Archive for June, 2009

Choosing a Pay Per Click Expert for your Advertising

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: SEM |

If you are a business owner who wants to engage into the popular pay per click marketing, you may be looking for a pay per click expert or an SEO expert. In doing so, it is important to keep in mind that your choice is vital to your business.

Online advertising has become a popular way to advertise your product these days as the internet has wider reach in terms of reaching out to potential customers and in introducing your product to the widest audience. In times when the economy is down, online advertising also provides cost-effective ways to advertise.

With the many advantages of advertising using the internet, businesses and companies are now joining the trend of online advertising. However, to keep up with the competitors and to make your advertising effective, it is most often a necessity to get yourself an expert on online advertising such as pay per click.

Online advertising, particularly the popular pay per click marketing may be cost-efficient but if you have a poor strategy in carrying out your advertising campaign online, it may cost you lots of money. This is why it is important to check and make sure you are getting a real expert in pay per click marketing to carry out your objectives in online advertising. Below are some considerations you might want to include in choosing one.

Track record of the PPC expert. You may not know the different ins and outs of online advertising but one way to make sure that your pay per click marketing expert can deliver you the output you want is to check on their track records. Check also if those who have availed of their services before were satisfied of the output. One thing that may also be an indicator of a good pay per click marketing expert is their years in the business. If they have been in pay per click marketing long before, then they must have been doing pretty good to be in the business still.

Easy an open communication is also important consideration in getting a pay per click expert. Since the internet is quick-changing, constant communication with your pay per click expert is indeed very important. You may change strategies from time to time, so it is very important that you can get in touch with your pay per click expert anytime you need him.

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7 Tips for Promoting a New Blog

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Web 2.0 |

Launching a new blog can be a fun experience, but with all of the competition out there it can be very challenging to get people to actually pay attention to your blog. Readers have so many options to choose from, you must do something to make yours stand out.

Content is critical to every blog, but getting people to notice that content is a real challenge. You could have the greatest content out there, but if no one is seeing it it really isn’t doing you any good.

As a new blogger there are a lot of things you can be doing with your time to promote the blog and start to build an audience. In this article I’ll point out some of the best ways that bloggers can focus on getting that new blog off the ground.

1. Social Media Marketing

Social media sites are great for promoting websites and blogs because of the huge potential for traffic, plus you can use them for free. Social media is especially useful for new blogs because it is something that can produce immediate results, unlike search engine optimization.

Many bloggers use social media unsuccessfully. To have the best results you need to be an active user yourself. Pick a few social media sites that you want to use to promote your sites and start visiting regularly to get familiar with the site, the users, and the types of content that draw response.

Now you should be able to create some content based on what you know the social media users tend to respond to.

2. Your Profiles on Social Networking Sites

If you’re already a user of networking sites like Facebook and MySpace you should add a link on your profiles to your new blog. This will not send a ton of traffic, but it will help to start getting the blog moving forward, and it will start your link building efforts.

While this may not have huge results, it will only take a few minutes and will be worth your time.

3. Use Twitter

Twitter is the hottest online trend right now, and it provides an incredible opportunity for marketers and bloggers. Use Twitter on a regular basis to build up a list of followers, then you can tweet links to your blog and posts.

For the best results, be sure that you are also tweeting about other things so that it doesn’t appear that you are blatantly using Twitter only for the purpose of promoting your site.

If you already have an established Twitter account with some followers, this is a great resource to promote your new blog.

4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you are willing and able to invest a little bit of money into the blog, adverting can provide a good return. Banner ads are a popular online option and they can be great for increasing your exposure and bringing new visitors.

Pay Per Click is a favorite of many online marketers because it is an option for any budget and because it can be very cost-effective. You’re only paying when someone is visiting your site, so there is no wasted money.

5. Participate in Blog Carnivals

If you want to start building links to your new blog, carnivals are an excellent option. A blog carnival will be hosted on a particular blog and others can submit their own posts. If you post is included you will get a link back to your blog.

The best resource for finding carnivals is http://www.blogcarnivals.com

6. Publish Guest Posts on Other Blogs

One of the most effective ways to promote a new blog is to write guest posts that will be published on other blogs. Guest posts will help to get exposure from a new, targeted audience, plus you will be building links through your author bios that link back to your own blog.

You will get some click-through traffic, but probably not a ton. The click-throughs will be of high quality, and it’s great for building links from strong blogs. Also, it’s a great way to network and get to know other bloggers in your niche.

7. Exchange Links with Other Blogs

Because links have such a significant impact on search engine rankings, link exchanges are very common. Getting some link partners (maybe 5 -10) in your niche can help to start to build the credibility of your new blog.

You will start to get some inbound links to your site, which can help to enhance your credibility with the search engines.

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Great Web Design Videos

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Others, SEM, SEO, Web 2.0 |

Here’s my series of great web design videos. Enjoy

Website Design: In 2 mins

Website Design: Cool & Hip

Website Design: Corporate

Website Design: Clean & Simple

Website Design: Artistic

Website Design: Vibrant

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Using social bookmarking sites as a marketing tool

Posted on June 29, 2009. Filed under: Web 2.0 | Tags: |

If you are promoting a blog or website you can make use of the various social bookmarking sites. After all the word ‘social’ tends to make you think of anything other than online business issues, as it doesn’t really give a fair representation of what these sites actually do.

But if you are not taking advantage of them you are missing a valuable – and free – trick that you can put to good use as a marketing tool.

Sites such as Stumble UponDigg and del.icio.us make it easy to share the latest advances and additions to your website with the world at large, and they can provide a good stream of traffic once you know how to use them properly.

The first thing to bear in mind is that there is more involved than simply bookmarking your site and hoping that people will find it. You need to make the best possible use of the tools available to you to maximize your chances of seeing lots of traffic coming your way.

  1. Start by joining each of the above sites and submitting your website home page to each one. You will be able to enter a short description of your site in each case, and it’s up to you to make sure that this description is tempting enough to make lots of people want to follow it up and actually visit your site.
  2. The next important step is to create a list of keywords in the space given for this purpose. Think about the words people might type in to find bookmarks similar to yours and include them in your list. Make good use of phrases as well – or long tail keywords as they’re known – as they will attract the people who are looking for the specific information you can offer.
  3. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you should make constant use of your social bookmarking memberships. Don’t simply use each one once to tell everyone about your home page. Bookmark your blog. Bookmark every article you write for the web that links back to your website. Bookmark everything you possibly can to create a huge web of connections which all lead back to you.

Being found online is all about persistence and getting out there to make your mark. That’s where social bookmarking sites can really be of use when you’re trying to promote your online business – so long as you remember to use them frequently.

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Why Customers Won’t Buy From Your Website

Posted on June 25, 2009. Filed under: Michelle's Intro, Others |

There are 2 key factors that influence whether or not your customers will buy online. These factors (supported by recent academic studies) are:

1. Perceived Security of your site

Browsers have significant concerns about the risks associated with providing their credit card details and personal information online. If you want to dramatically increase the level of purchases made online at your site, it may be necessary to target a significant portion of your online campaign at alleviating your customers’ security fears. Clearly, reassurances about security and privacy provided by online retailers to date appear to have been largely ineffective.

A risk-free security policy (e.g. automatic refund for queried transactions) from the perspective of the consumer may mean your company as the service provider bears greater risk. But weigh this up against the alternative, which is lower or no online sales at all.

2. Previous online purchasing experience

Research has shown that browsers who have purchased online previously are more likely to purchase again. The implication for your business is that it may be more logical to focus communication and marketing strategies on targeting those who have purchased online previously – e.g., advertise on other online vendor sites, gain databases of people who have purchased from websites. By targeting these people, you are increasing your chances of reaching buyers who are already accustomed to online purchasing.

It may also be easier and more cost effective for you to focus on generating repeat business from your own previous online customers.

Some interesting findings to arise from recent internet studies have been the things which do NOT influence the online purchasing intentions of consumers. Factors which buyers find insignificant when deciding whether to purchase online or offline include price, seller reliability and convenience.

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Tips: YouTube Video Marketing Campaign

Posted on June 24, 2009. Filed under: Web 2.0 |

Here are several tips for helping you start a YouTube video marketing campaign.

Creating a Viral Video

A viral video is a video that is spread around like a virus. People will get a hold of it, watch it, and even send it on to their friends. The content of your video is very important. If you are making your first video you are best off making a funny film, which are some of the easiest to spread around. Make sure that you brainstorm some great ideas before choosing the best one for your video.

Editing a Viral Video

It is surprising how many people over look the writing stage of a viral video. A YouTube video marketing campaign requires you to have a video that is clear and easy to understand, but that does not necessarily mean that they must be high quality. Make sure you check the sound and lighting to make sure that views can easily understand your video.

Posting a Video

Starting a YouTube video marketing campaign is very simple, and all you have to do is post up your video on the site. There are many other sites you can post your video at, and the more you do the more your video will be seen. YouTube is a site that accommodates for tens of thousands of new video postings every day, but it is the first place people go to when they are looking for a video.

Marketing Your Viral Video

The most important part is the actual YouTube video marketing campaign. This involves promoting the video to other people so they can get others to watch it, and so on. You may have to write your own blogs, start forums, or rate your video yourself to persuade people to watch it. Make sure that you send it to all of your friends first, as they are your greatest key to getting videos passed around.

If you follow these great YouTube video marketing campaign tips you should be able to turn out several great viral videos in no time at all. It is important that you keep researching different techniques for making a great YouTube video marketing campaign. That way you will be able stay up to date with the best viral video marketing techniques.

A great technique for a YouTube video marketing campaign is to create several different videos about the same topic, and post them all at the same time. This makes people want t o click on these videos once they have already seen the last ones. Don’t try to keep your video up longer by posting a new video every few days, because it rarely works. People quickly lose interest on a video and won’t come back to it every few days.

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Social Media Strategy: Hire, Outsource, or DIY?

Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: Web 2.0 |

Social media has officially become a business. Many in the industry would argue that it’s been a business for years, but until recently it has been very hush-hush and hidden in the shadows.  If you were to count the number of people claiming to be social media gurus, experts, marketers, or strategists a year ago, it would have probably been in the hundreds.

Today, it’s in the tens of thousands. Scanning Twitter and Facebook alone is evidence of this, and they are only a small part of a true strategy.

As huge corporations, home-office startups, and everyone in between rushes to get into social media, the first question that they must ask themselves is, “Do I do it myself, hire someone to do it at the office, or outsource it to a social media marketing firm?”

It’s a good, simple question. The answer is far from simple.

Rather than go into a long description of each option, here is a simple “pros and cons” analysis.  As part of a social media strategy firm, I am biased towards outsourcing. Our company is scalable to the point that we can handle any client large or small with tremendous success. However, this article is geared to be informative rather than being a sales pitch, so I will keep my personal goals out of it. Just the facts…

Hire a Person or People to Work Exclusively for the Company

— Pros —

  • Direct control over the messages, branding, and promotions
  • Dedication – an employee with one company in mind will be more interested in the success of that company than a social media firm with many clients
  • Creating buzz around the campaigns and employees themselves – Mashable on Colonel Tribune

— Cons —

  • Expense to search for, hire, train, and pay a full-time employee
  • Sick days? Vacations? Accidents? Resignation?
  • Lack of expertise – while there are exceptions, those who are good enough to truly understand and utilize social media to its fullest for business are not going to take a “job” when they know they can make more money as part of a team working with multiple companies and consolidating the efforts whenever appropriate.
  • In the viral marketing aspect of social media, one person or even a small team is not able to compare to the clout on social news sites of a social media marketing firm.
  • Bad press – Example: Jalopnik on Ford

Hire a Social Media Strategy Firm

— Pros —

  • Leaving it to the experts – A few social media strategy firms really know what they’re doing. They’ve accumulated the resources, accounts, profiles and contacts to take campaigns to the top, to properly build company-related social media properties, and to get the buzz heading in the right direction.
  • Cost – It’s normally less expensive to hire a firm to do social media marketing compared to hiring an individual or team to work exclusively for a company.
  • Set goals and monitor result – For most companies, the convenience of being able to set the direction, sit back, and wait for results is extremely appealing.
  • Changing landscape – Social media sites change their procedures regularly. What works today to get a front page story on Digg or massive retweets on Twitter may not work tomorrow. A company who is deeply embedded, who breaths social media every day, can be a tremendous benefit.

— Cons —

  • There are thousands of companies and individuals offering social media marketing services who can barely spell “Digg” or “Flickr” the proper way. Trying to distinguish between the handful of quality firms and the thousands of low quality or scandalous outfits can be daunting.
  • Lack of control – IF you can find a social media strategy firm who is really good at what they do, they are normally pretty stubborn. They know what works and it’s hard to tell them otherwise or send them in a different direction.

Do It Yourself or Add it to the Workload of a Current Employee

— Pros —

  • Cheap – all it takes is time

— Cons —

  • Cheap – all it takes is time, a lot of time
  • Lack of experience – there are how-to guides, ebooks, and blogs on how to implement proper social media strategies. Some work. Most don’t.
  • Poor execution – having a poorly run social media strategy is worse than not having one at all

Regardless of what you choose, try to stay flexible. It’s important to know when something isn’t working as well as it should be.

Soon, we will go into details about how to recognize a real social media strategy company versus someone who spams sites and talks about how good they are at social media marketing.

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Tips On Doing SEO For Small Business

Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: SEO |

There is a common understanding that SEO or search engine optimization is just for big businesses and corporations who want to extend their market reach online. Search engine optimization is not just the domain of large companies; small businesses also need the services of SEO in order to compete well in the market. So how to you implement the SEO for small business?

Research is critical in doing SEO for business

In any kind of activity, the need for research will always be there. In trying to tweak and update SEO for small business, you need to ask yourself what you will try to change in your site. Jumpstart your SEO job by writing down your goals for the business and start writing the possible queries that user may type in order to find your website and your small business. In trying to use SEO for small business, make sure too that you research the chosen keywords. You can make it happen by signing up with Google Ad Words. From there, your SEO for small business will now call for the identification of the right keywords that you can use for your websites. Plus this step requires you to understand your competition- see what are the high performing keywords for that site and learn the things that they are doing best so that you can copy their strategies as well. Once research has been done, then the next step for the SEO for small business requires you to do some on-site tweaks on your websites. Doing the SEO for small business means you need to evaluate the visual design of the business site. If the design of the website don’t attract readers but repel the readers, then no amount of work on the part of the SEO firm can help. In doing on-site checks as part of SEO for small business, make sure that you look at the HTML code of the website and optimize as well all the related tags.

Selected tips on how you can do your SEO for small business

Here are other tips when doing the on-site tweaks as part of SEO for small business:

  • Make sure that the keyword should be in the title tag
  • Make sure that the keyword is in the H1 for each page
  • Keyword must be present on the content
  • Try to optimize the URL architecture and this is part of SEO for small business
  • And on relevant images, make sure that you incorporate the keywords in the alt tags and in the file names

Consider off-site tweaks when doing SEO for small business

Other on-site steps that you can take as part of your efforts on SEO for small business include the need to decide if our website is in need of meta-description and the need to include the company address and the phone number. The contact information should be made visible on all pages of the website and this should be part of your SEO for small business. And finally, your SEO for small business should include offsite activities. Your SEO for small business on this stage will include the need to include the website to major industry-related

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7 Steps to Prepare Yourself to Use Facebook for Professional Networking

Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: Web 2.0 |

A recent study by Comscore, the Internet information provider, indicates that over 20% web users have visited Facebook in December 2008.  Comscore has also noted a gradual demographic shift from college students to professionals aged 35 years or older in the number of Facebook users. Majority of these users are using Facebook for professional and business networking.

Facebook is blooming into a platform to conduct business deals and professional meetings. Hundreds of professional Facebook groups are created every day for online marketing and customer-centric public relations campaigns. The line between social and professional networking is slowly blurring.

If you’re planning to use Facebook platform for professional networking, follow the 7 steps outlined below to separate your Facebook social life from the work life in the virtual world.

1. Create a professional profile. This is your second resume. Use resume writing techniques to polish up your existing Facebook profile. List your expertise and accomplishments in the “Write something about yourself” section. Uncheck everything in the “Looking for” section except Networking.

2. Use business related information in the Personal Information section, including the business book that you have recently read, some quotes from top business leaders in your field, your favorite business related TV show , and business magazines that you frequently read.

3. In the About Me sub-section of the Personal Information section, elaborate on your past achievements and list skills that you used in the past to solve business problems.

4. Remove all beer drinking pictures with your college buddies and fun poking applications from your profile. If you were a speaker in some seminar and you have pictures, upload them to your profile. If you have pictures with business leaders or intellectuals in your professional field use those pictures instead of your spring break surfing pictures unless you are looking for networking with surfing professionals.

5. If you want to keep your Facebook social life, create a second profile for your work life. People who are migrating from college life to professional career will find it beneficial to keep the two profiles separate so that they can poke their college buddies and make business deals at the same time using the Facebook platform.

6. Start reading and publishing contents related to your industry in various online magazines and post links to interesting and informative online contents and tools in Facebook status. If you already have a blog, publish your blog RSS field in Facebook’s My Notes.

7. Select only a few dozen friends and keep in contact with them using Facebook email and chat. Check out the Facebook group they subscribe to and join those groups. Post thought provoking comments in those groups to make yourself more visible. Help others by offering solutions to their problems.

The important thing to keep in mind is that whatever you share in your Facebook account, it is visible to everybody in your network. So be careful about how you professionally project yourself to the world while using Facebook. While there are dedicated professional networking sites like LinkedIn, you can still use Facebook for establishing professional relationship and conducting business deals.

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Writing persuasive website content

Posted on June 15, 2009. Filed under: Others, Web 2.0 | Tags: , |

Every content writer aims to write persuasive content. Now, the definition of “persuasive” may differ from writer to writer, reader to reader, but there are some basic guidelines that can be adhered to and that most often then not generate positive/desired response.

Get to the point in the beginning

The attention span of an average reader — at least while surfing — is quite fragile. Personally, I don’t believe my visitors have a short attention span. It’s just that, there is so much information available on the Internet, and very often there is so little time to glean as much as possible. So keeping this in mind, it’s always better to present the overall gist of your message in the beginning itself so that the reader can make out whether it’s worth his or her time or not.

Tell it in the beginning what you are selling and what you are not selling. Remember the visitor is there looking for a particular solution, and you either have it, or you don’t have it — let it be known at the outset. Don’t deceive your readers into needlessly reading further — you’ll only end up irritating them.

Use well-formed headlines to make your page look scannable

Your headlines should give the reader a fair idea of what the page contains. This not only generates interest — if done properly — it also helps your reader decide if your web page contains the information he or she is looking for. Even if they go somewhere else, they’ll appreciate your copy content for helping them make a quick decision.

Use pithy expressions

Using simple language and short sentences doesn’t mean your readers can only follow the For Dummies language. Shorter sentences make reading faster. Your sentences may not sound literary, but believe me, when a person is looking for aroma therapy products to cure a headache, he or she is not dying to read Dostoyevsky.

I have worked for clients — mostly corporate clients — who want jargons sprinkled everywhere, and these jargons can only be understood by those at whom the content is directed, and I see nothing wrong in that, but given a choice, never use words that make your readers run for a dictionary, and don’t use so long sentences that they lose track of what they were reading in the first place…OK, this sentence was a wee bit too long. But you get the point.

Sound credible

It takes lots of convincing to turn a visitor into a buyer or a client. Unless you are a known vendor or a service provider on the Internet, people are not going to simply take you for your words. You need to sound credible, trustworthy, and if you use some data to prove a point, let the reader know what’s the original, trusted source of that data. Use testimonials liberally and DON’T make them up.

Assume that they are not going to trust you immediately and be OK with that. If you try too hard to convince them how trustworthy you are, they’ll grow wary and go away.

Show a personal touch

Don’t make your readers feel they are reading content generated by a text-generator software. Sound like a person. Be a little humorous without being insensitive and give real-life examples and if you endorse a product or service then preferably give examples from your own life. Talk to the reader and don’t talk about your business like a third person. Amply use “you”, “yours”, “us”, “I”, “we”, etc.

Remember, it’s about the reader, not about you

Let your readers know what benefits they are going to get from using your product or service. Don’t simply say, “My product is great.” Tell them why it is great for them and present them with real-life examples. Address to their problem. Convince them you eagerly want to give them the solution they need. Cater to their aspirations.

In the end, repeat what they are going to get

This is especially needed if you have a long copy, like this article. Before they leave, just present the summary of what you have to offer. Try to end with a sentence that leaves a mark in their psyche that makes it easier for them to remember you. Always leave on a personal note.

In the end

Frankly, there can be an unlimited number of points you can take care of in order to come up with a result-oriented content copy, but the ones I have presented above just about represent the overall way of writing effective web content.

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