Say More Than ‘thank Youก

Say More Than ‘thank Youก

by: Akinori Furukoshi

Most Websites are gathering email addresses. When you submit your email address, you will be redirected to a thank you page. There is nothing wrong with it, but that page can do more than saying ‘thank you.ก
The Result
A while ago, I added some affiliate links to my thankyouforsubscribing page. (You can see it at http://www.thatswise.com/popups/redirect/thanks_subscribe.html .) Even though you can close the window or go back to the home page, 98.8% of viewers of that page have clicked one of the links listed. This is astonishing when compared to the clickthough ratio of banner ads on my site, which is about 0.9%. And, 98% is not a stat of one lucky day. Itกs an average of one year.
They Will Listen
98% sounds unrealistic, but it makes sense. Visitors subscribe to your newsletter because they liked your site in some way. So, they will listen to you as they listen to their friends. When you recommend some places to go, most people will go.
Additionally, you will get better results if you link to a page with one product rather than linking to a page with a lot of products. People who have submitted to you an email address are open minded. This is the time to tell them your recommendation (your favorite product), not to show them options (list of your products).
Note
However, do not use this technique on a thankyouforORDERING page. If you send buyers to another Web page asking them to buy more things, visitors will feel you are trying to suck all the money they have. You may add links on this thankyou page, but be selective which pages youกll send buyers to. I am not saying upselling won’t work. Upselling does work. You have to upsell before receiving payments, not after you received payments. Chasers at McDonaldกs ask, กWould you like to have French fries with that?ก when you order a burger, not after you have paid for your order, don’t they?

About The Author

Though his Web site, http://www.thatswise.com Akinori Furukoshi has been providing ecommerce related information since 1998. His unique way of thinking has helped online businesses to improve their performance. More detailed bio is available at http://www.thatswise.com/about_us.html

This article was posted on June 29, 2004

by Akinori Furukoshi

How to Build a 1,000Page Content Site in Mere Sec

How to Build a 1,000Page Content Site in Mere Seconds!

by: Rosalind Gardner

Building an affiliate web site that sells between 5 and 20 products is relatively quick and easy to accomplish.

An experienced webmaster can put a site like http://101Date.com, which has only 11 services, together in a day. Someone else might spend a week signing up for the programs, designing a template, and adding product information and affiliate links.

Spending a week or even a month on a site that delivers big rewards over the years is a relatively minor investment.

But how much time and effort is invested by affiliates who sell items like magazines, garden products, posters, tshirts or lingerie? Or, how difficult would it be to place links to music CDกs, or movie DVDกs on your site? Merchants in those categories typically carry hundreds or even thousands of items.

Sure, a MoJoSounds.com affiliate might want to promote only adventure movies, but his state of mind might be a ?horrorก by the time heกs input more than 500 descriptions, links and graphics!

If the same affiliate planned to let his visitors know about the latest and greatest discounts by listing prices, would he ever get any sleep?

Sure he would!

By using the MoJoSounds.com product datafeed, that affiliate could build a 500+ item site in less than an hour. He could even build a 10,000 item site in less than an hour!

So whatกs a product datafeed?

A product datafeed is a spreadsheet or text file which typically lists product names along with their categories and subcategories, descriptions, coded affiliate links, product graphic image URLกs, prices and even applicable keywords.

Affiliates can manipulate datafeeds in various ways to display content on their sites.

Those with programming knowledge may insert the feed into databases on their servers.

Other affiliates prefer to use dynamic website templates that some merchants offer. These templates are completely customizable and the resulting site automatically updates itself.

One company that offers a dynamic website template is ShareaSale merchant, Nature Hillกs Nursery. Shawn at Nature Hills sent me a zipped package containing their template files, and I discovered that setting up a dynamic template on my site was incredibly easy to do!

Using my HTML editor, Homesite 5.0, I simply added my affiliate I.D. to the config.pl file, and uploaded the files to the /NatureHills/ directory that I created at Rosalinds.com. The site then looked and worked exactly like it does at the URL below, but with my affiliate ID coded into the links for all 1295 products!

Nature Hillsก Template

http://www.naturehillsaffiliates.com/templatesite/index.php

After making a few design changes to the template, this is how it looks now at:

Rosalindกs Nature Hillกs site

http://rosalinds.com/NatureHills/

Unfortunately, dynamic templates generally work only on servers running PHP and MYSQL. However, affiliates whose hosts do not run PHP and MYSQL can still profit from product datafeeds by building static pages on their computer using Richard Gaskinกs WebMerge.

Here is a site that I built using a 593product datafeed from Candy Crate (another ShareaSale merchant), Webmerge, and the same template that I used for the Nature Hills site:

Rosalindกs Candy Crate Site

http://rosalinds.com/CandyCrate/

Iกm terrible at reading instructions, so Webmerge posed a bit of a challenge for me to use at first. However, after reading the tutorials, asking Richard a few questions, and spending some time on the Datafeeds forum at ABestWeb.com, the software was easy to figure out.

Now, with a site standard template and Webmerge files, I can build a 10, 20 or 30,000 product site in mere seconds with the push of a button.

An alternative to ?Webmergeกis Mark Hendricksก and Frank Sousaกs ?Secret Money Generatorก software. ?Secret Money Generatorก makes product datafeeds even easier to manipulate. SMG allows you to build thousands of content rich, search engine friendly, static web pages which come complete with graphics and order links with your affiliate IDs embedded in them all in just a few seconds!

So, to save time and make more sales, be on the lookout for merchants with product datafeeds. My daddy always said, ?Work smarter, not harderก, and affiliate marketing doesn’t get much smarter or easier than this.

© Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the bestselling กSuper Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peopleกs Stuff Onlineก. To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

This article was posted on March 30

by Rosalind Gardner

Free Marketing = Effective Marketing

Free Marketing = Effective Marketing

by: Brandon Milford

According to Google.com there are over three billion web pages online today. So what are you doing to separate yourself from the crowd? How are you targeting your customers? How much capital are you investing in marketing? Is it working?

I hear many business owners complaining about the inability to successfully drive targeted customers to their website. I listen as they tell me about purchasing email lists and buying advertising spaces on related websites. While these methods may work there are free and effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your site.

The first is the ever popular search engines. There are a number of ways to successfully optimize your website for the search engines and subsequently receive better rankings. Search engine optimization is an enormous topic and there have been many books written on the subject and businesses specializing in this service, but I will give you a few important pointers on optimizing your website. First, be sure to have a great deal of relevant content on your website that is no more than three levels deep (the search engine’s crawler does not typically search more than three levels down). This content can include articles, white papers, case studies etc. Second, be sure to have a large number of websites linking to yours. Trade links with other website owners and place their links in a ‘Resources’ section on your website. One of the important variables, among many, that Google will use in your ranking is the number of relevant websites that are linking to yours. So be sure the majority of incoming links to your website are from businesses that provide similar offerings. Third, be sure to include accompanying text links to all of your pages if your current page links are buried within images. This is important because the crawler cannot see images, but it can find text links.

The next way to drive free targeted traffic to your website is to include a link to your site and small ‘hook’ in your email signature. I’m surprised at how many business owners still do not do this. This hook will be one sentence that tells your audience what you do. This ขsmall adข of sorts will be on every email you send out. Example:

John Smith

President

ABC Company

ขProviding communications solutions in a technology driven worldข

Next, get involved with various online message boards/discussion forums that discuss topics that are relevant to your business and provide a link to your website in your signature. You’ll be surprised at its effectiveness. Be sure to participate in relevant discussion forums so that you can learn and contribute the most by participating in knowledgeable topics and at the same time receive targeted clicks. Do not spam any discussion forums, this is not effective and will kill all credibility in your business and your product/service.

The next way to receive free targeted traffic is similar to exchanging links, but even more effective. Seek out partnerships with companies that offer complimentary product offerings and agree to place a prominent link to their site if they will do the same for you. You can set up a ‘Partners’ section on your homepage and display the company’s logo, link, and information.

It is important that we not forget about marketing offline as well. If you are just starting and need customer referrals don’t be afraid to give away products/services for free or at least in exchange for another company’s services. For instance, let’s say that you design websites. Offer a lawyer a free website for their company if in return they will give you free legal advice for a limited time. Also, offer a limited number of businesses free products/services. After you have provided a few businesses with your products/services and they are happy ask them to write a testimonial for you and display this testimonial prominently on your website. Also, give them a few of your business cards and ask them to send any of their friends your way as well. You’ll be surprised at how many people will hear about your business via wordofmouth through satisfied customers.

I hope this condensed list of suggestions have helped you in formulating ideas on how to better market your website. Use your imagination and get creative in your marketing efforts. Get out there and tell the world about your website!

About The Author

Brandon Milford is the President of Pimil.com, a web solutions company based in Georgia, and the Marketing Director for Email Marketing Software Center, a website devoted to providing knowledge and product recommendations on permission based email marketing.

brandon@pimil.com

This article was posted on April 02, 2004

by Brandon Milford

ขImprove Your Email’s Deliverabilityข

ขImprove Your Email’s Deliverabilityข

by: Karen Fegarty

With SPAM accounting for over 50% of the email that is delivered to our inboxes many corporations and ISPs have implemented solutions to deal with this growing problem. SPAM filters, IP blocking, domain blocking, and legislation are in place, but often messages that are, in fact, wanted by the recipients, are filtered and not delivered. What do legitimate marketers need to do to ensure that their clients receive their messages? We have collected a number of rules that, if you employ, can greatly increase the number of emails that are delivered and opened by your customers or prospective customers.

1. When delivering to AOL email addresses you need to make sure your SMTP serviceกs domain can be verified using a reverse DNS lookup. Check with your Webmaster or Host Provider. For more information on this topic check out:

http://www.dnsstuff.com/info/revdns.htm and

http://ezinetips.com/articles/resources/20010817.shtml

2. America Online (AOL) has recently released the newest version of its product, AOL 9.0. To protect itกs users from receiving SPAM, AOL has put some measures in place that will affect how your message is received by your AOL subscribers. All graphics will be blocked from being displayed in HTML emails; as well links will be deactivated for any new message sent to an AOL 9.0 inbox. When an email is received in AOL 9.0, users will have to click a link at the top of each message (Show Images & Enable Links) to view any graphics within your email. If this action is not taken, images and links will not be displayed or enabled.

This is the default setting for AOL 9.0; however, the email recipient does have the ability to add the senderกs From Address into their address book, which AOL classifies as People I Know. Once this has been done, all emails received from this address in the future will automatically have images and links showing correctly.

Your recipients must add you to their address book as a sender they recognize and approve. You should add a line to the top of your email, which states something like this… กAttention AOL 9.0 users please add fromaddress@company.com to your address book so that you can see our entire messageก. For more information on this issue visit: http://library.marketingsherpa.com/barrier.cfm?CID=2455 MS 2003 will also filter the images. For more information visit: http://ktdcommunications.com/communications/katydid_023.htm

3. Be aware of the current and proposed SPAM laws. Check out http://www.spamlaws.com for current legislation.

4. Ensure that each message contains an unsubscribe statement that links to a valid URL or a valid Mailto: link. However do not use the words ‘to unsubscribeก as these are now getting filtered. Use something like ‘to leaveก.

5. Do not include .exe or attachments in your message.

6. Do not purchase lists.

7. Do not rent lists that are not doubleoptin.

8. Don’t sell or rent out your own lists.

9. Always remove any unsubscribes immediately

10. Always remove any undeliverables immediately.

11. Remind people of their relationship with you. Tell them in the message the email address that they used when they subscribed.

12. Communicate with your recipients on a regular basis, but don’t communicate with recipients too often. An email that is welcomed on a monthly basis may become unwelcome when sent more frequently.

13. Include a correct reply email address and telephone contact information in each email.

14. Avoid sending long text articles.

15. Do not send HTML messages without Text alternatives.

16. Avoid sending messages with a large number of hotlinks.

17. Do not use BCC distribution methods with over 10 names per email. Use a product like Broadc@st, which creates an individual message for each email.

18. If you are sending a newsletter place the word กnewsletterก and a date including month in the subject line. This reduces your SPAM score.

19. Watch your email lists, heavy B2C distribution to @aol.com, @hotmail.com. @msn.com etc may be flagged.

20. Avoid using words or phases that trigger spam filters. For more information on this visit: http://www.doctorebiz.com/06/021106b.htm and http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt8/spamfilter_phrases.htm

21. Check out the common tests that filters like Outlook and SpamAssassin use to filter your emails and try to avoid the common issues. For information on these tests visit http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/preview.aspx?AssetID=HA010450051033&CTT=98 and http://eu.spamassassin.org/tests.html

22. Routinely check http://www.spamcop.net to see if you have been blacklisted unfairly. Send an email to have this rectified. To check their list enter: http://spamcop.net/bl.shtml?111.111.111.11 (where 111.111.111.11 is the IP address of your sending SMTP.)

23. Use services such as Assuranceกs Message Checker to precheck your messages for common filtering flags and Assuranceกs Blacklist Alert to keep on top of where you may be blacklisted.

24. Sending your delivery in small batches of 500 or less might avoid filtration.

25. For additional information and a practical guide on avoiding SPAM filters check out Marketing Sherpa’s ขHowto Kit: Get Your Permission Email Past Filtersข http://www.sherpastore.com/store/page.cfm/p.cfm/2094?1044.

About The Author

Karen Fegarty is a professional marketer working with both MailWorkZ and ezTrackZ. Check out the ezTrackZ ad tracker product at http://www.eztrackz.com. and MailWorkZ’s flagship email marketing tool., Broadc@st at http://www.mailworkz.com

This article was posted on January 28, 2004

by Karen Fegarty

Who Else Wants a Shot at 16,000+ Links Partners?

Who Else Wants a Shot at 16,000+ Links Partners?

by: John Gergye

Sick and tired of wasting hours tracking down link partners?

Sure links can work wonders for search engine ranking. But after awhile all the dead ends can get to you, right? Maybe even leaving you ready to chuck this whole link trading thing right out the window.

I know the feeling. Then I discovered link trading directories.

Now if you believe the hype you may begin hyperventilating. Or feel you’ve died and gone to linking heaven. I know I did since these directories are basically lists of eager link traders. Which should cut the time to find tons of sites to trade links with. While landing you lots of links. Especially since all of these directories tout the quality of the sites listed.

Okay to me high quality to means higher page rank (PR) and decent traffic. But is that what these directories deliver?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Mostly I found a few cherries hidden in a bowl of pits.

Yes, you will find decent linking partners.

Yes, you will pick up some PR.

But this is probably not a shortcut to a PR 6 web site. That causes traffic to pour over you like maple syrup. While bringing your server to it’s knees.

But hold on. Let’s not throw this idea under the bus just yet. Because it might be just the ticket for newer sites looking to get into the linking game. As long as you’re willing to put in some time to eliminate the riffraff.

Anyway having duly alerted you to the downsides, let me give you a list of the five best link trading directories I found. Along with a game plan to tease the best linking candidates from each fairly quickly.

The Directories

After compiling a list I eliminated those with sparse listings. Or that let people submit multiple times to any category they felt like. Or charged for submission. Which left me with 5 keepers totaling over 16,000 potential link partners.

http://www.123exchangelinks.com/browse.htm

Link to Links Page: Yes

# of Listings: Over 1300

Shows Date Added: Yes

http://www.webmasterlinkexchange.com/

Link to Links Page: No

# of Listings: Over 450

Shows Date Added: Yes

http://www.linkmarket.net/link_directory/index.php

Link to Links Page: No

# of Listings: Over 10,000

Shows Date Added: Yes

http://www.linkexchange.ws/linkexchange/index.php

Link to Links Page: No

# of Listings: Over 800

Shows Date Added: Yes

http://alllinksite.com/

Link to Links Page: No

# of Listings: Over 4,000

Shows Date Added: No

Now you’re ready for

The 6Step Game Plan

So hitch up your wading boots and wade on in.

Step 1) Know Your Site Types

You have to know what types of sites you’re looking for. So come up with a list of the types of sites you’re willing to swap links with.

Step 2) Set Minimum PR.

I’d recommend you ferret out link partners that can give you at least a PR 3 link back. Since most run of the mill webmasters can offer that with just a modest effort.

Step 3) Engage Tools

Access each directory in Internet Explorer with the Google toolbar activated.

Step 4) Pick Your Poison

Pick a category matching one of your target link partner niches.

Luckily one directory, www.123exchangelinks.com, links directly to the site’s links page. At least most of the time. Just run through those listings looking for PR 3 or better.

With the rest click to the site. Typically sites that have at least PR 3 links pages have PR 5 or better home pages. So click as fast as you can seeking sites that come up PR 5 or higher. Just don’t expect to be overwhelmed with the possibilities.

Another trick? If the directory shows the date added go for the older listings first. Reason being older listings are more likely to have more PR. Assuming the webmaster has done more than sit on her hands.

Step 5) Attempt to Link Up

If it passes PR muster find the Add URL page or an email to send your linking info to. I use the linking info found in the link exchange directory as their linking info to put on my site.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 for all appropriate categories.

Step 6) Add Me

Finally you can add your site. With the five directories I gave you the price of admission is a link back. Otherwise I wouldn’t pay to play. Just don’t think it’s worth it. Because most of the requests from your listing won’t have at least PR 3 links pages.

Anyway there you have it another way to find linking partners. Use the five link exchange directories, follow the game plan I’ve laid out, and you should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff fairly quickly. Making link trading directories another tool in your linking tool box.

Copyright 2004 John Gergye

About The Author

John Gergye shares more ideas like this in his recently updated eBook ‘traffic From Google in 35 Daysก. Find out more here: http://www.traffictesttube.com/j/tfg35cl.shtml/ Or test your search engine IQ by taking his seo quiz http://www.traffictesttube.com/searchenginequiz.shtml/ and get the free special report กComing Out On Topก.

This article was posted on December 21, 2004

by John Gergye

Earn Money From Your WebSite With Affiliate Links

Earn Money From Your WebSite With Affiliate Links

by: Knut Holt

If you have a website with some traffic, you can make money by having links to merchantsก online shops on your site.If someone goes through your links into the shop of the merchant, and buys something, you earn commission from the sale, between 5% and 40% depending on type of merchant. Some merchants also pay for each click or each lead. A lead is a new visitor to the shop that asks for more information or prize offers.

People or companies having these links on their websites, are called affiliates, and the links are called affiliate links. The administrative infrastructure by the merchant that the affiliate register into, in order to get the linking code, is called an affiliate program.

To register into an affiliate program is usually free, and through the program you get freely all you need to make the linking code, to monitor the traffic through your links, and to see what commission you have earned.

An affiliate program is not a MLM program, since the affiliates only earn from sales, leads or clicks.

However, in many programs you can recruit other affiliates and earn some commission from the sales made by the recruited affiliates too.

There are also common networks operated by thirdpart companies where several merchants use a common software and administrative infrastructure to recruit affiliates and monitor the traffic from affiliates. These are called affiliate networks. Both the merchants and potetial affilliates register into the network, and the affiliates can find links to the online shops of hundreds of merchants to use at their website. Examples of affiliate networks are Commission Junction and Clixgalore.

From my experience, the best affiliate programs are for merchants selling althernative health items or items for erotic improvements. I also have good experience with programs in the fields skincare, cosmetics and hobby.

What will work best for you, will however depend upon the kind of traffic you have, and the interests of people visiting your site.

About The Author

Submitted by Knut Holt

http://www.panteraconsulting.com/salg2.htm

http://www.abicana.com/affiliatenetworks.htm

Knut Holt is an international internet marketer with a focus on health items.

kholt2@online.no

This article was posted on April 07

by Knut Holt

Color Me Blue

Color Me Blue

by: Rosalind Gardner

Chris, a new consulting client, asked me to help him increase sales on his affiliate marketing site.

As he was describing his site and the problem, I thought, ‘this is going to be a quick fix.ก

How wrong I was!

His site was excellent. Other than a few minor points, it followed all my basic rules for a successful affiliate marketing site.

The site was focused around a single theme in a profitable niche, with an excellent selection of highpriced, highcommission products.

Chris had gone the extra mile to have his site professionally designed, and it was simple, elegant and userfriendly, employing consistent navigation and a nifty databasedriven search results system.

He was working directly with his merchant partners to create ad copy that offered his visitors the best possible deals.

And he was advertising in the payperclick search engines to drive tons of targeted traffic, and using hundreds of keyword listings with brilliantly worded titles and descriptions.

So, why on earth were his sales so low?

I knew I was picking at straws, but during our first session, I made a host of recommendations for improvement, which included:

a domain name change

a background color change

reformatting the page table size

rephrasing offers more positively

adding relevant graphics and photos

dropping poor performing merchants

adding a newsletter

adding new products

redirecting nonbuyers to additional offers

Chris implemented all my suggestions as well as a few of his own. After giving the new version a few weeks to prove itself, we scheduled our second teleconsulting session. I was anxious to hear how well the site was now performing.

You can appreciate my dismay when Chris told me that his sales had actually dropped!

Aargh!

I reviewed his site again, and it suddenly struck me… he should try blue links!

Why?

Because web design convention suggests that links should be blue, visited links purple and active links red. Although nothing written in stone about link color, I believe that those conventional colors should used whenever they compliment site design.

Iกd changed my own site links, SageHearts.com, from maroon to blue sometime before and noticed a nice conversion rate increase.

Sure enough, that WAS the answer to Chrisก site problems…

His conversions increased 1100% almost overnight JUST by changing his link color to blue.

In addition to being underlined, people expect links to be blue, and in some cases visitors may have problems with sites that don’t conform to their expectations.

With the average site visit lasting only about 8 seconds, we don’t have time to waste confusing our visitors with basic site navigation. Use blue links if possible to keep your navigation instantly recognizable, unambiguous and consistent.

© Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the bestselling กSuper Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peopleกs Stuff Onlineก. To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

This article was posted on March 30

by Rosalind Gardner

Googleกs New SEO Rules

Googleกs New SEO Rules

by: John Metzler

Google has recently made some pretty significant changes in its ranking algorithm. The latest update, dubbed by Google forum users as กAllegraก, has left some web sites in the dust and catapulted others to top positions. Major updates like this can happen a few times a year at Google, which is why picking the right search engine optimization company can be the difference between online success and failure. However, it becomes an increasingly difficult decision when SEO firms themselves are suffering from the Allegra update.

Overoptimization may have played the biggest part in the dropping of seoguy.com from the top 50 Google results. Filtering out web sites that have had readability sacrificed for optimization is a growing trend at Google. It started with the Sandbox Effect in late 2004, where relatively new sites were not being seen at all in the Google results even with good keyword placement in content and incoming links. Many thought it was a deliberate effort by Google to penalize sites that had SEO work done. Itกs a few months later and we see many of the กsandboxedก web sites finally appearing well for their targeted keywords.

With 44 occurrences of กSEOก on the relatively short home page of seoguy.com, and many of them in close proximity to each other, the content reads like a page designed for search engine robots, not the visitor. This ranking shift should come as no surprise to SEO professionals as people have been saying it for years now: Sites should be designed for visitors, not search engine robots. Alas, some of us don’t listen and this is what happens when search engines finally make their move.

One aspect of search engine optimization that is also affected in a roundabout way is link popularity development. After observing the effects of strictly relevant link exchanges on many of our clientกs sites recently, weกve noticed incredibly fast #1 rankings on Google. It seems Google may be looking out for links pages designed for the sole purpose of raising link popularity and devalues the relevance of the site. After all, if a links page on a real estate site has 100 outgoing links to pharmacy sites, there has to be a lot of content on that page completely unrelated to real estate. Not until now has that been so detrimental to a siteกs overall relevance to search terms. It goes back to the old rule of thumb: Make your visitors the top priority. Create a resources page that actually contains useful links for your site users. If you need to do reciprocal linking then keep it relevant and work those sites in with other good resources.

Keeping up with the online search world can be overwhelming for the average small business owner or corporate marketing department. Constant Google changes, MSN coming on the scene in a big way, and all the hype around the new Become.com shopping search function can make heads spin. But just keep things simple and follow the main rules that have been around for years. Google, as well as other search engines, won’t ever be able to ignore informative, well written content along with good quality votes from other web sites.

About The Author

John Metzler is the cocreator of Abalone Designs, Inc. www.abalone.ca, a Search Engine Optimization company in Vancouver, Canada. He has been involved in web design and web marketing since 1999 and has helped turn Abalone Designs into one of the top SEO companies in the world.

john@abalone.ca

This article was posted on February 28

by John Metzler

Write Articles Geared to Your Local Market to Bols

Write Articles Geared to Your Local Market to Bolster Your Local Search Visibility

by: Lynella Grant

The Shortest Distance to Your Home Town Enterprise is Over the Internet

Combine two dynamite online methods for bringing your business to the attention of buyers Local Search and widely posted articles you write. Doing both gives you a jump on your local competition, plus additional credibility and exposure to your market.

Local Search occurs by adding a geographic term is added to a search engine query. Instead of results comprising millions of pages, only businesses within your specific area are included. For example, entering Florists + Boston only returns Boston florists a small pool of available choices.

Geographic terms can be town, state, region, zip code, etc. Results appear on both a list and map, so the most convenient stand out. Today, nearly 40% of search engine queries ask for Local Search information with that number increasing rapidly. 70% of buyers go online to conduct research before they buy, even from local merchants. So the impact is considerable.

Articles Deliver Credibility and Links

When you write articles and post them widely to Internet directories and ezines, your knowledge is spread to thousands of readers. Sites displaying your articles link back to your website. That encourages readers to seek you out. Links also increase search engine rankings, which push you higher on the results lists. Capture all the benefits http://www.promotewitharticles.com/benefits.html that come with writing articles.

You’re Not Competing Against the Whole World

The widespread assumption dictates shooting to be on first page results if you can (most searchers don’t look past the first page). That all depends. If you’re competing against every other business and website out there, that’s true. And your odds are slim. But you don’t need to only the ones competing for the same customers you are.

Besides, sophisticated searchengine optimization strategies or tracking methods are beyond the needs or skills of most small businesses. There’s a danger that SEO demands can easily pull an owner away from their brickandmortar priorities.

There’s a wellknown joke about two men being lost in the wilderness, who come to the attention of a bear. One man stops long enough to put on his running shoes. His friend scoffs, กYou really think you can outrun a bear?ก He replied, กI only have to outrun you.ก

When it comes to Local Search, you don’t have to outrun all the other enterprises that do what you do. You only have to outrun the ones in your local market. Those likely to show up in the same Local Search results you do.

Consider all the plumbers who could show up in a Local Search for:

Plumber + กyour townก. Visualize three groups:

1. Those who won’t appear in the search because they’re not listed in the search engine data bases. See if your business is included in those databases at http://www.localsearchresources.com/listed.html

2. Those who appear in the results, but who have done nothing further. They won’t show up in all the search results they could have.

3. Those adding specific information for search engines, website visitors, and their local customers: a) enhance their website, b) provide searchenginerelevant information on their pages, c) provide easytofind information that Internet users are looking for.

#3 lets you outrun the other guy. Your articles help you to do that, too. Of those who show up in your search results list, how many are likely to have such additional information (and keywords) for the search engines to draw upon? Your information seems more complete and relevant—leapfrogging you to the front.

Adapt Your Articles for Your Neck of the Woods

The usual method for getting better search engine rankings is to post articles widely to article directory sites and ezines interested in your topic. That’s how the game’s played for ecommerce topics, or products and services with a national reach.

But that’s not primarily what you’re after as a small business operator. Certainly, you’ll benefit from links from other posting sites and links to your website. But you’re interested in reaching the people who live in your area. They’re the ones you want to read your articles and be moved to come to your place of business. Your priority is to build relationships on the local level.

So also post your articles to websites or portals in your community. They may not have high page rank, but they have access to your local customers. And links among local enterprises help to support each other and the local economy. Aso, print off a stack of your articles for handouts in your storefront.

Write your articles differently. Mention your town in your title or keywords. Make sure your signature file (sig) says your town and state. Use examples that are specific to your town or region. กChoosing roses that can thrive above the tree line.ก Refer to landmarks or make geographic references that the locals will recognize. The search engines will pick up some of those references, and they’ll boost your Local Search prominence.

Learn to Make the Most of Local Search Exposure

The easier you can be found online, the more ways you appear in Local Search results. It’s here for the long term, bringing customers to your door who don’t respond to your other marketing methods. Articles and Local Search awareness will build on each other, and you’ll gain a tangible edge in your local market.

Copyright 2005 Off the Page

About The Author

Dr. Lynella Grant An expert in Yellow Page ads and Local Search. Stand out online and offline, so you capture more Internetsavvy buyers for your brick and mortar business. Free resources http://www.localsearchresources.com 7193959450

This article was posted on September 05

by Lynella Grant

Internet Marketing Without a BigPicture Strategy

Internet Marketing Without a BigPicture Strategy Dances in Circles

by: Michael Pedone

Stop Tracking the Illusive กMagic Bulletก

It seems like everyone is beating the drum for one Internet marketing method or another. And in the process they create plenty of hype and conflicting messages.

Website owners are left to wonder whom to believe when it comes to impressing the search engines. Which approach can deliver the กmagic bulletก theyกve been promised? Is it time to jump to the next กsure thing,ก that will entice both search spiders and web surfers?

The primary methods promoted to attract search engines and Web traffic aren’t new:

Links and reciprocal links

Payperclick (PPC)

Search engine optimization (SEO) in all its variations

Blogs and forums

Writing and posting articles or press releases

Paid placement with ads and banners

But each of them shares a common limitation. At its best, each is only part of the answer. An answer that won’t hold still long enough to get nailed down before the next กmust haveก appears.

The Internet is Maturing, and so are Search Engines

In recent years, the capabilities and sophistication of the search engines have exploded. Public use and expectations have grown to match it. The publicกs reliance on the Internet as a reliable source expands ever faster. Recent studies found the Web to be the most trusted source of information for making major purchase decisions, second only to spouses for finding referrals.

A Harris Interactive consumer survey (2004) reports that 73% of adults are now online 156 million users. Thatกs up from 69% eight months before. Most Internet users (80%) expect that theyกll find reliable, detailed facts online (Pew Internet and American Life Project). So they go online first when they need information. And they have confidence in what they’re able to find.

Now more than ever, access to that gigantic pool of informationhungry Internet users depends on a websiteกs relationship to the search engines. Is it possible for people to find it? The stakes are high.

Integration of Methods is the กNext Big Thingก

Refined keyword and page optimization are the standard anymore. SEO has morphed into Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The key difference is integration. SEO method aren’t seen as separate solutions, but as parts of a multipronged endeavor. Success now depends on how well they all dovetail.

Thatกs a fundamental shift from the lurching กdo this…, now that…, now that… approaches, which have characterized the online norm. And anyone whoกs still playing by that game plan will be left behind.

Be suspicious of any SEO strategy thatกs wedded to a single method no matter what impressive statistics they cite. And when the search engines กburp,ก (as they surely will now and then) a siteกs visibility can be lost. A diversified approach to links and search engines reduces vulnerability. Achieving that requires shifting focus to a bigger, more inclusive picture.

My Experience with Reciprocal Linking

As a person who has been in SEM for years (and finetuned hundreds of websites) Iกve gotten good at spotting trends as they develop. And Iกve seen too many กcan’t loseก methods fade.

No question that linking is important for search engine placement. There are effective and targeted ways to acquire incoming links that don’t require a link exchange. However, I saw some problems with the way many reciprocal links are pursued. My concerns led me to write an article, Reciprocal Linking is Dead, http://www.etafficjams.com/reciprocallinkingisdead.htm back when most insiders were proclaiming it to be the way to go. (Fresh articles about why you should develop reciprocal links appear daily.)

An integrated search engine marketing strategy is vital for your websiteกs visibility and survival. Resist the shortsightedness of putting too much reliance on what everyone is recommending.

Beat the Pack by a Country Mile

If you’re ready for the กNext Big Thing,ก stop chasing the flavor of the month. The trend is toward building an integrated strategy where all the options mesh. Achieve all the added benefits that come with integrating every method your website employs. Now thatกs a next thing with staying power.

© 2005, Michael Pedone

About The Author

Michael Pedone http://www.eTrafficJams.com a professional search engine optimization company specializing in getting targeted, eagertobuy traffic to your site! Want to improve your siteกs optimization? Call 8777859977 for a free SEO analysis

michael@eTrafficJams.com

This article was posted on February 26

by Michael Pedone

Reciprocal Linking

Reciprocal Linking

by: Jason Blackston

Reciprocal linking is considered by many people the most effective way to increase traffic to your website. You often get hits from the web sites that you have exchanged your links with, and reciprocal linking also helps boost your search engine rankings.

What is a reciprocal link?

A reciprocal link is a link to a website that carries a similar link back to your own website.

A reciprocal link is a common thread between you and another website owner. You both likely share similar websites and content, and you are oกkay with the possibility of a viewer leaving your site to take a look at your linking partnerกs site.

What a reciprocal link is not…

A reciprocal link is not a cure all! Many times webmasters have a ton of links. The problem is that many of those links are broken or out of date. I will share a resource to help you find those broken links in a minute. But first you need to find sites to link to!

A great way to find sites that might like to link to your site is to use Link Finder at http://siteowner.bcentral.com/linkfinder.cfm Here you can check for links to your competition or other sites that are related to yours.

*Getting back to finding those broken links…

You can find broken links, spot bad HTML code, check browser compatibility, find slowloading pages, and check your spelling at http://www.netmechanic.com/cobrands/zd_dev/

By utilizing reciprocal linking strategies, you can enhance your web presence. Take advantage of these tools and start climbing to the top!

About The Author

Discover proven methods of converting website visitors into paying customers! Pick up your free epackage at http://www.govisitors.com. And be sure to utilize the resources page for free articles, ebooks, and other information, that can help enhance your marketing campaigns.

© Jason Blackston

This article was posted on January 27, 2004

by Jason Blackston

7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

by: Angela Wu

One marketing technique may work wonders for someone, but that doesn’t guarantee that itกll do the same for you. The only way to really know what works for YOUR products and YOUR target audience is to experiment. Testing and experimentation are crucial to increasing your profits.
1. Try using the occasional popup window to get more subscribers to your newsletter. Some people *really* hate these, so use them sparingly. For example, you could have a window pop up only the first time someone visits your site … or you could have one appear whenever someone leaves your site. Try different scenarios to see what works best.
2. Change the price of your product and see what impact it has on sales. Even if your sales drop, you may still come out ahead when it comes to profits. Note: your sales may not drop at all; I increased the price of my own booklet from $12.95 to $19.95 and sales stayed the same. You never know until you try.
3. Test different sales copy on your website and in your autoresponder. Should you come on strong, be subtle, be extremely detailed? Does long sales copy do better than short copy, or vice versa? Do you get more sales by spreading your sales copy on multiple pages, or by putting it all on one page? Be sure to make backups of your previous work; if you find the new copy kills sales, you can always restore the previous version.
4. Track your advertising. There are a number of commercially available ad tracking packages that can help you see which ads are working well and which aren’t. Discard anything that doesn’t work, and try to improve on ads that appear to work well.
5. Experiment with the navigation of your website. For example, change the number of clicks required to get to your ordering page, or change the flow of navigation so that your visitor always ends up at an ordering page.
6. Test different types of links. You might try short ads in the margins of your web pages vs. text links within the context of an article, for example.
7. Test response rates between direct links to your sales page and the use of a followup autoresponder. Sometimes people just need an extra กpushก or a reminder to order. (make sure your autoresponder has an easy way for your prospect to unsubscribe)

About The Author

Angela runs several successful sites dedicated to helping beginners profit from the Internet. Her new web magazine, Online Business Basics, features stepbystep tutorials for eBusiness กnewbiesก. To take the guesswork out of starting and building an Internet business, click over to http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com/

This article was posted on February 4, 2002

by Angela Wu