much as possible – on your landing page, on the ad, in the headline, possibly in the display URL.
  • Target your audience by country or region.
  • Target your audience by when they’re likely to be surfing and buying your product! For retailers, this would be in the evenings after work. You can also pay attention to the time of the year.
  • Never use the ‘broad matching’ option alone when you’re starting out. Your ad can end up appearing on random search terms and you would potentially waste a lot of money.
  • Make use of display networks when you have a better idea of what you are doing. What are display networks? They are the ads you see on Google Adsense, in a box usually embedded on blogs or websites. They can be text, pretty graphics or Flash. Google sets ‘Display on display networks’ as a default; don’t let them siphon more money from you – turn this option off to begin with!
  • When you feel ready to use display networks, create a different, dedicated campaign for it so you can track it separately.
  • Use broad-matching, broad-match modifiers and and phrase or exact matching wisely.
  • Using Google Adwords keyword tool, work out which search terms won’t make people buy your product/service/information. This will help you compile a negative keyword list. So your ad won’t be triggered say, if the surfer is actually looking for help on a support issue rather than wanting to buy the actual product.
  • Please get rid of underperforming keywords that don’t generate much business or traffic for you – if you don’t, this will reflect badly on your Quality Score, which in turn makes it possible for Google to charge you more for every click.
  • Of course, calculate your cost per acquisition (CPA – a term I learnt today!) so you can gauge how much you can realistically spend on Adwords. No point spending £50 to get someone to spend £25!

The course covered a lot more ground – if PPC and online marketing is of interest to you, then do look up the Pay-Per-Click marketing course by Emarketeers.

Rightmove real estate fun, and organic thinking

I’ve recently (re)started wasting hours of my life going through the rightmove website. It’s a fun hobby I tell you.

“Can I find a house/flat for less than £60,000 within 40 miles of Waterloo?”

“Where can I find the cheapest flat north of Crewe that isn’t in a shithole (haha)”

“What can I afford for £900,000 up my street?”

It’s amusing to see listings saying “Studio flat” alongside a picture of a garage. In Mayfair. Or anywhere in the South. Taking “future potential” a bit too far, like Enron.

So what I have resolved to do is, instead of letting my youth slip away amongst pictures of decrepit and luxury houses, I’m going to blog instead. About anything. In fact it does appear that my mind thinks best while walking or on the train in the morning or about to sleep at night. Anywhere but in front of the computer.

That is exactly what Richard Watson said recently in his speech Future Minds. Amongst other things he says the best place to think is not in front of the computer. Although I have spent more than half my life in front of a computer, I agree with him. I can think of doing specific things on a computer, like emailing, buying, or saying impulse stuff like leaving a comment. However new thoughts I find are generated elsewhere – because when I’m on a computer I’m invariably doing something. Which is not conducive to clear thinking.

The unfortunate fact is that all my wonderful thoughts are forgotten once I’m in front of a computer… or even a paper notebook. I’ll try harder next time… for my sake…

For a wonderful Asian food blog, visit the Catty Life. Wonderful pics, and unsurpassed Asian foodie.

Groupsite – social networking platform

Before I go to bed I just would like to share a discovery I made today: Groupsite

It is a ready-made social networking platform like Ning and SocialGo, but with more practical functionality and professional looks. One thing I’ve not seen before is ‘Key Contacts’, where your group members can list useful/important/VIP people they know, and you can get in contact with an important person on the list via the name-dropping fellow group member. The objectives list is pretty cool too. And I can download my member list on an XML or CSV file which is useful for keeping track of users off-platform. However I can’t find the Inbox/Sentbox easily although I’ve sent private msgs to other members. Hmm.

The free version which I’m currently on is sufficient to nose around and get a feel for the platform, but I can see why it may not catch on as much as Ning because it’s fairly restricted – for instance, I can only make 5 groups. OK for a small-timer I guess.

Dell sucks… until mine is here.

Dell - Yours is hereLet’s start with how Dell sucks.

After much research, I bought a Dell Studio 1557 laptop online, to make music with. 9-13 days – I can live with that. However, it eventually took Dell over a month to make and send me a laptop. I was not amused. I even tried to cancel my order, which I was told, by a human being, that it was successful – but NO! They took my money – turns out I couldn’t cancel.

After a long, fraught and annoying wait, I was underwhelmed when an automated computer voice rang my mobile to confirm the date and time of my delivery. And when the package finally arrived, it sat unloved and unopened for half a day while I got on with my life.

I didn’t even bother opening it in the end – got my partner to do it. Spied a big ‘Made in China’ label. Seemed to crawl through orienting itself into life as a laptop. Vista as well! Was not impressed.

How Dell redeemed itself

In under 24 hours I’m totally sold on this product. Specs below. My main considerations were for it to be good enough for making music, a PC (was considering a Mac… but I love PC really) and cost under £700. I’ve gotten so used to this thing now, going back to my desktop seems strange!

Intel i7-720QM(1.6GHz) Mobile CPU – 6MB L3 cache, quick mobile processor. This had only been out about two weeks when I ordered the laptop
4GB RAM
320GB 7,200rpm hard drive – 5,400rpm would be more likely to cause latency/write issues
512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HP 4570 – I like playing games; this is good enough for not-so demanding games
64-bit Vista OS

After it got into the swing of things, this laptop really shone. My desktop computers rely on wifi dongles to connect to the internet and they cut out all the time – but this laptop’s connection is very stable. The sound is great for a laptop; it’s like surround sound. The screen is wide and bigger than I expected (15″ inch widescreen). As a result it’s not as light as I would like, but considering how powerful it is (and it has a DVDRW drive), it’s acceptable. The keyboard is lovely to type on as I write this; the keys big, light and comfortable.

And the speed. It’s quite ridiculous how the speed of a computer can affect internet experience. We only have bog standard wifi and the router’s quite far away. My year-old desktop is very good, but this one is on fire – working though a Java-based website CMS in real-time, as if I’m just working through Explorer locally. I also installed Sims 3 and imported my Sims 3 files from my desktop so I can continue my game. Seems to work fine. I think Sims 3 automatically uses settings that give the swiftest gameplay, which is why the graphics aren’t as good as on my desktop – but it’s not jerky, and is definitely good enough.

I did encounter some stupid errors which presumably is due to Vista – like default shortcuts in My Documents pointing to a location that doesn’t exist and refusing to install Cute FTP despite having the right version of it.

I’ll give making music a go on this thing, after I figure out what software to use! Here’s hoping the laptop won’t slow down…

P.S: Are you looking for a Dell Studio battery for this laptop?