The BigPay Off Brand Value

The BigPay Off Brand Value

by: Beth Brodovsky

Many CEOs and marketing directors find their time wasted evaluating marketing opportunities instead of acting on them. When every possibility is followed, a meandering trail of hit and miss effectiveness is the result. Despite significant expenditure of time and money, marketing tactics may not produce the desired gains.

What is their problem? They are missing a crucial step in the marketing arsenal branding. The power of branding is that it is not just for your customers. When done correctly, it also creates a roadmap for you to follow internally, streamlining your planning and decisionmaking processes for years to come.

Outward Brand

This is what many people relate to when thinking of a กbrand:ก a logo, tagline, style of advertising, product packaging, etc. These are not the brand, but rather the brand elements. To be truly branded however, all of these elements are developed based on the core value of the company. The core value will stay the same, through product changes, service changes, and staff changes.

The value of this is in attraction. If you have spent the time identifying your ideal prospect [read: most profitable] and created an emotional reason to buy [read: comes back and brings their friends with them], then all your time and money is now focused on creating interesting tactics to engage a prospect you know will be profitable, rather than baiting the hook with whatever you have and hoping you’re fishing in the right pond.

The investment in developing a set message to a clear audience is rewarded by recognition, recall and referral of your brand. You can change ad campaigns, update packaging, and replace staff and if all reflect your underlying message, the brand impact will be carried over to your audience no matter how or who delivers it.

Inward Brand

Developing brand clearly improves external communication. Impressively, it can increase your internal efficiency as well.

What often bogs down the marketing process is planning, and deciding on a case by case basis what actions should be taken. We have seen marketing efforts derailed and budgets drained by everything from an aggressive ad sales person to a company executive driving past a billboard and insisting the marketing department book it.

It is so easy to latch onto what sounds like a great idea or a sure thing or to give up on a plan when no immediate results are seen. However brand marketing is not direct response, it is viral, increasing in scope and intensity the more it is replicated.

With a brand built on focus features, key benefits and a core value, it is easy to plan strategy and tactics to capitalize on your goals. And the next time someone asks you to place and ad, sponsor an event, or recommends a billboard rental, you will know if that is on your brand path or an expensive joy ride to who knows where, what we call an กoffroad vehicle.ก

The Reward

The effort of building and maintaining a brand must be constant. Your brand provides a roadmap but the destination is ultimately having customers so loyal they always choose your company and so zealous they bring their friends along. The value is in the opinion and the action customers are willing to take because of how they feel, and in the speed and accuracy of the decisions you can make to achieve your goals.

About The Author

Beth Brodovsky is the president and principal of Iris Creative Group, LLC. Brodovsky earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from Pratt Institute, New York. Before launching her own firm in 1996, she spent eight years as a corporate Art Director and Graphic Designer, providing a sound foundation in management and organizational standards and structure. Iris Creative specializes in providing marketing and strategic communication services to clients in service industries and small businesses. For more information contact Beth at bsb@iriscreative.com or 6105672799.

This article was posted on September 08, 2003

by Beth Brodovsky

How To Really Profit from Domain Names

How To Really Profit from Domain Names

by: J. Stephen Pope

Have you heard about domain names that sold for over a million dollars? Inspired by this, you imagine registering a great domain name, hanging onto it for a while, and then selling it off to become the next multimillionaire. It could happen, but don`t count on it!

First of all, many of the truly great domain names are already taken. Second, the dot com bust took some of the wind out of inflated domain name prices. (If you sell your domain name for millions of dollars worth of stock in a publicly traded dot com flop, what is the name really worth?)

The cybersquatter buys domain names totally on speculation. Sometimes he will register names of famous brands, companies, or individuals. Time and again, these domain name speculators learn the hard way that they must respect intellectual property rights. They hope that some large corporation will pay big bucks to them for the use of the company`s own (already trademarked) name. Instead, they end up with threatening letters from a law firm for their attempts at extortion.

However, you can still make money from domain names if you are sensible in your approach. Here are some suggestions on ways to profit.

1. Affiliate Programs: Use your domain name to promote an appropriate affiliate program. Either redirect to the affiliate site or write a review that links to them.

2. Informational Sites: Create content and then profit from it by earning advertising revenue through Google AdSense or a similar program.

3. Redirect to Your Own Site: Some reasons you might want to do this include preventing competitors from using a particular domain name and benefiting from searches some users perform by domain name. (For example, if they wanted to order flowers, they might just type กflowers.comก in their web browser. You could get some traffic and sales this way.)

4. Product Sites: Create your own or sell someone else`s product appropriate to your domain name.

5. Park Your Domain Names: You might feel that your name has real potential for resale value. There are companies that will allow you to park your domain on their servers, advertise that your name is for sale, and split advertising revenue with you.

The trick is to generate traffic for your domain name. That traffic in turn will create revenue. Then, when you go to sell your domain name, you will have a few things going for you.

First, you will have a fully developed website. A fully constructed building on a piece of land increases the value of the real estate property. Similarly, the value of your domain name is enhanced by a complete and operating website.

Second, you have traffic. Just as a shopping mall with no traffic results in no sales, so a website must have traffic to generate income.

Third, you have income. An income property, such as an apartment building, can be appraised on the basis of its income (as well as other factors). Similarly, the gross income, net profits and cashflow of a website have value. For example, if someone offered you $1,000 for your domain name and website when it was generating $10,000 per day in profits, you would likely laugh at him.

You really can profit from your domain name investments by adding value and properly developing your web properties.

For further information about profiting from domain names, visit http://www.yenommarketinginc.com/domainnames.html

About The Author

J. Stephen Pope, President of Pope Consulting Inc., http://www.popeconsultinginc.com/ has been helping clients to earn maximum business profits for over twentyfive years.

For valuable Work at Home Small Business Ideas, visit: http://www.yenommarketinginc.com/

This article was posted on February 28

by J. Stephen Pope

Grow Sales Using Image Tactics

Grow Sales Using Image Tactics

by: Sharron Senter

In my dreams, I envision being the marketing consultant equivalent of Oprah or Tiger Woods. Oprah, for her premise, ขYou’re a woman and only you are responsible for yourself.ข Tiger Woods, for his ultimate dedication to the game. Respectively, this is what they’re known for or what their personal value can be identified as; put another way, this is what their brand identities are.

Once you’re known for something and people perceive value in ขthis something [your brand],ข it’s at this moment that you start to make money. Once you have perceived value, other entrepreneurs and businesses will pay money to be associated with the perception for which you’re known.

To be an entrepreneur, the first decision you must make is, ขWho do you want to be?ข Or, put another way, ขHow do you want to be perceived by others?ข The answers to these two questions are equivalent to the foundation that’ll drive all of your future marketing decisions, from what advertising vehicles you’ll use, to the type of customers and clients you’ll target.

For example, would you like to be known as the world’s most prestigious dietician? People all over the world seek you out and pay money for your advice on how to integrate more color into their diets. To build a foundation and reach such prestige, your image marketing plan might involve the following actions.

Complete appropriate credentials such as certifications and higher education.

Obtain and make visible reputable references including popular media personalities quoting you as an expert, current and past clients quoting specific things you did to help them, and a variety of print articles and electronic news bulletins in which you’re quoted.

Build credibility by hosting, writing or producing a weekly healthyeating column called, ขGot Colors, Get Healthy.ข

Socialize and be seen with other healthrelated wellknown experts or people who exhibit healthy behavior such as: other dietitians, diet book authors, athletes, personal trainers, physiology professors and food scientists. Why? Because a person can create an implied credibility about themselves simply by hanging out with other experts. Generally speaking, people assume that because the other experts let you hang with them, then you must be worthy of your ขexpertข status.

Pick a unique clothing and makeup style and stick with it. A simple example, perhaps every time you leave your house, you always wear something purple, a scarf, pin, shirt, tie or nail polish. The repetitive purple creates a subliminal image, that, after awhile, causes people, when they see you in the news, at an event or in a magazine, to say, ขI’ve seen her somewhere.ข And from this statement they extract that you’re sought after, and therefore, you must know what you’re talking about.

Always evolve your image based on current trends. However, remember to make small changes, so as not to walk away from the image you’ve been working hard to build.

Every entrepreneur’s imagebuilding plan will be unique. In fact, it must be. It’s the subtle differences about you as an entrepreneur that distinguish you from your competition. More importantly, it’s also these differences that help your customers find you, since you’ll be more able to effectively and affordably reach customers by selecting an image niche.

About The Author

Sharron Senter is a New Englandbased marketing consultant, speaker, writer and founder of Senter & Associates. She helps small and homebased businesses deploy affordable marketing strategies. She’s well known for her free weekly emailed marketing tips and her ข14 Imagebuilding Dos & Don’ts,ข small biz survival report. Receive Senter’s free marketing tips at http://www.sharronsenter.com.

marketing@sharronsenter.com

This article was posted on March 20, 2003

by Sharron Senter

The Psychology of Urgency: Make Them Want It Now!

The Psychology of Urgency: Make Them Want It Now!

by: Scott Moldenhauer

ขI’ll think it over and get back to you.ข ขSure, we’ll do that someday.ข ขI need to check with my colleagues.ข ขGive me a call next month, then we can set a date.ข

Tired of excuses? Looking for a more successful way to get others to take immediate action?

For the last century, psychologists have been studying simple persuasion tactics that will allow you to motivate people and get the results you desire. This article focuses on using the psychology of persuasion to create a sense of urgency in your customers.

The Psychology of Limited Resources

The first strategy for getting people to take immediate action is to present yourself or your product as ขlimited,ข ขscarce,ข or ขin demand.ข

Why? People want what they can’t have. Repeatedly, psychologists have shown that human beings find more value in things that they have a hard time obtaining.

If you tell people that they can’t have something, they end up wanting it more! You may have experienced this in your own life. Have you ever found yourself interested in a home or a car and then discovered that someone else may try to buy it first? If you’re anything like me, the item becomes even more valuable to you. You are more motivated to get it.

Do You Want It? You Can’t Have It!

This is an important point for sales and marketing purposes. Car salespeople are quick to let us know that, ขThis is the last model of its kind available on the entire lot—after it goes, that’s it.ข Newspaper and television ads constantly remind us that the ขsale ends soon,ข that ขsupplies are limitedข and that ขtime is running out.ข

Some retail stores create motivation by putting ขsoldข tags on merchandise that they have a hard time selling. When customers see the ขsoldข tag, they become more interested in buying the item.

Infomercials place a ticking clock at the end of the advertisements. They say, ขOrder before the clock runs out and you will also receive a free set of knives.ข

Getting Immediate Results

When I first started speaking and consulting, it was hard for me to get business. I made the error of telling potential customers that I would be available whenever they were ready to hire me. Big mistake.

It wasn’t until I became so busy that I had to start turning customers away that I was able to charge what I am worth. When they felt as if they couldn’t have me, they wanted me more. When I was inaccessible, they became anxious and assigned more value to my service. This sense of urgency has had a huge impact on my business.

Here are three steps that you can use to create a sense of urgency in others:

1. Set a deadline. People are natural procrastinators. Without a deadline—and the potential risk of losing something—people will wait until they collect more information, talk it over with their spouses, or save more money. By setting a deadline, you create an inner drive helps them take action.

2. Remind them that your offer is ขlimited.ข Always present your opportunity as being limited with regards to time or quantity. If someone asks you whether you have a certain product in stock, don’t say, ขOh, yeah, we have tons of them.ข The better approach is to say, ขYeah, we have some, but they go fast.ข

3. Play hard to get. Remember, people want what they can’t have. By sounding too available, you’re diminishing your value. By sounding somewhat unavailable, you’re greatly increasing your value. Never say, ขOh, yes, I’m available any day next week.ข Instead, use the more powerful and persuasive approach by saying, ขHmmm, I’m very busy next week, but I might be able to squeeze you in.ข

About The Author

You have the permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included and all links remain active.

Byline:

Scott Moldenhauer is considered an expert on consumer behavior and persuasion. In addition to his speaking and consulting engagements, he has taught persuasion at the University of Arizona and the University of Phoenix. For more free information on the psychology of persuasion, visit www.persuasionconsultants.com.

scott@persuasionconsultants.com

This article was posted on January 27

by Scott Moldenhauer

More Profits in Your Website Hosting Business

More Profits in Your Website Hosting Business

by: Raynay Valles

If you run a website hosting business, you already know the challenges in the business. Thousands of competitors are just a click away, ready to undercut your price.

Potential customers see hosting as a commoditiy and shop by price. Several directories like Hostreview, Acehosts and Hostindex make it easy to comparison shop.

How can you get more profits from your business under these conditions?

FIRST, GET THE CUSTOMER

Calculate the lifetime value of your customer. For example, letกs say the average customer stays with you for 15 months and pays 16.95 a month. That means their lifetime value to your company is $254.25. So every customer you acquire makes your business (on average) $254.25.

If a visitor comes to your website, then leaves to comparison shop, you have more than likely lost that sale. Have you invested in sales copy that compels your visitors to buy from you? Does your website help him to see that you are the best choice for his situation? Showcase your credibility, guarantee services and offer incentives to try your service. Make it easy to buy from you.

NEXT, KEEP THE CUSTOMER

Because each customer is hardwon and the value of the customer is so high, youกll want to make sure you have the support services that keep your customers happy.

Once a customer leaves you for another website host, heกs gone forever. You probably already make customer service a priority, with email answered in a timely fashion and welltrained technical support. Go the extra mile. Don’t wait for customers to contact you. Ask your customer how you’re doing.

THEN, SELL MORE TO THE CUSTOMER

The customer has already bought from you. There is familiarity and trust. You can easily offer complimentary items to your current customer list.

The major concern of your customer is how to succeed online. Itกs easy to offer online marketing tools, ebooks and additional services. It can be as simple as joining an affiliate program for an item your customer may need, then making him aware of the item.

Focus on these 3 areas, getting the customer, keeping the customer and selling more to him. Youกll enjoy higher profits in your website hosting business.

About The Author

Resource: Raynay Valles is a Marketing Specialist and author of Profitable Website Hosting. Find out how to get the report at http://www.jawdrop.com/ebooks/webhosting.html or email rvalles@jawdrop.com

This article was posted on October 7, 2002

by Raynay Valles

The Copyright Debate and RSS

The Copyright Debate and RSS

by: S. Housley

RSS is commonly defined as really simple syndication. So, this means that any material contained in a feed is available for syndication, right? Well no, not exactly. It means that the content contained in an RSS feed is in a format that is syndication friendly, if the copyright holder allows for syndication. Offering a feed for syndication does not in fact grant any legal rights to anyone to reuse the feeds content beyond what the Copyright laws grant as Fair Use.

In practice, while your feed might legally be protected, you could literally spend weeks attempting to protect the contents of your feed. Legal gray areas are introduced with Search Engines indexing feeds and RSS Feed Directories including copywritten feeds, in their categorized directories. How do you distinguish between a legitimate search engine, RSS directory and someone simply reproducing the contents of a feed for personal gain? Legally how can you defend against one and not the other?

One can ask whether it is legally is it wrong to reproduce content in a feed. Morally is it wrong? Does the site have a purpose or value outside of the syndicated content? Is the aggregation of topic specific feeds in itself a value?

If you use the feeds for content and label the site a directory does that make it any more legal? What about personal web aggregators? If it is for personal use,is it OK?

Take a look at the following topic specific feed directories:

Financial Investing http://www.financeinvesting.com

or

Security Protection http://www.securityprotection.net

One could argue that the above sites do in fact provide value, aggregating and categorizing related topic specific feeds in a single location. In fact those in the security sector of the finance arena might find the above sites of significant value but what of the content creators?

Laws and Technology Collide

Most people publishing content via RSS support republication of feeds. Because the technology is fairly new, the laws and legalities are still murky. It is assumed that content in RSS is protected by copyright laws but let us not forget the Internet is global and their is not a centralized body governing what is right or what is wrong. Not only does law and technology collide the laws of different countries, those creating the feed and those displaying the contents of the feed may contradict each other. It is for this reason, I would advise that publishers using RSS to assume that the contents of their RSS feeds will be syndicated and replicated.

Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Feed.

That is not to say there are not things that can be done to protect feeds. At the end of the day being proactive is the best way to protect intellectual property.

Part of feed protection is ensuring that appropriate credit is given, this can be arranged by including a copyright assignment in the final line of the Item Description field.

Additionally you can include links back to your website in the Item description field.

Use teaser copy in the RSS feedกs Item description field, linking back to your website which contains the full contents of the post.

At the end of the day, protecting the contents of a feed can be daunting and limiting. Controlling your contents to ensure appropriate credit and links are included is critical.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

This article was posted on August 17

by S. Housley

Determining the Value of Links from Link Renting

Determining the Value of Links from Link Renting

by: Aaron Wall

What is Link Renting?

Link renting is a means to ‘rent’ the popularity and traffic flow of another site – you pay a monthly fee in return for a text link pointing to your site. In doing so, you can directly and indirectly drive more targeted traffic toward your website.

Many industries such as travel, pharmacy, pornography, and gaming have search results which are hyper competitive and require heavy advertising or aggressive SEO techniques. Some niche websites may see an even greater ROI on smart link rentals since many of their competitors may not include link renting in their online marketing budgets.

Some rented links provide great value in direct targeted traffic, whereas some other links provide greater value from the effect they have on search relevancy.

Most links are rented on a monthly basis with an option to renew at the end of the month. Some link prices can be as low as a few dollars a month whereas some can cost thousands per month.

There is no singular onesizefitsall way to directly assume the value of a link. Most effective marketing has risks associated with it, but you can minimize the risks and maximize your return by breaking the value of the link down into its elements:

Direct traffic from link renting

Viral effect of advertising

Effects of link rentals on search relevancy.

1. Direct Traffic from Link Renting:

Link renting can drive significant direct traffic. The first things you need to know are:

what is the quality level of the traffic?

how related is this audience to my product?

how much traffic does the site receive?

What is the Quality Level of the Traffic:

Where does the bulk of their traffic come from? Someone recently asked about ePilot, the pay per click search engine, at Search Engine Watch forums. Andrew Goodman replied ‘the first question I would ask myself would be: กwhere does ePilotกs traffic come from?ก Answer isn’t clear? Then it would be no surprise that the socalled traffic doesn’t convert to anything.ก

This same concept holds true with any site. If you do not see any quality inbound links that could indicate a problem: or they could get most of their traffic from payperclick ads. Whatever the case, if you are going to spend money renting links for traffic, make sure you know where their traffic comes from.

How Related is the Audience:

It will be somewhat of a guesstimate as to how exactly how related the traffic will be, but generally it is fairly obvious when something is on theme or off theme. Some things you may want to consider when determining traffic quality:

What is the mood / mind set of their traffic? Related traffic may not be traffic that converts. At the 2004 Webmaster World Las Vegas Conference a speaker mentioned that a website about prom hairstyles may not be a good place to advertise prom dresses since girls do not usually look at prom hairdos until after they have already purchased their prom dresses.

What product should I advertise? Sometimes it makes sense to send traffic to your home page while other times it is more logical to advertise a specific product because it is hot or more related to that particular audience.

How Much Traffic Does the Site Receive:

Most honest webmasters who sell ad space understand that the traffic they receive is a large part of their ad value and should have no problems giving you that information.

Some systems such as Alexa also track traffic, but their statistics can be inaccurate due to their limited distribution.. The best way to use such systems is not for traffic estimates but for comparisons between sites. Note that Alexa has a heavy bias toward webmaster resource type sites. Additionally other companies such as Hitwise may provide more accurate traffic statistics.

From the base traffic level there is a bunch more research you can do to determine how much traffic the site may bring:

Who currently advertises on the site? You may want to ask them about their advertising experience. Some ad networks such as AdBright show past advertisers average cost per click and ad renewal rates.

How many ads are on the page? Each additional ad will split up some of the traffic.

Where does your ad sit? Ads that are tucked away in the footer or in common ad space may get less exposure and drive less traffic. Ads near the content may gain additional exposure and drive more traffic.

What ad formats can be used? Certain ad creatives may provide greater value than other ads.

What is the ad turnover rate? Advertisers tend to stay with a site that delivers traffic. A high turnover rate may indicate other problems.

Have advertisers made any suggestions? Ask if any of their past advertisers made any suggestions or stated that they found any particular setup as being especially helpful.

Is the traffic seasonal? Some sites have large shifts in traffic volume due to seasonal factors.

2. Viral Effect of Advertising:

Some ads go through click tracking systems which may prevent them from being indexed by search engines. This means that the only value of those particular links would come from direct traffic. Sometimes ads lead to additional exposure though.

3. Effect of Link Rentals on Search Relevancy:

Many links have a greater indirect value than direct value.

When someone links to your site it is seen by search engines as a vote of quality. The anchor text and other page elements such as the page title and headers may also help search engines further classify the link. On image links the image alt text plays the roll of the anchor text.

On the commercial web many links are bought and sold, and thus for search engines to remain relevant they must find ways to regulate link purchasing.

Some of the things you may want to look for when buying links to help maximize your ROI and minimize your risks:

Are the links direct links? Links that go through an ad server usually do not help build your link popularity.

Is the page on theme? On topic links from industry hubs are given significantly more weighting in clustering or community based algorithms such as Teomaกs topic distillation and Googleกs Hilltop. If the site allows off topic links then it has a greater chance of having its link popularity blocked or devalued.

How many links are on the page? If a page sells an unlimited number of ads then the outbound link popularity is split up many ways, and that also could look a bit unnatural to search engines. If there are hundreds of internal links on a page then each additional link will be getting an exceptionally small share of link popularity.

What anchor text can I use? If you can use descriptive anchor text then the value of the link is greater since the link text helps search engines understand what your site is about.

What is the cost difference between site wide and individual page links? Generally site wide links may drive significantly more direct traffic, but likely they do not provide much additional weight beyond a single link from the best page on the site.

What is the PageRank of the page? Generally many people place too much value on PageRank, but a higher PageRank does equate to greater connectivity and slightly additional value.

Who links to the page and to the site? If the page or site is well connected within your topical community then search engines will likely consider links from it as being far more important than links from pages which are not as well connected.

Summary:

To best determine the value of a link you need to consider both its direct and indirect effects. Generally it is best to buy on topic links since they provide both direct and indirect value.

About The Author

Aaron Wall is a self taught, independant search engine marketer. He currently owns/operates http://www.searchmarketing.info, and is learning more about the internet daily. Aaronกs articles have been syndicated across the web. He quietly works out of his house helping numerous website as a consultant and search engine marketer. You can reach Aaron day or night at (401)2071945.

This article was posted on February 18, 2005

by Aaron Wall

20 Ideas for creating traffic rich, search engine

20 Ideas for creating traffic rich, search engine friendly pages

by: John Alexander

Sometimes questions will arise around the subject of gateway information pages or doorway pages. People have heard that กdoorway pagesก are BAD and some have stated that search engines กhate doorway pagesก.
For clarification on these type of issues, letกs start by explaining some simple ground rules looking beyond the jargon and terminology.
Do Search Engines Hate Doorway/Gateway Pages?
To answer this weกll examine it in two steps.
Letกs understand:
1. What it is that the Search Engines กHATEก?
and then…
2. What type of pages the search engines กLOVEก?
With this approach it will help us gain some understanding of the criteria that is most important.
1. What the Search Engines HATE:
a) To put it simply, search engines despise low quality doorway pages that contain little or no useful content. A few years ago these type of low quality doorway pages were rampantly produced as a means to try and trick the search engines. Looking at it from the search engines point of view, why even publish a page if all it contains is a couple of lines of text and an กenter the storeก link. Pages with VERY LITTLE VALUE to the reader, do not belong in a search engineกs index.
b) Search engines also despise any kind of duplication or use of mirror pages. Again, little or no content (often just garbled text or keyword rich paragraphs that have no real value) were reproduced over and over and cluttered up the search engines. These pages were supposedly going to bring great traffic but the bottom line is that they were and still are all labeled by engines as Spam.
c) Search engines hate any attempt made by Webmasters to manipulate pages optimized with content unrelated to the actual Web site. Some Webmasters were guilty of all types of trickery to try and attract clicks regardless of the site content.
Understanding these issues, clearly you could NEVER blame the search engines for their war on Spam and low value doorway pages which contained no useful content or information.
Next letกs talk about
2. What pages the Search Engines LOVE:
a) Search engines love pages that far กinformation richก and contain useful, original content that will actually make valued reading to the online visitors.
b) Instead of doorway pages (or pages with no value or little useful content), the term กinformation richก can be used to describe a page loaded with useful, quality information. Search engines love pages that are content rich and able to stand on itกs own merit. A quality information page is also part of the overall Web site allowing visitors to obtain more relevant and useful information having easy navigation through the Web site.
Instead of lightweight pages with no content, todayกs pages need to contains high quality information, which is relevant to the online audience. The information rich page is 100% quality, put together with research, relevance, thought and care. No tricks are ever needed.
Next Question is….. What kind of information goes into creating an information rich high performance page?
Invariably this question often comes up when I am teaching one of our live handson workshops. People need to understand that this is wide open to all the discoveries you make while researching your target audiences behavior. How you can meet the audienceกs needs exactly, is only limited to กyour imaginationก and the most effective way to present the information you know they are looking for, back too them. You want to give them what they ‘really wantก as opposed to what you ‘thinkก they want and do this right up front.
The focus is on creating genuinely กuseful contentก for your ideal target audience of กpotential customersก who happen to be already out there searching for you.
Not only is this what your visitors want, itกs also the key to success for search engine acceptance. You will never run in to trouble with search engines by offering lots of original, quality content that is interesting, useful and of high value, to your online readers.
In brief, key to success for attracting your target audience, is doing quality research on your target audiences searching behavior and learning to identify their needs and what they are searching for and then, giving them what it is that they really want.
Okay, so what kind of information might a information rich page really contain? That will depend on what กyour researchก reveals of course, but here are about 20 rough ideas just to get you started thinking in this fashion.
20 Ideas for High Performance Information Rich pages:
Your high performance, information rich pages might be any of the following (but not limited just to these either):
1. A Questions and Answers information rich FAQ page.
2. An introductory story related to the appropriate Web site theme (something that is compelling or educational on topic).
3. Interesting and original statistics which you have discovered through your research, are in high demand by your audience.
4. An interesting interview with someone (make it exclusive and original). People love to read about other peoples experiences and or opinions and views.
5. It might be a page loaded with various product reviews with an emphasis on benefits of each in comparrison.
6. It could be a theme related feature article or story.
7. It could be a detailed tutorial loaded with valuable กHow toก or กinstructionalก advice.
8. Your information page might even be a biography about someoneกs life that people are looking for detail on. Of course it should relate to the topical interest of your siteกs theme.
Recent eg. At the recent, sad passing of legendary screen icon Marlon Brando, just do a search for his bio and see all of the movie or film related sites that are no doubt getting additional exposure from Marlonกs fans who are looking to buy up some of his old classic films.
9. Your pages might something with a current events or newsworthy or hard news angle. Your audience is probably looking for interesting news if you take time to study what they are searching for.
10. Your information rich pages might want to contain detailed historical information that your audience is seeking.
11. There may be room for the use of information pages that use some humor or emotional content that is still of good value.
12. Would there be value to having a questionnaire which asks your audience a series of important questions. Remember that like real life, most Web based businesses are about building rapport and relationships.
13. You could build an index to a whole library of similarly themed topics and all though your articles would all be similar in theme, each individual information rich page would contain useful and diverse subject matter. Remember high value to your readers but all original (and no duplication in content).
14. What about an information rich page offering an entryway into a useful, interactive section like a message board perhaps detailing terms of use for the message board.
15. It might be a page containing an interesting advice column on your chosen theme. Just old fashioned กgood readingก which offers your readers advice or solutions to their challenges.
16. Your information page might be a reference page loaded with interesting, inspirational or famous quotes quite popular with all types of personalities.
17. Your pages might contain a related territorial map (yes images can be used most effectively with text)
18. It might be a sales letter but remember the emphasis is on quality content and originality. Things like detailed product reviews or content that emphasized some value added layout.
19. It could be a community related page with important localized community information. Tremendous value for Web sites that are looking for region specific traffic.
20. It could be any of the above suggestions with a seasonal angle relating to Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or something else appropriate to the Web content within your main theme.
One of the best ways to come come up with original ideas is to think laterally about กyour audiences needsก in comparison to how they are searching on the major search engines. For more insight on how to research your audienceกs realtime behaviours you may want to visit http://www.wordtrackermagic.com
Best Regards,
John Alexander

About The Author

John Alexander is CoDirector of Training for Search Engine Workshops. He has trained hundreds of people from over 80 different countries through seminars and workshops at locations across the globe. John also teaches instructional chats through his partnerกs, online SEO courses. Robin Nobles and John Alexander are also members of Wordtrackerกs special technical support team. John has written an eBook, Wordtracker Magic, offers unique strategies for applying the Wordtracker service to generate profits for online marketers.

http://searchengineworkshops.com

john@searchengineworkshops.com

This article was posted on July 13, 2004

by John Alexander

The Hidden Benefit Of Computer Certification

The Hidden Benefit Of Computer Certification

by: Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933

The web is covered with stories regarding the benefits of professional computer certification, and most of them are backed up with salary surveys and the like. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with making more money and having better job prospects, there’s one benefit of certification that many candidates forget about.

Confidence.

You can’t pay your rent with confidence; you can’t pay for gas with confidence; you can’t pay for ANYTHING with confidence, right? So who cares, right?

Wrong. The confidence you build from truly earning a certification, whether it’s an MCSE, CCNA, or CCIE, cannot be purchased, borrowed, or stolen. It has to be earned.

What do I mean by ขtruly earnedข? First, I’m referring to those little documents out there generally referred to as ขbraindumpsข. If you buy one of these things and happen to skate by a certification exam, did you learn anything? No. Did you learn anything? No. Are you going to be effective on the job? No. As I tell my students, when you’re standing in front of a server or router that isn’t working, and all eyes are on you to troubleshoot the problem, the correct answer is not ขBข. There is no multiple choice.

Secondly, I’m referring to the hope that the certification you earn was earned by taking a demanding exam.

Now, you’re probably thinking ขokay, Chris has lost his mind. I should HOPE the test is demanding?ข

Yes, you should. There’s nothing more useless than earning a certification that’s easy to get. There’s no feeling of pride, of achievement; furthermore, if everyone else has that certification, what value does it have?

I can speak from experience on this one. Those of you relatively new to the field may never have used NT 4.0, but the MCSE NT 4.0 was the certification that ended up causing a lot of damage to the value of professional certifications. EVERYBODY had one. The tests were repetitive and far too simple, there were no simulation questions, and the exams required no real handson experience.

As a result, my MCSE NT 4.0 had little value. I also felt no sense of pride in achieving it.

Thankfully, exam vendors and authors seem to have learned their lesson. Cisco exams are not easy to pass, and the initial Cisco certification, the CCNA, demands handson knowledge and experience. Microsoft is (finally) adding simulator questions to their certification exams as well, and the MCSE exams have gotten tougher as well.

So if you should happen to fail an exam along the way to the top – and almost all of us do – just keep in mind that if the exams were not demanding, they would have no value.

After all, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it!

About The Author

Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933, is the owner of The Bryant Advantage. The Bryant Advantage sells the worldกs most comprehensive CCNA Study Guide in PDF format for only $15 and is the ONLY company specializing in CCNA and CCNP rack rentals, allowing candidates for these certifications to gain vital handson experience with full racks of Cisco routers and switches with labs and prices designed just for them. Lots of FREE CCNA and CCNP tutorials and articles, too! Visit his site at www.thebryantadvantage.com today!

chris@thebryantadvantage.com

This article was posted on April 10

by Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933

Quick Tactics To Brand Your Business And Make More

Quick Tactics To Brand Your Business And Make More Sales

by: Charles Kangethe

This may come as a surprise… to you, but Branding is more than just Logo and Business or Product Name recognition.

Branding is ‘the total emotional and intellectual involvement your prospects and customers have with your business and products.ก

This article addresses 5 basic problems and questions about Branding:

How Are Brands Created ?

=> Branding by กPersonal Experienceก

This creates the strongest bond between your customers and your business and products.

Your customer service, front and back end offers must be of high quality, in order to create exceptional กPersonal Experienceก. This starts a virtuous cycle.

Exceptional กPersonal Experiencesก lead to general public and market acclaim spread by word of mouth and other publicity. In turn, this feeds into a still stronger Brand, starting the cycle all over again.

However, always remember it is easier to create a negative Brand than it is to create a positive one, by offering low or poor quality and value products, services and customer support.

=> Branding by กIndirect Experienceก

For many direct marketers, กPersonal Experienceก Branding is difficult and not easily achieved because sales that lead to กPersonal Experienceก are not easily made !

The กIndirect Experienceก strategy relies on creating a consistent, repeating association to the product in your prospects mind.

Marketers use a variety of tactics to achieve this aim.

* Jingles in audio \ visual media

* Using Slogans

* Advertising through classifieds, display, press releases, and give away products and information.

* Sponsorship of media, cultural, sporting and other events

Brand Building On The Internet The Issues

The Internet has redefined Branding models of the past because it has levelled the playing field, for both consumers and businesses.

Prospects and customers are more involved with businesses and products than they were in the past.

Research of products and services, before purchase is easier.

Consumers have so much choice now they are no longer easily ‘taughtก loyalty to a particular Brand.

Consumers are less willing to form bonds or create กloyalก associations with products and businesses.

On the other side of the coin, businesses have much more competition and must be more customer focussed than ever before.

Companies that thrive and stay in business recognise building lasting relationships with existing customers is more profitable, than always trying to find new customers.

A World of stronger consumers who bypass your direct and indirect experiences with a click of the mouse, is difficult for Brand builders.

On the Internet those that succeed make profits, the rest fail.

The Cost And Value Of A Brand.

Brand building has a cost in time, money and effort.

The cost of Brand building is easily quantified in Dollar terms.

The value of a Brand is harder to establish because it involves measuring emotional and intellectual associations that might not necessarily translate into cash sales.

Not understanding the value, but clearly understanding the cost of Branding, some marketers decide to get round this problem by competing solely on price.

This is a short sighted tactic because it invites กprice warsก, and if you get involved in a กprice warก against an opponent with deeper pockets you are bound to loose.

A better strategy is to compete on high product value and build quality Brand recognition over time.

Brands Are Not Eternal

Brand building is an ongoing Business strategy.

The emotional and intellectual associations and recognition that together make up Brand loyalty wear off if not reenergised frequently.

Brands are subject to fashion, fads and change, and understand recognition is not the same as popularity.

Your market may recognise your Brand, but that may not translate into sales if the association is unfashionable.

The temptation, in such circumstances, is to spend less on Branding, cut prices, or , drop the business line altogether.

These are knee jerk reactions to uncontrollable events when taken in the short term. A measured initial response is to reinvent the Brand, freshen it up and market it to a new generation of consumers.

Many businesses reinvent, and rebrand themselves and go on to achieve new consumer acclaim.

Strategies For Brand Building

Here are a few short to medium term tactical measures you can start using today to kick start your Brand building program.

* Get a professional web site with customised headers, footers and logos Make your กvisitor experiencesก happy ones.

* Advertise regularly using paid channels where you can. If money is a problem, use f’ree advertising, but advertise regularly !

* Write useful articles and publish regularly. Invite visits to your site through your resource box.

* Syndicate your articles and build personal name recognition using a tool such as Name Branding Syndicator available from http://www.highprofitsoftware.com/syndicator/

Visit http://www.simplyeasier.com/mbd to see how you can get this tool for F’ree as part of a product bundle.

* Brand your business by associating and complimenting other succesful products Develop a quality reciprocal link and partnership strategy.

Try products like Zeus (http://www.cyberrobotics.com/) and Arelis (http://www.axandra.com/index.htm) for this tactic.

* Use a good autoresponder service and communicate frequently with your customers and prospects giving useful, and personal information.

There are many good tools for this tactic, but try Getresponse (http://www.getresponse.com) or Aweber (http://www.aweber.com) for a start.

* Use Zip Brander available from Russell Brunson of http://www.zipBrander.com/ to put your products, affiliate programs and other offers in front of your purchasers easily and frequently.

Branding your business and products is a key part of your success strategy.

You want people to associate your business name and products with high quality, and high value.

Successful Brands make money just ask Microsoft, Levi, Ford, Coke.

Start Branding your business and products today, and generate maximum lifetime customer values.

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe

About The Author

Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave Netpreneur and a published author from England. The กSimply Easierก brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources.

charles@simplyeasier.com

This article was posted on April 02, 2004

by Charles Kangethe

The Team Process

The Team Process

by: Ray Cooney

We live in very progressive times, one only has to look around at the changes on the internet each day to see that this is true.

We see changes also happening within the world around us as well, sometimes for the better sometimes not. We sometimes can feel frustrated in that it appears that we can do nothing to make the changes that we would like to see.

It is only through banding together that we can make our influence felt, when you look back over the history of mankind it would appear that all the significant changes came about by team effort.

>From the first groups that gathered together in caves for mutual protection against the forces of nature and the dangers of the wild, to today with groups working together to help our journeys towards the stars.

While most of us may never be going on journeys to stars, nor have to fend off the forces of nature, there are exceptions to every rule, we can find ourselves in a situation where being independent doesn’t help.

It is in these times of need that we find that being part of a team and cooperating as a team with a single purpose creates a greater good.

So when we go looking for an online business that we can participate in, we need to look at the existing teams within that business. How well do they interact? How well do they assist newcomers?

Unless these factors are thoroughly researched one can find yourself struggling not only to work out what you should do to work this business, but can actually find that others may be negatively impacting the way we work.

Now I know that it is easy to say find a group to work with, however not all personalities can work well together and so you not only need a good program, you need people that you are comfortable to work with and that you get along with.

This all takes time which is a significant reason why nearly every GETRICHQUICK scheme fails, this type of program is an individual domain not a team effort. It is only in the team oriented system that true value is placed on individuals and their worth to the team as an integral part of a well oiled machine.

Our planet requires this team effort as well, it is no good trying to do things by yourself. You need like minded individuals to create significant change. Although a single spokesperson may be associated with an event it is the team that is behind that person that achieved any of the successes.

I am not taking away from the individual, some are born entrepreneurs and if you can find one who is willing to mentor you then by all means latch onto their coat tails, I am sure that journey will be worthwhile.

However if you were to remove the team behind the one I can say without any fear that the results would be thousands of times less then with them.

So being part of a team is really a prerequisite for a successful business on the internet, but how do you find that team? How will you start? What do you need to do?

The first step is to work out if there is an existing program that already has a team in place and whether this group meets your expectations of what you want to do.

If not move on find one that does, now I am not suggesting that you jump from one idea to another not at all, do your homework on the program prior to joining, talk with those already involved, find out what makes them and this particular program tick.

Once you are satisfied make a commitment to stay with this program for a sufficient amount of time to give it a fair go, we are not talking weeks or months here but a long term commitment of at least 12 to 36 months.

This is the only way that you will establish your own niche in any program.

The next step and I am sure that you have heard this many times before, start to build your own list of people to share with, people that can like yourself become part of your team.

There are many ways that you can go about building your lists, and being a newbie myself I am still learning, however one very good method that I have found is by having my own newsletter. http://oneperfectday.net/newsletter.htm

You can build a list using this method within a few months from 10 or 12 to over 400. In time you can build this list into the 1000กs that you see others creating.

One thing I will mention here if you do go this path, you must have something of value to offer your subscribers, so that they will keep coming back to hear what you have to say in your newsletter/ezine.

Other methods of creating optin lists are in creating reports or eCourses and offering these free to anyone that wants them, of course you need to make sure that they have a perceived value or else you will not have any one join.

You could also create capture pages and offer a something of value for your subscribers name and email address, this works well but I have found that the other methods are superior in my own experience.

Another way is to do this what I am doing now write an article about something that you know about and submit it along with your resource box, the part in your message that contains the details of your own business.

eZine and Newsletter editors are constantly looking for new articles that are of value to their subscribers and could supplement what they are doing on the internet, it is this cross sharing that can also help build your optin list.

Especially if what you have written is helpful to others, one thing that sticks in my mind is a saying กYou can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.กZig Ziglar

This is so true, in fact you can virtually guarantee that if you help sufficient people along the way you too will grow in your business acumen.

So go out there and find your Team to work with, begin creating your list and create and share your wealth, whether that is in the form of money or knowledge.

About The Author

Ray Cooney has been involved in online marketing for over five years now. He has worked in many areas of the IT arena and is currently part of the administration for the Permaworld Foundation.

http://permaworld.org/members/join/

He also publishes his own newsletter to assist people in their online marketing efforts.

http://oneperfectday.net/ezine

He is also a supporter of the Feeding Kids Organisation through the promotion of the PermaSHARE Program.

http://permaworld.org/members/helpingkids/

ray@oneperfectday.net

This article was posted on November 20, 2004

by Ray Cooney

15 Website Elements That Attract Visitors

15 Website Elements That Attract Visitors

by: Catherine Franz

Here is a quick list of components that make a website attractive. They are listed in layers of attractiveness beginning with the กmustก haves, to กnice to haves.ก

1. State the websiteกs purpose up front and clearly of the site. Do this as quickly as possible. The visitor needs to know immediately if they have landed on the right site. They also need to know กwhat’s in it for me to stay here.ก If you don’t provide this, they are gone. 90% of the sites on the Net don’t do this.

2. Give visitors the ability to search for exactly what they are looking for, if they have something exact in mind. A กsite search featureก satisfies this best. Allow the search feature to be prominently displayed and not hidden away somewhere. It is best place in the navigational system so that it shows up on every page. Sales letter only websites are an exception to this rule. Return visitors and visitors that have something specifically in mind, want the option and ability to find what they want fast. So give it to them.

3. Photos allow connection. Especially to people who process visually. Clip art gets them to pay attention, however, it doesn’t create much of a connection. Personal photos connect within reason. Keep them less than three to a page. One photo always needs to be in the top portion of the screen on the first page. It doesn’t need to be large, but attractive.

4. Ways to capture visitors information wherever possible.

5. Place items on the site that keep them lingering. Audio and video are one of these, yet there are other less time consuming and inexpensive ways to keep them entertained.

6. Articles. For solopreneur sites, your own written articles. For other sites, articles with various authors yet on focus.

7. Interactive elements. For example: response forms, quizzes

8. If you use a shopping cart, it must be fluid, no hiccups. PayPal is not a shopping cart, it’s a hiccup. All auto responders must be well written and positive. If someone purchased something, they need the energy of ‘thank you.ก

9. Give offers that are of value.

10. Clear path of where a newcomer can start if it is their first visit.

11. Newsletter that is consistent with the 80/20 rule. 80% value and 20% marketing.

12. Ecourses of value.

13. Wellwritten ebooks: 5075 pages, plus valuable information (info not found anywhere else). Length doesn’t do more than provide perceptive value. Once purchased and the vastness is only fluff, then your credibility is shot. Complimentary ebooks meet the same requirements.

14. Give them other ways to receive more on…you if you are the focus…or the information if that is the focus.

15. Automated referral system. If you want referrals for your products or services, make it easy for you to get them. Set it up so it’s as automatic as possible, and clear and easy for someone to send you a referral. Be clear on what and how you want to give for that referral.

About The Author

Catherine Franz, a Business Coach, specialized in writing, marketing and product development.

Newsletters and additional articles: http://www.abundancecenter.com

blog: http://abundance.blogs.com

catherine@abundancecenter.com

This article was posted on September 25, 2004

by Catherine Franz