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Let’s get this straight: all your search engine marketing efforts are practically useless if you don’t utilize some effective SEO landing page strategies. Why? Because your landing page is the entry point of all your traffic and leads. For this reason, you should optimize it for the search engines in the most excellent way that you can (what you’re trying to avoid is having thousands of website visitors, but with no sales or opt-ins).

But before we talk about “on-page SEO” mumbo jumbo, let us first discuss what “optimizing” truly means. To me, optimizing does not mean the mere structuring your landing page to attract as much organic traffic as possible. Instead, the true meaning of optimizing is to arrange your landing page for better search engine traffic, and to get higher conversion rates at the same time! Simply put, your landing page should be an intermarriage of high-quality traffic and conversion.

How is this done? Well, a smart marketer will combine elements of basic on-page SEO and good copywriting to get traffic and conversion going on within the landing page. Your main goal is to attract 1) the search engines, and 2) attract people. That’s how money is made in online marketing. Consider the following tips to optimize your landing page for long term business results:

1. Put Your Main Keyword In Your Domain Name. This is a fundamental SEO principle that you probably already know. However, this is becoming harder and harder to apply nowadays. Because of tight competition in the online marketplace, keyword rich domain names are usually already taken. If the .com is no longer available, usually the .net and .biz domain extensions are already taken too. The challenge is to research and choose a keyword with long term traffic potential, and become creative enough to come up with a unique and keyword-based domain name that other marketers in your niche has never thought of before.

2. Install Wordpress On Your Site. Several hosting brands, like Hostgator (mention of brand name is not intended for promotional purposes), allow you to install a Wordpress blog on your site. This will allow you to create a unique relationship based platform on the internet to promote yourself and your business. But another side to this is that a blog hosted on your site is actually great for SEO purposes. Without adding any new pages or subdomains on your site, you can put fresh keyword-rich content on your site whenever you want – all by using a simple blog! If you could get organic traffic going in through your blog posts, your traffic amounts can increase exponentially.

3. Optimize Each Blog Post. Treat each blog post like a separate webpage that needs to be optimized for the search engines. Before writing anything, always start with research of two or three short keywords, and five to ten long tail keywords. Then put those keywords strategically on your blog post for that day. You may not be able to use all those keywords in one sitting, but at least you will have a chance to fill up your site with keyword rich content whenever you want to. If you commit yourself to posting SEO content on your blog on a regular basis, you will experience long term increases and your business will thrive online.

April 27 , 2011 In: Website Design

If You Build it they Might Come

There are some who mistakenly believe that by building a great website visitors will flock to their online place of business and favor them with their purchases. While this might sound good in a sales pitch, in reality it is not going to happen. Merely opening a website, regardless of how great it looks, works and provides unprecedented low prices, the fact remains that if people don’t know your site is there they are not going to go out of their way to find it.

In the old west when a new general store opened settlers had no choice as to where they shopped. As the population grew and more stores opened, the additional choices demanded merchants develop new ways to get customers in the door and leave their money behind. Today, the internet could be called the old west of the electronic age but more towards the era in which new markets are opening and more stores are available. Additionally, shoppers are not limited by geography and can just as easily buy what they want or need from the store across the street as easily as they can buy from another store on the other side of the world.

Networking has become the most efficient means of letting people know you exist and to advertise your wares online. Finding a method to get your message in front of the customers who will use your services the most is the only way to assure success. You no longer can count on localized messages to deliver a wide audience and since your visitors will be travelling long distances to your internet store, your message must also reach further than ever before.

There is actually no way that any one sire can offer something for everyone and those sites that try are only kidding themselves. You will need to put your focus, as well as your energy, in finding a place where your message will be heard by the very people that will buy what you are selling. You might start by using the shotgun approach to your advertising until you can identify your customer base, but when that is done you will need to use a more focused approach to get your message out to those who want to hear what you have to say.

If you have the right message and put it front of the right customers they will be heading to your store with their guns, or rather credit cards, blazing. However, the best-looking websites and those offering the best deals will only keep customers by keeping them satisfied. You will have to make sure that you have the best support team available to exceed your customers’ expectations in all aspects of your business.

March 22 , 2011 In: SEO, Website Design

Extreme Designs May not be SEO Friendly

If you have ever clicked on a website and waited for what seems like near eternity to open, you have some idea of how search engines feel about those sites. The spiders sent out to crawl around a website looking for hints of what the site is about are essentially lazy little critters. If they can’t immediately find what they are looking for, they leave and head off to the next web to crawl.

This may also be happening to your visitors. In today’s internet age people expect instant gratification and that applies to their internet exploring as well. How many times did you click on a link and after five to even 10 seconds close it down with the inner voice comment that you don’t have time for this.”

If you were patient enough to wait you could be rewarded with a glimpse of one of the best looking sites ever built. When flash programming first hit the internet the bandwagon couldn’t hold everyone jumping on it and it didn’t take long for programmers to realize that the search engines just weren’t interested in sites built with flash.

By appearance alone, flash delivers some of the best graphic representations available. In reality, pretty doesn’t always translate into sales. In the case of search engine optimization it may not even translate in to being indexed by search engines let alone showing up in the search engine results pages. However, as good as it may be to produce a simplified website to be engaging to your visitors as well as to search engines, no matter what business you are in you will need to make a professional statement.

Your 10-year-old child may be good on computers, but do you want your visitors to see someone’s first-ever effort as representing your company? If you are going to have a website you will need to design it to make a case for customers to enter. Think of it is the front door to your business. Ask yourself, if it was a traditional brick-and-mortar business how likely would it be for customers to feel comfortable walking when they pass by?

The old adage of keep it simple is part of the equation for a well-designed website, but it also has to be functional. A good looking website, to be attractive to search engines should also be without frames. They tend to limit the spiders in their thirst for knowledge and leave your site as low as possible, if indexed at all. To investigate customer ease, go through your site like a customer and insure everything works as expected. Dead links are the bane of the internet and frankly, there is just no good excuse for them.

February 10 , 2011 In: Marketing

5 Tips for Successful PPC Marketing

Pay-per-Click (PPC) marketing is not something that will necessarily work from the moment you start it. PPC has become increasingly popular lately, meaning that making money with it has also become harder than it used to. Nevertheless, it can still be profitable and, if you’re doing it right then you can boost the income of your website noticeably. Here are five tips that you might find useful:

1. Assess the long term value of your PPC customers.
Have you ever looked at the statistics to discover how many purchases will your average PPC buyer make each year? If you haven’t then you should. If the data tells you that your PPC customers are in the habit of making multiple purchases per year, then you can settle for a smaller commission for the initial sale, knowing that in time you’ll be the one gaining.

2. Promise a lot if you expect to get clicks.
The ads you use should promise big things if a lot of people are expected to check them out. The landing page of your business must also be at the same level with the ads. It should keep the visitors hooked and tempt them to such an extent that they cannot refuse. The product pages must also be attractive and, of course, the offerings themselves as well. Over-delivering almost guarantees your PPC campaign will work, regardless of the segment you’re into.

3. Base your cost per conversion targets on the category of the product you’re promoting.
Set a clear limit as to how much you’re disposed to spend to get a PPC buyer and stick to it. Make changes to the ad groups every now and then in order to remain within this limit. You must have accurate data before you can implement this step successfully, so make sure you double check the figures.

4. Sometimes it’s better to make ads less appealing.
When you’re after return on investment you’re more inclined to have only certain customers click your ads. Having less attractive ads can be a good strategy when dealing with broad keywords and your intention is to get only the qualified buyers to click them. It helps you keep at bay those customers which are solely after discounts.

5. Make sure your PPC landing page is optimized for search engines.
Because search engines look at the text within the page and at the load time when assessing relevancy, which in turn influences the PPC price and positioning of the ad, you should make the improvement of your landing page a priority. Enhance the accessibility of the landing page as well. If you have the resources then don’t hesitate to hire a professional to handle the SEO work of this page for you. It’s an investment well worth it.

PPC will not get you rich overnight, and if you expect that to happen you’ll be disappointed. A successful PPC marketing campaign is an ongoing process that eats up both money and time. It depends not only on how well you manage your ads, but also on the products you’re trying to sell. The better they are, the greater your chances of making money.

January 12 , 2011 In: Marketing

Growing Your Site with Search Engine Marketing

Regardless of how great you website looks or works, if people do not see it, it’s nothing more than an expense with no return. In order for an online business to grow and prosper, it has to attract visitors. It’s like building a billboard on a lonely stretch of road, where the chances of people seeing the sign and leading them to your business will be minimal.

To draw people to your site requires different forms of marketing, including search engine optimization, paid placement on search engines, and text-based advertising. Affiliate marketing is another method often used, but its success is dependent on the visitors of another site being directed to your site. Search engine marketing is perhaps the most beneficial means of climbing up the rankings page on nearly every search engine.

The search engines and your website
The most popular search engines—Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and Yahoo!—crawl sites on a regular schedule and adjust the rankings according to their relevance to the search term entered. While each search engine may have different methodologies for ranking sites, they all have the same basic requirements. In the past, search engines based their ranking on meta tags. Inserted into the code of a website, the tags were the first thing search engine spiders crawling the web would see. A site containing the same meta tags as a user input into the search query would be matched quickly.

However, some website builders learned to spam keywords into the tags, and users were directed to sites that had absolutely nothing to do with the subject being sought. Search engine operators quickly discovered this trick and adjusted their search algorithms accordingly. Today’s search engines look for information that real users are searching for, instead of what website owners want them to see. In order for a site to be ready for search engine marketing, it usually has to be built with that goal in mind.

Good SEO takes time
Website owners need to know that search engine optimization is the key to success, but it is not going to affect rankings over night. Companies that already have a website and want to incorporate search engine marketing into the mix are better served by taking it slow. Rushing into it may actually hinder the efforts and stall any re-launch of the site. It will also take time for the search engines to scan your site and note any positive, as well as negative changes that have been made.

Search engines are looking for information that real people can use. In this regard, many sites are working with freelance writers to keep relevant content on their site fresh and original. If the owner does not have the skills or expertise to write their own content for their site, there are plenty of people who do and can help keep the site updated with fresh original content.

The biggest opportunity with search engine marketing is that the search operators have a tendency to change their algorithms without warning. A site that is optimized for search engines one day may find itself at the bottom of the rankings the next. Staying in tune with what search engines demand will help keep a website in the top one or two pages of the search results.

December 21 , 2010 In: Marketing

All You Need to Know About Video Marketing

Online marketing can be done nowadays through multiple mediums, each targeting a specific audience and each having its own benefits. Special e-mail offers, paid search results, or promotion through contextual ads are all marketing methods that have proven their effectiveness.

Video marketing is a more recent promotional method that works, sometimes with impressive results, in today’s bustling online environment. Websites like YouTube have done quite a lot to indirectly promote it.

Video marketing is an effective means of reaching a target audience. It can help quickly spread word about your website, whether it’s a personal blog, an e-commerce website, or something else.

Knowing your targets
Just like any other campaign in general, video marketing requires first and foremost an elaborate plan of action that takes into account the scope of your website, its direct competitors, and its aspirations. The idea you’re trying to get across also plays an important part: if your website promotes a dancing class for children, for example, then it will be quite easy to capture footage of a lesson and put it online; but if you offer Internet services, then you will need to use your imagination to promote your business through videos.

Only after you have a plan and realistic goals can you concentrate on the more practical things.

The format of your videos
Because there is quite a lot of playback software out there, you’ll have to know what your target audience is likely to use so that the format of your videos will be supported. In general, to avoid compatibility issues, stick with popular video formats. Format becomes less important if you plan to post your videos on your YouTube or other video website channel, where it will be automatically converted and embedded into the site.

The quality of your videos
HD videos are the most attractive, but they can slow down a website. If you cannot guarantee a high quality browsing experience with HD, then stick with standard, good quality videos. Sound quality is important as well.

Put a logo in your videos
Create more awareness of your brand by inserting the logo of your firm at the beginning and end of your videos.

Choose where you upload your videos wisely
YouTube and other similar websites can help you get some free exposure. They’re straightforward to use, and they can make you known to a huge audience. When using such video websites, make sure you are informed about all their guidelines, or you might find your videos removed and your marketing campaign halted.

Research all the available options
Depending on your website, video marketing on popular video channels may work or may not. Sometimes it’s more effective to post your videos on affiliate or partner websites because of the strong competition you might face within the popular video channels.

What is the key to success in online marketing? Different people will have different answers to such a question. However, all would agree that success with internet marketing will frequently revolve around the ability to stay modern and current. You never want online marketing ventures to start lagging behind the times.

And such a statement is tantamount to little more than basic common sense. Your marketing campaigns need to be current and relevant. They do not need to be supremely innovative campaigns or strategies. They simply need to remain logical within the framework of modern internet marketing campaigns.

Here is a fact of (internet marketing) life: customers are not going to react well to a poor internet marketing paradigm. This does not mean they will look at your website and reject extraordinarily negatively to it. Rather, they would be dismissive of your entire promotional strategy. Certainly, that would NOT be the basis for success.

That is not the desired outcome for any marketing campaign. You do not want people reacting to you with indifference. And the easiest way to evoke indifference would be to employ an outmoded marketing module.

Look at it this way: running a website without checkout software is not going to work unless you are offering something no one else has while simultaneously targeting a very small niche. Really, unless they is a compelling reason why people will be motivated to send a check to a snail mail address, they are not going to do so. Rather, they will look towards another website offering similar products or service. Checkout software is but one example. The key point here is that you want your website and marketing processes to remain current and relevant.

If they were not they would be of little value. Sure, it may be easier to design and run a much more scaled down website. The problem is your customer base will reject it. That means little if any generated revenue.

Who would an outcome such as that? Failure to see revenues grow undermines the purpose of being in business in the first place. Again, this is why you need to stay on top of trends, processes, insights, and new horizons in online marketing. Doing otherwise would be detrimental to your career.

Online marketing is never stagnant because new innovations in online processes are continually being developed. Those that remember the classic days of the 1.0 version of the internet probably do so with a slight fondness. The emphasis here needs to be on the word “slight” since few are fond of the limited and cumbersome form online marketing took in those days. No, there is nothing wrong with looking back on the classic era with a sense of romanticism. If it were not for the innovations and trailblazing of past versions of internet marketing, we would not have the $5+ billion internet marketing industry we have today.

One of the reasons the internet marketing realm did not generate huge revenues in the past what it was not structural designed to do so. Of course, the limited access of the internet also contributed to the limited consumer base. No one is saying otherwise. However, in addition to the expanded internet audience, advancements in marketing strategies and capabilities boosted success potential a great deal.

The moral here is that an internet marketer must never fall behind. To fall behind means you fall off the radar of success potential. Understand this and you avoid a lot of problems and hazards.

No, this does not mean you need to be on top of and institute every trend that emerges. You just need to be aware of rising trends and modify your ventures accordingly. This does raise questions regarding how you should stay on top of things. The process is not all that tough. In fact, it has been made quite easy for you!

Basically, websites, blogs, online magazines, message boards, and video file sites are filled with outstanding news reports on new trends and developments. Some of the more expansive online resources maintain entire libraries of free material on the subject. Such resources are certainly well worth exploring considering the great value they present.

Simply reviewing or skimming these resources 5 to 10 minutes a day could lead to excellent insights into where to take your internet marketing campaign for the future. Remember, you never want your marketing ventures to lag behind modern trends too much or else you run the risk of being labeled outmoded. Who would a label such as that in a dynamic field?

Stay up to date and stay current. Your internet marketing success will hinge on these factors.

Search engine optimization strategies are never east to employ. Most people realize this. Even though some of the concepts may seem simple on the surface they will frequently rely on a steady and knowledgeable hand in order to be performed effectively. What does that mean for those that might not be very experienced or versed in the subject of search engine optimization? Basically, it means it may be time to turn over such strategies to someone with a deeper and greater understanding.

In other words, you may wish to hire a professional search engine optimization company. Really, it would not be of much help to your online marketing plans if you continue to muddle through the steps required to succeed with search engine optimization plans. Once again, the goal here is not to try to do everything on your own. The goal is to ensure the search engine optimization of your website is done properly and effectively. That means you may need to bring in some additional help through hiring the services of a qualified professional.

But, isn’t search engine optimization just about placing links? Can’t you purchase hundreds of links for very little money? And isn’t all the hullabaloo about article marketing overstated? Don’t those article directories publish low quality material simply because they need the pages for their pay pr click advertisements?

Folks, don’t try to justify employing a poor search engine optimization strategy. Doing so will never work out for your benefit.

Low quality links lead to low quality results. The same can be said of poor quality articles. They might get published but they certainly won’t be linked to in a viral manner. You would simply be wasting your time if you attempted to take shortcuts with your search engine optimization plans. Hiring a professional search engine optimization service might prove to be the very boost move you make since it will ensure effective results in a much shorter and less costly timeframe.

Less costly you say? How can it be less costly if you have to hire the services of a professional SEO company?

Basically, the work performed by the SEO company is intended to increase the ranking of your website in the search engines. That means the commercial viability of the site and its overall revenue projections will be much higher. Considering the fact that your website and your business have operating costs, you assuredly will want to experience an increase in revenues. A search engine optimization company might have the potential to deliver in this regard. Without employing their services, you might prove very limited in terms of the outcome you attain. That means your internet marketing venture will probably not yield very much in terms of success.

And why get involved with internet marketing if success is out of reach?

It might not even be worthwhile to think of things in such a manner. Since the availability and access to search engine marketing professionals are both within reach, why not take advantage of what they have to offer and explore the offers they have available?

Contrary to what some might assume, there are inexpensive options for those interested in hiring a search engine optimization service. Yes, it is assuredly true that some services come with high fees. That is to be expected with any service provider. Of course, it is also to be expected that there will be providers known for delivering cutting edge, excellent deals that present much in terms of savings. They also deliver on expectations of quality. That is, you will experience a significant impact in search engine rankings due to their service.

September 27 , 2010 In: Marketing

Organizing a Facebook Event With Maximum Effects

Facebook marketing is so popular that it draws in people from all facets of sectors of business. Facebook is the tool that will allow you to harness the power of social media and bring these followers to your website. This is assuredly a good thing since Facebook’s marketing potential opens the door for tremendous entrepreneurial success. However, most people do not take advantage of all the benefits that Facebook offers. Case in point, one of the very best strategies to employ would be to develop a Facebook Event. What is a Facebook Event? It is a “virtual” version of a very traditional marketing strategy.

Simply put, a Facebook Event is no different than any other “in person” event that you would attend. The most obvious difference here would be the attendees would interact through congregating online through Facebook.

The classic concept of the “open house” is perennially employed to draw people in to look at property that is for sale. In a similar vein, many tradeshows are employed to draw various consumers and business associates into a collective area in which products or services can be effectively promoted. All of these types of events share a common theme: they bring people to a physical location. With Facebook, you can perform much of the same promotional strategy and do so online. This is where the aforementioned concept for a Facebook event comes into play.

The way a Facebook Event works is that you can use your profile to craft a public event in which any can (virtually) attend. How does this work? Basically, this means no passwords are required to venture into the events. The event would be visible to all members of Facebook and anyone can ventures into its “doors”.

This does not mean that only Facebook members will know about the event. It is possible to work with others on the various top social networking sites such as Myspace and Twitter. This allows you to take all the necessary steps to promote the event to anyone and everyone that wishes to attend. They will, however, need to create a free Facebook membership in order to attend.

What type of an event could you promote? Using the previous example of an open house, such an event could be employed to promote timeshares. During the event, audio, video, and pictures can be used to present the value of the timeshares. Of course, there is even greater value within the Facebook event than just the presentation of visual displays. The Facebook event allows for communication and interaction between the attendees. This is what turns it into an online event as opposed to something dull and static.

It is recommended, however, that you take the appropriate steps to properly learn how to run such an event. You do not want to muddle through the event without any preparation. To do so can undermine all the value and benefit that you are seeking from the event in the first place. A poorly run event will not help with the image of your company.

One way to make sure the event is run effectively would be to start with a small one. Perhaps you could seek to promote and event attended by only 10 people. Use this initial event as a means of gaining the valuable experience required to enhance the potential success of the next event you run.

And when you do run a full event you are advised to promote it long in advance. This way, you can be sure that it will be well attended. Sending out too few invitations and sending them too close to the event will not yield desired results. However, effective planning will yield the desired impact on the potential number of attendees.

August 23 , 2010 In: SEO

Hub Pages for Internet Marketing

Is it not surprising that each and every day new means of promoting a product or service on the internet finds a new forum? Recently, there has been a lot of hub about, well, hub pages. Are they truly as worthwhile as some profess them to be? In all honesty, they are not only worthwhile, they have the potential for taking a faltering internet marketing campaign and giving it a huge boost.

What are hub pages and why should I look toward using them as part of my internet marketing campaign?

Hub pages have been called a cross between a social network, and article directory, and a traditional website. This does raise the question why bother with a hub page when the other venues exist? Basically, you should use ALL of these venues to promote your business. When you leave areas underdeveloped, you can potentially lose business. That certainly is not the way you would want your business to turn out.

Back to the topic at hand which are hub pages. Hub pages serve as free sites where you can publish content on basically any subject that you wish. This can be done just for the fun or it or it can be done to promote your professional pursuits. Some may wonder what the benefit of hub pages are. The positives of using hub pages are fairly vast:

Unlike an article directory, you need to screen your content through an editor. Of course, there will be rules and terms of service with a hub site. However, the rules generally do not present stringent editorial control. So, you can immediately publish your content on the hub site without any delay. The lag time on article marketing sites can be upwards of a week. Requirements for re-writes or revisions can add even further delays which probably will not be all that appreciated.

Of course, hub pages are free and they do not come with the costs associated with publishing a website. This allows hub pages to serve as an excellent venue for free advertising. You need not dip into your budget to publish content on hub sites. For many internet marketers, budget is a major concern. Free publishing venues can help keep a budget under control.

Hub sites also have a large number of members and followers. As soon as you publish content on a popular hub site, it can be viewed by scores of people traversing the site. This can certainly help boost the recognition of your website in the eyes of those that come across it. The fact that hub sites and their corresponding subpages achieve a lot of traffic certainly helps business a lot.

Hub pages can also be used to drive traffic to a particular website. This is a common process most people employ when they build hub pages. Integrating links pointing to the website into the text of the hub page is common practice. And yes, it can yield a tremendous amount of direct traffic to the prime website.

Those links will also be indexed by the search engine. Such links will definitely be counted highly by the search engine robots. This will aid in increasing the ranking of the website in the search engines significantly if you are regularly adding hub pages as part of your online marketing campaign.

Hub pages definitely have much to offer those looking to expand their internet marketing potential. Consider that a major recommendation for exploring your options for publishing on these sites. They are available for your free use and can deliver an enormous amount of traffic. For those that want to inexpensively expand their internet marketing ventures, hub pages may prove to be an excellent option.