Market Research Means Money

Market Research Means Money

by: Jason Carr

I recently made a critical mistake in my progression towards business success: I forgot about market research. I had decided that I was going to make some money with an online store. I thought to myself, where should I start? What can I sell? After a bit of brainstorming, I picked a few things that I thought might be good to sell online. I then proceeded to start looking for suppliers. This may seem like a reasonable course of action, but it is not. It is missing a key component of any business plan.

A basic assumption for the purpose of this article is that there is competition involved with any business. Even if you make your own, unique product, similar products will compete against yours. However, the existence of competition is not necessarily bad. The fact that online retailers are selling items similar or identical to your own means that there is demand for your product. Competition is only bad for you, as a retailer, when the market is becoming saturated (or is already at that point).

Check the electronics market for a good example of this principle. Electronics go for rockbottom prices online because there are so many different stores that sell them. The difference in prices between stores usually comes down to the cost of shipping. The competition in this area is extreme. If retailers cut their prices any lower they won’t make enough to survive.

The first person who had the idea to sell VCRs online probably made a killing. Nowadays, nobody makes anything more than a buck or two per unit. For a homebased business, that’s not good enough. Today’s electronics dealers depend on volume, and very good supply sources, in order to make their money. Generally speaking, small retailers cannot sell at those prices and turn a profit.

In order to be successful it is essential that you know what you’re up against, and that means market research.

If you are selecting your products, then you need to know which stores already sell those products. You also need to know how many stores there are, how much they are charging and, if you can find out, how well they are doing. Could you sell for less (if only a little)? What are other ways you could differentiate your store from the rest?

If you already have your product, then you need to know where and how your competitors are advertising. Are they concentrated in one location? Are there good places that they have overlooked? How much is it going to cost to compete with them for prime ad space?

So, you may ask, where do I begin? The answer is Overture. Owned by Yahoo, Overture is one of the largest and most reliable payperclick advertising services. Their program can be an extremely effective, but that is something for another day.

What you need for research requires no signup and belongs to no program. There are two web tools in the Overture Advertiser Center that can be amazingly useful. The first is the Search Term Suggestion Tool. This tool allows you to look up a keyword, like ขdigital cameraข, and find out how many people searched for that term last month. Not only that, but the tool will suggest a list of related terms, like ขdigital camera reviewข, for your consideration.

The number of searches per term comes from Overture’s partners like Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, CNN, etc. This is critical information because it tells you whether or not people are looking for your product online and, at the same time, shows you how they are searching for it. This indicates a certain demand for your product.

You may be able to judge the size of the demand, to a certain degree, by the number of searches for your terms. For example (numbers taken at time of writing and may not reflect current rates):

Digital Camera – 1,337,422 (high interest)

Used Car – 890,346

Mountain Bike – 133,553

Blender – 26,648

Bubble Gum Machine – 1,502

Chapstick Raspberry Vanilla – 25 (very low interest)

Keep in mind that users searching for ‘digital camera’ are not necessarily shopping for one. They may just want information such as reviews or feature lists. It is also good to remember that if people are searching on Yahoo and MSN, as in the case of digital cameras, then you can safely assume that even more people are searching for the same things on Google.

The second tool Overture provides is the View Bids Tool. This tool allows you to take the keywords that you found with the term suggestion tool and see how many ads there are for each term and how high the bids are (in order to be listed on top of your competition you must place a higher bid for the term you want). This tool can help you judge your competition.

For example, at the time of this writing there are 131 ads associated with the term digital camera. The top bid is 79 cents per click. Bubble gum machine has 13 ads with a top bid of 49 cents. Chapstick Raspberry Vanilla, not surprisingly, has no bids on the term which means that the top spot could be purchased for the minimum price of 10 cents per click.

After you have your information from Overture, Google is your likely next step. To my knowledge, Google does not provide any analysis tools to the general public, though information is available to registered advertisers. Despite this limitation, it is easy to find your competition on Google. Simply enter your search term and check the right side of the results screen. The first page should show the top advertisers. Checking subsequent pages will reveal the entire list of advertisers for that term.

Tip: Sometimes advertisers may be targeting your term, but not selling your product. Read through the ads and visit the sites to get a more accurate idea of your direct competitors.

The natural results (the normal, nonad results) of your search are important as well. Check those to see the top ranked sites in your market. Those sites are probably there because they employ search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Users are much more likely to click on the natural results than they are the ads. The stores at the top of the list are likely to be well established and may represent some solid competition.

Visit your competitor’s web sites and see what they are selling. Check for site quality, organization, ease of use and amount of products sold. Perhaps they sell your product, but it is lost in a vast sea of other related merchandise. That means better chances for your niche store. Maybe their site is ugly or hard to navigate. These are points at which you could gain an advantage over your rivals. Checking other sites will also give you ideas about how to run your own store.

The third step in this process is to check out Yahoo! Shopping. Yahoo! hosts what is known as an online mall. That is, retailers setup stores with Yahoo!’s services and are then included in Yahoo! Shopping’s listings. This can be a good way to get fast traffic. For market research, it means easy access to competitor sites. On the Yahoo! Shopping main page, do a search for your product (Braun blenders for example). The results will show sponsored ads and normal listings. The sponsored ads come from Overture, so you should already be familiar with those.

The normal listings come from a combination of Yahoo! Product Submit results and Yahoo!’s webcrawler search database. What is important in this list is actually displayed just below the top sponsor listings and just above the normal listings. There should be two numbers: the number of products found and the number of stores they were found in. For ‘Braun blenders’ there were 989 matches from 76 stores (at time of writing). Those numbers give you an indication of how many stores you’re up against.

Note: If there are too many matches, the number of stores will not be displayed (ex. ‘sony dvd player’ yields 3,660 matches). Of course, numbers that high shout, ขbig competition,ข even without store numbers.

Here again you have the opportunity to scope out competing stores. The thorough researcher would get their names and site locations. This may seem time consuming, and it is, but it will help with future research.

Our final recommendation is to visit eBay. Once there, find the eBay Stores area (located in the Specialty Sites box on the homepage at time of writing). Enter your search term to see how many eBay stores are selling your product. ‘Braun blenders’ shows ten items in eBay stores (not bad compared to Yahoo!). In addition, the search may show regular listings below the store results. These results should give you some idea of the popularity of your product as well as the feasibility of selling it on eBay.

Quick Recap:

Overture (free analysis tools)

Google (ads and natural results)

Yahoo! Shopping (number of stores)

eBay Stores (same deal)

Remember, some competition is good because it shows that there is an interest in your product. Too much competition is bad because it means low profitability. The spot where you can make good money is somewhere in between (most likely on the low end of the competition scale). Unfortunately, I know of no exact way to calculate your chances of success. For those who can afford it, hiring a market research professional might help considerably with that calculation. In any case, a solid business plan built on thorough market research will certainly boost your chances significantly.

About The Author

Jason Carr is a small business owner, dedicated student of ecommerce strategy, and producer of BeginBiz, an online resource for those looking to start an internet business.

BeginBizAdmin@startnetbiz.com

This article was posted on September 15, 2004

by Jason Carr

Niche Marketing: Tactics to Use To Make Money With

Niche Marketing: Tactics to Use To Make Money With Niche Marketing

by: Karl Augustine

Niche marketing has always been a key any success in marketing but lately it has become quite a prominent force in the online marketing world. Many books, manuals, courses, and web sites have been developed that focus on niche marketing. It is easy to find solid resources on the Internet that can teach you how to make money with niche marketing.
Niche marketing online is a distinct segment of Internet marketing and is the quickest way to get maximum exposure if you know how to leverage the search engines to draw attention to your niche web site.
Thereกs many things to learn to be successful and profit from niche marketing and your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) will dictate exactly how to plan your attack to successfully market to customers in your niche.
If you plan to use niche marketing to draw visitors to your web site, hereกs a few tactics that you can use to make money:
Niche Marketing Tactic #1, ‘researchก
Fully utilize all of the research mechanisms that you can find in order to make sure that you truly understand your niche and all of its nuances.
This requires understanding what tools are best to use so you can understand what your target niche market does day to day, where they spend their time online, and what makes them tick from a personal and business perspective.
Niche Market Research (http://www.nichemarketresearch.com)offers free reports and articles to help you make the most of your research time.
Niche Marketing Tactic #2, กDefine your paying nicheก
Clearly define who will make up your niche market and make sure that the people in that niche market are willing to pay for the solution that you provide to their problems.
A niche is a clear subset of a larger category.
An example of what a niche market is not: กPeople who want to learn how to shoot better scores in golf.ก
In this example, there are far too many people within the main category (golf) to make this a true niche. Virtually everyone who plays golf will want to play better and shoot better scores so this wouldn’t qualify as a niche, much less a category worth pursuing.
An example of a niche market: กWomen who play golf who want to learn how to drive the ball longer and straighter.ก
This would be a niche because it clearly defines and segments who youกll cater to and why they would need your service.
After clearly defining your niche market, you should make sure that they are willing to pay for your services. The easiest way to determine this in the online world (other than using common sense) is to find web sites that may be close to, or even in your niche, and see if those web sites charge a fee for their services.
In addition, you should look to see if there is a reasonable level of competition between those web sites.
If you see more than a few sites listed on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) that cater to female golfers for a fee, chances are the people who are your target customer will pay for your services for solving their problem women who can’t consistently hit long straight drives in golf.
Niche Marketing Strategy #3, กChoosing keywords and domain namesก
Research and choose your keywords carefully so you can acquire the best domain name for your site. Niche marketing most often includes maximizing the way search engines work to make sure that your web site gets listed n the first page of the SERPกs from your chosen keywords. Your domain name contributes to getting those first page results.
Go to Digitalpointกs keyword suggestion tool and type in keywords that you feel people would use to find the product or service that you offer within your niche. Look at the number of searches performed per day for those keywords and review the other keywords listed.
http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/
Type the keyword phrase that you think best suits your USPกs target customer into Google and assess whether or not you can reasonably compete with the sites that are listed on page 1 of the SERPs.
Can you get a page 1 ranking knowing that youกll have to compete with the sites already listed?
Repeat the process until you have decided what your main keywords will be for your product or service within your niche.
Those keywords should be in your domain name and preferably, they should be your entire domain name.
Example: if youกve concluded that กblue widgetsก best suits your USP and you feel that you can compete for page 1 listings on the SERPs with the sites that come up on page 1 for the keyword กblue widgetsก, then a good domain name for your niche marketing site would be กbluewidgets.comก.
Niche Marketing Tactic #4, กPosting keyword rich articles or reports throughout the webก
Niche marketing doesn’t differ from any other online search engine marketing, posting relevant content is the best way (bar none) to get the right type of traffic to your niche site.
Writing keyword rich articles or reports and posting them to high traffic web sites is a great way to make sure that you get maximum exposure within your niche market. People will use your keywords to search for information about the topic that they have interest in, and they will come across your web site on the search engines results.
Niche marketing caters to a distinct and select group of people who need what you have to offer. If you define your niche properly and make sure that your ability to solve their problem is something that they will pay for, you will have established a กmoney makerก.
Utilize the search engines to make it easy for your niche market to find your service or product. Niche marketing is the easiest way to be successful on the Internet if you do the proper research.

About The Author

Karl Augustine Publisher, กStarting Smart!ก

*Learn SEO Top 10 listings

http://www.9mistakesonline.com/nichemarketing.htm

This article was posted on July 08, 2004

by Karl Augustine

Google is Quickly Changing…

Google is Quickly Changing…

by: Martin Lemieux

Google is quickly changing…

With the big buzz of Novembers fall within Google comes a newly indexed database…

Did Google do something bad to our great placements? No I don’t think so and hereกs why.

While people are screaming for help and wondering what went wrong, Iกve noticed a MASSIVE shift in page ranking.

If you look at top placements at the moment, according to Scroogle, most of the ecommerce search terms got hit really hard. A lot of the top 100 placements were vanishing and quickly.

Now on the other hand, less impressive and especially smaller ranking sites have been bumped up top. I firmly believe this is all because of Googleกs ‘refreshingก their memory and possibly starting to take on web site IDกs with 5 characters plus.

What I mean by that is the ability for Google to index more than 3.2 Billion web sites. Adding another character to the already large 4Idกs deticated to each site indexed will allow Google to add a whole other list of sites within their database.

Now I could be wrong on that one but hereกs another phenomenon going on. Iกve been talking to other ecommerce web sites and helping them gain better rankings. Itกs been a while since theyกve had their Page Rank change within their site. Working real hard as I instructed, they have followed all the rules and attempted to boost their page ranks.

Up until now, nothing has changed and people are loosing their ranks within Google since Novembers algorythim change.

Around a week ago Iกve been getting calls left right and center about page ranks boosting like I’ve never seen.

The previous scare before this November change went something like this. Google stopped indexing more than 3 levels within your site. Ex. www.yoursite.com/level1/level2/level3

I affirm to you this: its pure baloney, more sites now have better PR ratings within their entire site than ever before. I believe that Google is rewarding most great resources online before taking on more listings within their index.

As towards se placements, I also took a major hit for my better search engine placements but a couple of days ago that started to all change. It almost seems as though Google wanted to take out the top placement companies in order to thoroughly crawl through all their information before letting them get back in the game.

I say this because one of my top placements was sitting at #1 for a long time. Since this November change, it immediately dropped to #181 and didn’t move one single number for over 3 weeks. To my knowledge, thatกs a little strange. All of a sudden, my site stats recorded Google browsing through all my 600+ pages and presto, my site is back in the game, just like that.

In Conclusion:

It seems to me that we’re all just lined up to sign an application for better search engine placements. The question isn’t if your site will get back in shape, itกs a question of when your number will be called.

Have a little faith and a little patience and you too will rise again! Just keep doing what youกve been doing all along and don’t worry about falling down. The ones who get back up are always the ones on top in the end.

About The Author

Martin Lemieux is a young entrepreneur leading the field in Marketing for Canadians. Having been online since 1991, he knows his stuff when it comes to online marketing.

Affordable Web Design & Web Site Marketing

http://www.smartads.info

ASES Advertising Search Engine Services

http://www.smartads.info

RePrint Rights: You may use this article within your web site ONLY if it remains intact with everything included!

This article was posted on December 06, 2003

by Martin Lemieux

How To Display RSS Feeds On Your Website

How To Display RSS Feeds On Your Website

by: Allan Burns

This article is intended as a guide for webmasters who want to display automatically updated content on their website in the form of RSS feeds. In this article I will cover the easiest method to implement using javascript for displaying RSS on websites to create additional dynamic content. This will allow you to display headlines from syndicated content around the web on your website.

RSS to Javascript.

By far the easiest method is to use client side javascript to parse and display the headlines on your site. To achieve this all you need to do is cut and paste some HTML or javascript code into the web page where you want the RSS feed headlines to display.

To achieve this there are several sites that offer a free service that will allow you to select a few options to choose your feed source and display formatting parameters. You will then be presented with some javascript code that you can cut and paste into your website.

Now before I give you the address of the sites that offer this service freely there are a few points I need to clarify with you. Although you will achieve your goal of displaying dynamic content on your site in a few short minutes there are some downsides to this method.

Javascript is not search engine friendly.

As you may or may not already know, javascript is not visible to search engine spiders. They will not see the RSS feed you have parsed into your site and so this will not benefit you if you are doing this to better your search engine rankings.

You are using a third party service.

The second potential downside is that although the javascript is on your site you are actually calling a script on another server. This could lead to a couple of potential problems. If the server is busy it will mean the news feed will take longer to display on your site. The other point is if the third party server fails or disappears altogether then your feed will not be displayed at all.

In summary there are a few downsides, but if you do not code and want some feeds on your site quickly then this is the way to go. Ok, so now you understand what is involved here are the links to the sites that provide the free RSS to javascript service. All you need to do is follow the on site instructions.

Feed2JS

RSS2HTML

RSStoJavascript

FeedSweep

RSS Xpress Lite

About The Author

Allan is the webmaster at http://www.newsniche.com an RSS resopurce for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.

This article was posted on April 08

by Allan Burns

Who is Really Making the Expired Domains Money?

Who is Really Making the Expired Domains Money?

by: Ed Zivkovic

What is an expired Domain Name?
An expired Domain Name is a Domain Name which was previously registered but the owner did not reregister it. If a Domain Name expires, it becomes available for anyone to register.
Why are Expired Domains so Popular?
One reason is that if the domain name itself has a lot of link popularity, it will have an established source of traffic. What this means to you is if you snap up an Expired Domain with an established source of traffic, you will have a site with instant traffic.
To prove that expired Domain Names with traffic not only exist, but exist abundantly, I will show you a site which sells Traffic from Expired Domains. Thatกs all they do!
The site is: http://www.adbuytraffic.com and they openly state on their FAQ page where the traffic comes from. Expired Domains! Here is that page: http://www.adbuytraffic.com/faq.html#6
How to Locate Expired Domains
I will show you how to locate Expired Domains for Free. The money you save can be used for other things such as web hosting.
But first, just to see how all this works, check out http://www.bizmint.com. They will charge you a monthly fee to access their database of Expired Domains.
Now go to http://www.deleteddomains.com where you can search for Deleted and Expired Domain Names for FREE.
What Program Enables an Expired Domain Name Search?
The above sites all use some kind of Script which will search for Expired Domains. These Scripts are usually written in Perl and will run on a UNIX web host which supports Perl.
There is a couple of ways to get your hands on one of these special programs.
1. Go to http://www.hotscripts.com or
http://www.scriptsearch.com and search for the term กExpired Domain Nameก You will get several results which contain Free and Fee scripts. Remember to try your own search terms too.
2. Go to http://www.scriptlance.com and post a project up for bid. You will get programmers from all over the world bidding on your project. The beauty about this is that you can specify exactly what you want your script to do and you will most likely pay much less for a full featured script. Plus you will own the rights to the script.
So How Can You Profit from Expired Domains?
In his course, Corey Rudl explains one website model that should interest you right now. The website model goes like this:
Find a service which somebody is charging money for on the Internet.
Offer a similar service for Free and have no sales messages on the site in the early days.
Corey goes on to explain that after thousands of people link to your site, you can convert the site into some kind of profit model by selling ad space, your own product that you have created or affiliate products etc.
So clearly, the ones who make the most money from Expired Domain Names are the ones at the top of the PeckingOrder.
Will you make the most money by joining an Expired Domain names affiliate program or will you make more if you have thousands of Affiliates selling your product or service.
What would you rather do?
Pay 10 bucks a month to access a database of expired domains or pay 10 bucks a month for web hosting and own the whole deal?
What if you offered Free Expired Domain Name Search on your site but also offered Domain Name Registrations on the search results page?
To see an example of a regular Free Domain Name Search and Domain Name Registration business go to http://www.domainsearch.com.
Conclusion:
Always try to be at the top of the PeckingOrder.
Before you join an affiliate program, consider creating a similar product or service. Have thousands of affiliates selling YOUR products and services.
Only sell affiliate products which compliment your own products but do not compete with them.
Copyright 2004 Ed Zivkovic

About The Author

The author, Ed Zivkovic is a self taught webmaster. His website contains articles with all sorts of tips for work at home webmasters. Here is the site: http://www.ezau.com

This article was posted on June 01, 2004

by Ed Zivkovic

Search Engines: Different Types, Different Strateg

Search Engines: Different Types, Different Strategies

by: Terry Nicholls

There are four basic types of Search Engines:

Free Search Engines

PayForInclusion Search Engines

PayPerClick (PPC) Search Engines

Directories

Because each type does things a little differently, you need to adapt your strategy to take advantage of their differences.

Free Search Engines

You can submit your pages to these engines free, but be careful. You must make sure not to oversubmit (submit too often) or youกll be banned and never get listed.

Always check to see if your site is listed before submitting it.

PayForInclusion Search Engines

With this type of Search Engine, you pay to have your web site listed in their database. Payforinclusion Search Engines (and the paid section of free engines) are a quick way to get listed in some major databases for a price, literally. The cost varies from engine to engine.

The advantages are threefold:

Faster inclusion into the Search Engineกs index.

Repeated, regular spiderings.

Guaranteed continuous inclusion.

PayPerClick (PPC) Search Engines

Payperclick Search Engines allow you to bid for keyword placement. For example, if one of your pages focuses on the topic of กfashion models,ก you can bid for the #1 (or any other number) placement on the first page of search results. You only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad.

Thereกs a catch, of course. The most popular keywords have become quite expensive at Overture.com (the first and biggest PPC engine) and are rising at the others.

Directories

Directories are different from Search Engines in that they do not spider pages. Humans review each submission, visit each site, and decide what gets in.

Search engines and directories provide search results for each other. If a search turns up nothing in the directoryกs database of sites, it will show the search results from one of the spidered engines. All the directories use one of the major engines.

The reverse is also true. Most Search Engines also provide directory results, in addition to their own search results. All of them use one of the กBig 3ก Yahoo!, Open Directory, or LookSmart.

Adapt Or Disappear

The difference between the types of Search Engines requires that you adapt your strategy to take maximum advantage of each engine. Weกll help you with that.

For a more detailed explanation of these Search Engines, along with specific strategies and mistakes to avoid, please visit My HomeBased Business Advisor.

Terry Nicholls

My HomeBased Business Advisor

www.myhomebasedbusinessadvisor.com

About The Author

Copyright © by Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.

Terry Nicholls writes from his own experiences in trying to start his own homebased business. To benefit from his success, visit My HomeBased Business Advisor Helping YOUR Home Business Start and Succeed for free help for YOUR home business, including ideas, startup, and expansion advice.

www.myhomebasedbusinessadvisor.com

This article was posted on February 17

by Terry Nicholls

Battle Of The Hostings

Battle Of The Hostings

by: Budianto Salim

There are literally thousands of hosting solutions on the internet right now, from the free ones at www.geocities.com to the ones who charge you an arm and a leg. After filtering out the sharks, the copy cats & other crap, finally I have decided to review two of the best and most complete hostings package available on this planet. Please note that these are not the cheapest hostings around but these really give good value for your money, instead of asking you to upgrade later for an additional fee. Here is why :

Host 4 Profit is our first contender weighing at 300 Megabytes disk space and with a traffic limit of 10 Gigabytes per month. You might think that 300 megabytes is nothing compared to your hard disk but for doing business on the web, this should be more than sufficient. Besides being a heavy weight, you are also going to be quick footed by getting unlimited pop email accounts and email aliases. You also get unlimited mailing lists / newsletters and autoresponders which means being able to utilize the best marketing tool ever, which is building your own optin list which is going to be your prospective customer base for current anf future product offers.

Managing Your website is a cinch with the web based control panel. You can access the comprehensive online support, your account information, upload / update files via a web based interface, change your password, manage, add or access your pop3 email, create mailing list / newsletter, setup MySQL database, view site statistics reports for your own analysis or if you use a third party analysis software just download the access logs, manage frontpage extensions, submit your site to several search engines automatically, setup a secure server, setup a web page counter, setup a shopping cart, setup a search engine for your homepage, access your instant profit sites, backup your website, schedule nightly events, view error logs for trouble shooting your site and you can even design your website from this control panel !!

Most hosting companies usually just provide the space for your website and after that you are on your own but Host4Profit goes further than that by also providing instant plugin sales letter sites and the corresponding quality products for you to sell and keep 100% of the margin (Free Resell Rights).

They also went to the point of providing free membership to one of the best marketing archives (The Warrior Group) containing tons of free reports, articles and ebooks on how to succeed online. If you have exhausted the archive (which is constantly updated), you can take part in the discussion in one of the best internet marketing forums (over 30.000 members) available ‘the Warrior Forumก which is also included in The Warrior Group Membership.

Once they educate you on marketing online, then they also provide tools like Complete Ad Tracking Systems to monitor your marketing efforts, Affiliate Tracking Scripts for tracking your affiliates if you decide on setting up your own affiliate program and have thousands of affiliates selling for you and more.

If you want to become an affiliate to this hosting package, you can become an affiliate and earn residual income of US$ 10 / Month for each signups and if you can reach the target of 500 signups within 6 months, you will get a fully paid vacation to the Grand Bahamas. How much does all this cost ? A measly US$ 24.95/Month and payable monthly which means you can stop anytime you want. WOW !!

This means that besides providing your hosting needs, they provide your own products to sell with free resale rights or their own proven product by becoming an affiliate, they teach you how to market them online or how to create your own unique products to sell, they get you updated on the latest marketing tactics in the forum, they give you tools to market, monitor your ads and everything else needed. I am wordless….. I suggest that you take a look by yourselves to see whether the offer is still valid ??

However, the negative points compared to the next hosting package is that you have to add another US$ 30,/year cost for each domain name registered with them and that they have no money back guarantee. This might be because their hosting package charges you monthly instead of yearly. Although their affiliate program is quite simple and straightforward, the affiliate promotion tools are not as comprehensive as the next hosting package reviewed below.

Our next contender is Site Build It! This hosting package is known for their principle of Overdelivering on their promise. Registering your own domain name is free and already included in the package. Unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth is a huge plus for those planning on setting up sites with huge files like videos etc. Graphic Tools for designing your own website online is also available. What stands out among the crowd is the unique marketing tools available in the form of barinstorming and researching profitable topics for your site, publishing your own newsletter and spam checking it first before sending them out and even checking the rate of newsletters read or opened.

Traffic stats and click analysis are also available. Another notable aspect is the search engine optimization of your pages, giving sugestions on how to optimize your pages for getting the cheapest and biggest traffic of them all from search engines. Search engines submitting, tracking and ranking is also mighty useful for evaluating your sites effectiveness in getting traffic from the search engines. Pay per click research and mass bidding is perfect for those with an available budget to embark on this type of targeted traffic building campaign.

Online help and the newsletter you get periodically also provides tips on how to market your site and succeed online. Special tools like link checking and Form building and autoresponder tools are also readily available, while accessing your email via the web is also possible via the web based control panel, among other numerous services available. A new service for exchanging links with similar themed sites will greatly increase your link popularity with the search engines.

All in all, this hosting package really focuses on the needs on building the cheapest, largest, targeted traffic of them all from the search engines which are of course how to oversome the trickiest part of promoting your site to the search engines. How much do you have to part your hard earned money for this kind of service ? They currently have two options either you get 15 months hosting for US$ 395, or get 8 months hosting for US$ 249,. By the way, they do have a 30 days money back guarantee and will refund 100% of your money. The shocker is that after 30 days, you can still ask for a refund but will be refunded on a prorata basis meaning only for the remaining months balance. Quite a guarantee if I might says so myself !! Click here to see for yourselves.

For those of you who might be interested to become an affiliate and try to sell their products, they do not just sell hosting services, but also a multitude of Electronic Books and Tools like Make Your Site Sell 2002, Make Your Knowledge Sell, Make Your Price Sell etc. You can also buy these high quality products for your own usage. Once you join their 5 Pillar affiliate program which is completely free, then just browse through their amazingly thoughtful and useful tools for you to promote their products. You will find no other affiliate program managed as completely as this.

In conclusion, these two unique hosting packages have their own unique approach, strengths and also weaknesses. If you can overlook these weaknesses in exchange for its strengths, then one of these may be the right solution in taking your first step to realizing your home based business opportunity.

Now go on and take your best shot !!

© 2004 Budianto Salim

Bunsiong publishes Home Business Tips, a fresh and Informative newsletter dedicated to supporting people Like YOU! If you are looking for the *best rated* Home business opportunities, the latest time saving Tools and helpful support from an honest friend in the Business, come and grab a FREE subscription Today at : http://www.bunsiong.com or Send a blank email to mailto:bunsiong@getresponse.com

About The Author

Budianto Salim, the creator of Home Based Business Newsletter, Tips and Tools on creating, running & automating your own home based business for Multiple, Residual, Viral & Backend income. Click here to subscribe : mailto: bunsiong@getresponse.com

livesupport@bunsiong.com

This article was posted on September 30, 2004

by Budianto Salim

Common Ways People Waste Their Marketing Dollars!

Common Ways People Waste Their Marketing Dollars! (1 of 2)

by: Blair Ballard

1. Why paying to get your web site automatically submitted to ten zillion search engines doesn’t pay off.

The key search engines prefer you to submit manually in order to get the best results. In fact some view automatic submissions as spam, persistent submitting may result in more harm than good for your site.

Search engines get their listings by either surfing (spidering) the web like you and I, or from the 2 key directories Dmoz and Yahoo. To my knowledge you cannot automatically submit to these directories, nor would you want to as they are manually updated.

If you still insist on going the automatic submission route there are lots of free submission sites out there just do a search for กFree search engine submissionก. I just entered that phrase for an exact match on Google and got 268,000 results!

2. Ignoring the importance of กNegative Keywordsก in PPC campaigns.

Why? First let me explain what is a negative keyword in this context. When you create a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign through the likes of Google or Overture you want your ad shown when people search for certain keywords. These keywords are probably not that different from the contents of your meta tags. A negative keyword is a word or phrase that you do not want to appear along with your keyword. For instance an internet marketing company might choose กWeb Promotionก as a keyword. Their ad will now appear whenever someone searches for those two words.

Consider this company may not want to do web marketing for a particular line of business. The web company may want to add กFreeก as negative words. By adding the negative keyword, when a User does a search for กFree Web Promotionก the companyกs ad will not be displayed. This saves a potential wasted click by the User and stops the company wasting money on a useless Sales Lead.

So just as you may have hundreds of Keywords in a campaign, you could have 10100 Negative Keywords, depending on your target audience. But that just goes back to the point above Marketing Plan!

3. Running a PPC campaign and don’t check your own web site logs.

Why? PPC sites give you lots of stats telling you how many Users saw your ad, whether they clicked on it, what keywords were most successful etc. But a PPC siteกs idea of success is a User clicking to your site and making them money. Your idea of success is the User staying a while on your site, and hopefully you making a Sale.

You need to follow Users coming to your site through these campaigns and watch what they do next. By tracking the referred url, it will tell you what PPC campaign and keyword they used. This can be done easily enough by adjusting the urls within the PPC campaign itself. But now you need to track their stay on your site. Did they actually look at more than just that one page they landed on, how long did they hang around for, etc?

You can buy software to do this, but you can also do a rudimentary job of this yourself looking at your web stats. It depends on what type of traffic volume your site gets and what type of stats you get about your web site. I have to recommend some freeware software that does a great online tracking job http://www.statcounter.com. For larger operations , you can upgrade to a more detailed analysis.

PPC campaigns have 2 parts. a) Listing your ad on search engines and b) Listing the ad on กPartner Sitesก. Usually you can turn the latter off if you want, but not always. The Partner Sitesก listings are better known as those little boxes you see on the side of web sites saying something like กAds by Googleก at the bottom. Iกm not picking on Google, but they are the most obvious.

Often the volume of click thrus can be much greater from Partner Sites, but the longevity of their visit at your site can be very short. It depends on your keywords and which PPC company you choose. We actually dropped using one PPC company due to the ineffectiveness of their Partner Sitesก listings.

About The Author

About the Author: Blair Ballard is founder of the MARKET YOUR WEB group. His experience spans from that of Corporate Project Manager to Webmaster for a Non Profit organisation. http://www.marketyourweb.com.

© Copyright http://MarketYourWeb.com 2005. All rights reserved

You may only reproduce this article ขAs Isข and where URLs are live active links.

blair@marketyourweb.com

This article was posted on March 19

by Blair Ballard

Googleกs Next Big Move

Googleกs Next Big Move

by: David Leonhardt

November 2003 might go down in history as the month that Google shook a lot of smug webmasters and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists from the apple tree. But more than likely, it was just a precursor of the BIG shakeup to come.

Google touts highly its secret PageRank algorithm. Although PageRank is just one factor in choosing what sites appear on a specific search, it is the main way that Google determines the กimportanceก of a website.

In recent months, SEO specialists have become expert at manipulating PageRank, particularly through link exchanges.

There is nothing wrong with links. They make the Web a web rather than a series of isolated islands. However, PageRank relies on the naturally กdemocraticก nature of the web, whereby webmasters link to sites they feel are important for their visitors. Google rightly sees link exchanges designed to boost PageRank as stuffing the ballot box.

I was not surprised to see Google try to counter all the SEO efforts. In fact, I have been arguing the case with many nonbelieving SEO specialists over the past couple months. But I was surprised to see the clumsy way in which Google chose to do it.

Google targeted specific search terms, including many of the most competitive and commercial terms. Many websites lost top positions in five or six terms, but maintain their positions in several others. This had never happened before. Give credit to Barry Lloyd of www.SearchEngineGuide.com for cleverly uncovering the process.

For Google, this shakeup is just a temporary fix. It will have to make much bigger changes if it is serious about harnessing the กdemocraticก nature of the Web and neutralizing the artificial results of so many link exchanges.

Here are a few techniques Google might use (remember to think like a search engine):

Google might start valuing inbound links within paragraphs much higher than links that stand on their own. (For all we know, Google is already doing this.) Such links are much less likely to be the product of a link exchange, and therefore more likely to be genuine กdemocraticก votes.

Google might look at the concentration of inbound links across a website. If most inbound links point to the home page, that is another possible indicator of a link exchange, or at least that the siteกs content is not important enough to draw inbound links (and it is content that Google wants to deliver to its searchers).

Google might take a sample of inbound links to a domain, and check to see how many are reciprocated back to the linking domains. If a high percentage are reciprocated, Google might reduce the siteกs PageRank accordingly. Or it might set a cutpoint, dropping from its index any website with too many of its inbound links reciprocated.

Google might start valuing outbound links more highly. Two pages with 100 inbound links are, in theory, valued equally, even if one has 20 outbound links and the other has none. But why should Google send its searchers down a deadend street, when the information highway is paved just as smoothly on a major thoroughfare?

Google might weigh a websiteกs outbound link concentration. A website with most outbound links concentrated on just a few pages is more likely to be a กlinkexchangerก than a site with links spread out across its pages.

Google might use a combination of these techniques and ones not mentioned here. We cannot predict the exact algorithm, nor can we assume that it will remain constant. What we can do is to prepare our websites to look and act like a website would on a กdemocraticก Web as Google would see it.

For Google to hold its own against upstart search engines, it must deliver on its PageRank promise. Its results reflect the กdemocraticก nature of the Web. Its algorithm must prod webmasters to give links on their own merit. That won’t be easy or even completely possible. And people will always find ways to turn Googleกs algorithm to their advantage. But the techniques above can send the Internet a long way back to where Google promises it will be.

The time is now to start preparing your website for the changes to come.

About The Author

David Leonhardt is an online and offline publicity specialist who believes in getting in front of the ball, rather than chasing it downhill. To get your website optimized, email him at info@thehappyguy.com. For a copy of Don’t Get Banned By The Search Engines: http://thehappyguy.com/SEO.html. For a copy of Get In The News: http://thehappyguy.com/publicityselfpromotionreport.html.

This article was posted on November 27, 2003

by David Leonhardt

What Should You Know About Search Engines and Pay

What Should You Know About Search Engines and PayPerClick?

by: Chet Childers

Here’s a fact for you, 85 to 95% of Websites are found through a search engine. You may have the most incredible Website on the Internet, but it will receive little or no traffic without search engine visibility and ranking. Can you imagine a billboard in the Sahara desert? Who sees it?

So, how will searchers find your website? What types of search engines could they use?

Search engines fall into two categories. The first is referred to as natural, organic or standard. The second is called payperclick, paid inclusion or paid placement.

Natural, organic and standard are interchangeable terms describing a search engine that bases its search rankings on a ranking algorithm. The algorithms involve a number of criteria and parameters, all relating to the content of the website, the website’s size, the number of incoming links to the website, and the content’s relevancy. You will hear terms such as keyword relevancy and keyword density to describe various components of the algorithms.

For the standard search engines, you, your webmaster or hired search engine optimization specialist could spend considerable time optimizing your website to achieve top rankings. The goal is for your website to appear on the first or second page of the search engines’ results when your target user searches keywords or keyword phrases.

The good news is rankings on standard search engines are free. The downside is the tremendous amount of time and effort required to achieve exceptional search engine rankings. Let’s confess to each other that top rankings on standard search engines can be tough and timely to achieve!

The interchangeable terms payperclick, paid inclusion or paid placement describe a search engine that bases its search rankings on a กbid for positionก basis. Simply stated, you กbidก a price to be in a specific position of the search rankings for a particular search keyword or keyword phrase. For example, the #1 position on the search phrase กpay per clickก recently required a bid of $3.55 per click, whereas the 15th position required only a bid of 55 cents. As a result, your differential website advertising costs between position #1 and #15 can be considerable.

With payperclick search engines, your ability to bid high can dramatically impact your websiteกs search engine ranking when the search results display website domain names or URLกs for the search keyword or keyword phrase. The benefit is your website gains visibility with the searcher, but you are not charged the payperclick กbidก until a searcher actually clicks on your website domain name or URL displayed in the search engine results. The selection of your website in the search engine results is called a clickthrough.

In general, clickthrough rates range from 1% to 5% of the number of impressions. What is all of this? A click is when a searcher selects or กclicksก your payperclick ad. An impression is one display of your payperclick ad on the search engine results. So, the clickthrough rate is a measure of the total number of ad clicks versus the total number of impressions in a period of time:

ClickThrough Rate % = Total Number of Ad Clicks / Total Number of Ad Impressions * 100

Letกs do the math for our #1 position bid of $3.55 per click. In September, 2004 there were 21,535 searches for กpay per click.ก First, let’s assume a 1% clickthrough rate. The top bidder spent $764.49 (21,535 * 1% * $3.55). Now, at a 5% clickthrough rate the top bidder spent $3,822.45 (21,535 * 5% * $3.55). Budgeting and controlling marketing expenses with such a broad range of potential costs could be tough. Plus, such costs could be the tip of the iceberg. We still must consider derivatives of the keyword or keyword phrase. So, was being #1 worthwhile? That depends on your website’s cost per visitor, conversion rate and profit margin of your product or service.

>From what we’ve covered so far, you should realize you can achieve a top or high ranking through the payperclick search engine. But, a high ranking will cost money and these costs can be volatile. Meanwhile, the standard search engine remains free.

However, payperclick offers one significant advantage. It enables you to achieve website visibility with a high ranking instantaneously or overnight. If you want to draw traffic to your website fast for any reason, payperclick can make that happen. Remember, maximizing the standard search engine process takes time!

Let’s summarize the pros and cons of payperclick marketing:

Pros

Improves your website’s ranking and traffic quickly.

Tests the marketability of your product or service swiftly.

Determines the ability of your web site to convert visitors to a call to action or make a purchase promptly.

Identifies which keyword phrases will provide the best conversion rate rapidly.

Provides complete control of the search engine campaign, both position and cost.

Cons

Cost

Many individuals criticize payperclick because of the costs involved. But, have you really thought about the cost issue? Unless you or someone in your organization has expertise in search engine optimization, you’ll probably pay several thousand dollars in fees to a search engine optimization specialist to improve and optimize your website to achieve higher rankings in the standard search engines. So, my question to you is. Are the standard search engine rankings really free?

At the end of the standard versus payperclick search engine debate, it’s like the old saying, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch.ก Or, it’s like the old commercial, กYou can pay me now or you can pay me later.ก The reality of the debate is you must evaluate your specific website situation and utilize the search engine approach that maximizes your website promotion goals and investment.

About The Author

Chet Childers is a successful Internet marketer utilizing both payperclick marketing and search engine optimization to increase website traffic. His clients’ websites promote products such as window treatments, furniture, medical uniforms, swimming pool tiles, capital equipment, computer software and much more. To learn more, visit http://www.ThePayPerClickMarketer.com and enroll in our free ecourse.

chet@thepayperclickmarketer.com

This article was posted on January 30

by Chet Childers

Build a Strong Foundation for Creating Your First

Build a Strong Foundation for Creating Your First Online Identity – Notes for Beginners

by: Arun Tibrewal

If you are looking for creating your online presence you should follow some of the basic requirements so that your new website will have a strong foundation. Today internet is a growing media which can provide you maximum results, which no other media can do for you. If you think on right direction and take your action step by step, it is almost certain that your site will have a strong online presence and reach to the maximum of you potential clients.

Remember empires never built in day, but it takes years of dedicated hard work, devotion, patience and to work constantly towards creating it successfully. If you are a slow mover but consistent towards your work, there is no reason your efforts will fail. Small efforts which you repeat day in and day out results 100% success in due time course. It is always advisable to get some basic knowledge before you begin your journey to a great on line success. Here are some general points which explain in brief on the basic requirements of creating your first online identity.

Choose a descriptive and short domain name. It is essential to choose a good domain name. Don’t go for any sub domain or free domain, but always have your own, as people will be remembering you with your name only. It should be a TLD i.e. yourbusinessname.com, .org, .biz and so on.

Select a quality host, which can provide you consistent uptime and have flexibility to upgrade or extend required features for running your site effectively. In general if you like to have a greater visibility of your website you should hire services from a experienced hosting company even if there cost is high.

Make your site plan first. Just open your notepad and write down what is your site all about, what it sells, how it sells, to whom it will sell, and other things. Create different sections of your site theme and note it point by point. It is always advisable in beginning; you should start with the basic functionality and upgrade it later on. This will give you an instant kick start and you can always enhance its functionality with fewer efforts.

Write a unique copy. If you can write good contents, you can make a strong presence in World Wide Web and well ahead with your competitors. Make a killer copy of your contents; it should be unique and relevant to your site theme. It is a word that sells into the market, if you feel you can hire an agency that are specialized in writing contents on given basic parameters. There are several of them available on net which you need to do some research before hiring one i.e. carefully analyzing there credentials.

Build a website which loads fast and navigated easily. Means your visitors should find easily what they are looking for. Don’t make your site just for search engines but create one for your visitors so that they can brows your site without any hassles. Your design should be an eye catcher with less images and better content visibility. Hire a designer who knows about the website usability analysis, visibility, website utility and present your main theme visible within the design. In nut shell your website will be carrying your brand value and should be presented in a professional manner in front of your visitors.

Optimize your site. Do the basic optimization of your site for different search engines. Initially you need not to hire any SEO or apply any killer techniques, but do it yourself few things so that search engines can find your site easily i.e. writing a good title, description of the site, adding proper met tags a submit to the different directories and search engines. Once they crawl your site and index it properly, you can keep on adding relevant contents on pages. You need a lot of patience to get visible in search engines if you follow the ethical ways, as it provide you a longer stay and better visibility on web.

Market your site. A Business is all about what is it and how it is marketed. A well marketed site may virtually force a visitor to become interested and make them confident enough to buy the services from you. The basics of marketing is of your own knowledge and some preset parameters i.e. What you sell, How you sell, Where you sell, Who are your targeted potential clients, how much domain knowledge you have, What is the actual strength of your product and so on. Create effective sale letters, know your targeted customers, draw a plan and quickly start implementing that. A well drawn regular marketing plan combined with selective advertisement campaign, implemented steadily on right time can provide greater results on World Wide Web enable you to reach your goal successfully.

Promote your site. Promoting your site is a vital technique which can not be done in one day or overnight. To get desired results you need to work hard constantly so that you will be able to capitalize the maximum exposures on world wide and establish your solid online presence. You can publish a press release, write articles, manually add your site to different directories on section which is most relevant for your site theme, and distribute ezines, banner advertisements, and many more possible ways to promote it regularly on internet.

These are the basic and fundamental need to build an strong foundation for your online presence. Remember a tallest building on earth has the strongest foundation too that support its structure to stay longer on earth. Follow the ethical ways and simple rules and take a step towards building an foundation of your online empire.

About The Author

Arun Tibrewal is an online marketing promotions specialist since 1998 and owner of www.iwayhost.net and its network sites. Iwayhost is dedicated to provide top class hosting services with there straight forward plans. Permission is granted to reprint this article as long as the resource box should keep intact with the following links.

http://www.iwayhost.net (Straight Forward Host)

http://www.onlydevelopers.com (Open community for developers)

http://www.siplnet.com (Customized billing solutions)

sales@iwayhost.net

This article was posted on March 08

by Arun Tibrewal

Are You Starving Your Home Business Of Lifeblood?

Are You Starving Your Home Business Of Lifeblood?

by: Mal Keenan

If youกve seen Kevin Costnerกs film the กField of Dreamsก you will remember how he was inspired to build a baseball field with the words กIf you build it, they will comeก. He built the stadium, and with a little faith, streams of visitors were coming to see his dream.

Sorry to bring you back to the REAL world but this isn’t กField of Dreamsก and you aren’t Kevin Costner. If you want visitors to your dream website and you want some measure of success online, you need to take some important steps to do so.

Without a regular supply of leads to your business then you just aren’t going to make it in internet business, period.

How on earth could you? It would be like setting up an offline business and expecting it to succeed without anyone picking up the phone to call you or walking in through your companiesก front door.

Makes sense doesn’t it? Of course it does but the majority of prospects I deal with respond with shock horror when I tell them that now that they have set up their business websites they will have to buy leads or work hard to obtain them.

Leads are the lifeblood of your business and a highly targeted prospect can be worth $1000s, especially if you are involved in network marketing.

The way I see it, there are a few things you need to do to qualify leads and turn them into your customers or downline.

Firstly you need to obtain them, and as I can only share my own experiences, I will tell you what I do.

1) I buy leads This is the simplest way to get leads and obviously will take the least amount of work to do this, because you are buying them from other sources and sending them to your business. These are usually raw leads, meaning they are people interested in starting an online business but not sure how to go about it nor with which company to proceed. It is up to you to convince them to use your product or service to do this.

2) I add them to my followup system After buying leads you MUST add these prospects to some sort of followup system. This is basic stuff and if you don’t do it you won’t succeed.

There is absolutely no point in buying leads unless you followup with them. You COULD buy them and send them one email with a link to your business. A very small % will actually visit your site, what about the rest? Adding them to a followup system with at least twelve further messages will help turn your leads into HOT prospects. Some of my autoresponders have up to fifty message with articles, tips and recommendations.

3) I send targeted prospects to my business websites from the search engines Many of my leads come from top rankings in the major search engines. A full ebook could be written on this alone but basically I set up a domain obtained hosting optimised my website with keywords related to my business submitted my site to the major search engines added quality home business related content and began a reciprocal linking campaign which boosts my sites web ranking more than anything else. The greatest thing about these leads is they are HIGHLY TARGETED and they are of course free.

Again I have set up a web form at my sites to encourage my search engine leads to add themselves to my followup system. I can then get to work on turning them into my customers and downline affiliates.

There are of course many other forms of sending customers to your website but the two above combined with an effective followup system can virtually put your business on autopilot and free up your time for other projects. They are also the most effective ways that I have found to reach a successful income.

Take the steps as outlined above and let me know how you get on.

Copyright 2004 Mal Keenan

About The Author

Mal Keenan is editor and publisher of Home Business Tips

Newsletter: http://www.homebusinesstipsnewsletter.com/

For a comprehensive leads package and followup system in one visit here:

http://www.homebusinessnetworking.com

Home Business Solution:

http://www.eliteteamireland.com/

This article was posted on September 25, 2004

by Mal Keenan