Wednesday, November 30, 2016

8 steps to higher search engine rankings

The internet is a great way to gain exposure in whatever you do. Having a website gives you the ability to have publicity and to be seen by people from all over the world.

Just having a website does not get you instant recognition.  It is earned by strategically marketing your business and website.  Remember, by putting up a website you are immediately entering yourself into a competition.

The internet has become so saturated with websites, it's nearly impossible to be noticed… unless you have a plan.

The easiest way to be found on the web is to be listed in the search engines, such as Google or Bing.  You can easily do this by paying to be seen by using Google Adwords or Bing Ads. This can be effective, but expensive.

Ultimately, you want to have your website to show up naturally on the front page of the search engines.  Follow these 8 simple steps towards optimizing your website and you will see a positive difference in your website ranking.

1. Comprise a list of search terms you want people to find your site with.  For starters, this should be 3-5 keywords.  i.e. McDowell Mountain Ranch Real Estate or Toledo Organic Dry Cleaners.  Something that is specific to your business or hobby.

2. Load your website with original content.  Take the time to write the information in your own words.  Search engines will not give you credit for someone else's work.

3. Add the keywords from item 1 to your content on several different pages of your website.  For example, it is better to have 500 pages with your keywords listed once than to have 1 page with your keywords 500 times.

4. Know your target market.  Write content that will interest them and bring them back for more.

5. Add fresh content daily or as often as possible.  Ideas to keep your site fresh include blogging, writing articles, interviewing people, and adding polls or RSS feeds.

6. Keep your site for an extended period of time.  There are many sites that come and go on the world wide web.  The longer your site is around, the higher the search engines will rank you.

7. Drive people to your website by sending out flyers, sending out mailers, emails, writing articles, blogging, linking to other sites and gaining as much exposure as possible.

8. Use long tail keywords. Use keywords that don’t have as many monthly searches, but make sure that you are the one that internet users find once they search for that or some similar query.

As your site ages and gets more information, you will see a higher ranking for your website. This does not happen overnight, but by consistently adding information, you will create a website that provides value to the end user.  And ultimately, that is what the search engines are looking for… Providing good information that the end user wants.

Web sites are fun to own, work on and benefit from. However, they can take a substantial amount of time. 

Have a strategy and work on your strategy!  You will see the best results and have the most satisfaction with your website. 
Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

What are the benefits of optimized online copywriting?

It's no good having a creative, individual website with brilliant, informative copy if customers can't find you on the internet. On the other hand, it's also detrimental if you have a website that can be easily found (has a high ranking) but people become bored and alienated reading it.

Producing effective online copywriting is a creative process blending art and science in a balanced technique combining many different elements. This integration of disciplines is required to satisfy both the technical and the aesthetic objectives of a website.

Optimized online copywriting should ensure that your website is:

•    highly readable to your viewers
•    highly visible to the search engines, and thereby
•    commercially successful for you.

Many people and businesses don't have the time to actually write web copy themselves. A professional freelance copywriter can furnish you with keyword-rich, highly original web content to enhance and improve the quality of your website, with the aim of transforming more of your visitors into customers.

Rarely will you get a second chance to engage your customer's attention, so your first shot must be formatted for maximum sales potential, catching the eye of the search engine robots as well. But not too much… If your copy goes overboard in favor of the search engines it can earn a penalty from Google that will negatively effect your rankings. Your website must always have the reader as priority. This makes more business sense anyway.

Search engines provide a way for potential customers to find you on the internet. People type a keyphrase or keyword into a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing (or one of the many other popular engines) and this returns a page of listings - web page suggestions for that particular phrase or word. Obviously, you want your website to feature highly in this list.

Optimized online copywriting specifically targets the words and phrases people are using when searching for a product on the internet (Search Engine Marketing (SEM), keyword research). You want to make sure your website stays at the top of the listings so people go to your website before others. With targeted copy in place, search engines are more likely to index your web site on page one, than if it does not include keyword-rich copy. This is an ever more important issue when dealing with Google, the leading search-engine today.

To rank highly in the search engines the words on your web pages should never be an afterthought, but should be included right at the beginning in the original design of your website. Content development is the most valuable asset web developers can utilise in the bid for productive, successful search engine optimization and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Hiring a professional copywriter is a wise investment in your business future. Even if you don’t want to optimize your site you should make sure that the words on your site are reasonable, enticing, spelled correctly and artfully arranged to engage attention. Just because you can type letters or write some emails doesn't mean you can write the copy for your website. The writing on your homepage is often the way people determine whether the website is a scam or the genuine article, good quality or a shabby affair. Your website’s credibility takes a nose-dive if the spelling is wrong, the grammar incorrect, or it just reads like bad, clumsy English. People will be disinclined to trust your content.

Within the search engines new technologies and algorithms are being developed all the time to make search methodologies smarter, more astute. It's never a coincidence when someone types in a search phrase and your website is indexed highly on the page. Keyword rich online copywriting is a significant and critical component in gaining high rankings on the search engines.

Recently, Google has been pioneering a new trend of intelligent search engines which are not attracted by mere repetition of words throughout the text, but which look for meaning, attempting to make grammatical sense of the information, trying to understand what the web page is actually saying. This is forcing webmasters to improve the content on their web pages or suffer the consequences. The old saying has never been more relevant: "content is king."


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Friday, November 18, 2016

What is niche marketing?

The word 'niche' is defined as: "A special area of demand for a product or service". 'Marketing' is defined as: "The opportunity to buy or sell". If you put the two works together, niche marketing means buying or selling a product or service in a special area of demand. All that really means is that a product or service is being sold to the people who are most interested in that particular product or service and not to the world in general.

Oftentimes big businesses use niche marketing. For example, a company that makes computers and computer accessories might advertise all-in-one copy/printer/scanners to the home computer user while at the same time advertising single function machines to large businesses.
One of the things that make niche marketing so attractive to sellers is that their advertising budgets go further. It costs less to advertise to a specialized market than it does to advertise to a broader market.
Niche marketing must be designed to meet the unique needs of the targeted audience. 

Niche marketers must tailor their product to meet those unique needs. If, for example, you have designed a product to make poodle grooming easy enough for the untrained professional to do it, those who own poodles will be most interested in your product. Those who own Blood Hounds or cats couldn't care less. If you have written an e-book that will explain how to start and succeed at an online business, those who are looking for that information are your niche market. Those who are happy doing what they are doing are not interested at all.

Niche marketing is a very effective and cost efficient way to advertise and sell specific products or services to a specific audience or, hopefully, buyers of that product or service.

What Niche Marketing Really Is


It is just one of those hard, cruel facts of life that the big boys have all the money they need to advertise and sell their products and us little guys are on advertising budgets that are so small they probably don't add up to what the big boys spend on paper clips in a month. Competing with the big boys isn't feasible...or possible, for that matter. So what are the little guys supposed to do?

Niche marketing is our answer. We can't advertise our products and services to the world at large but we don't have to be able to do that to be able to make a pretty decent living... thanks to the Internet.
Niche marketing is selling specific products or services to a limited audience. One person with a computer, an internet connection and a good idea can go into business for himself on the Internet and target the people who would be most interested in what he has to sell and do all of the above on a very limited advertising budget.
Finding the right niche for what you have to sell isn't really all that difficult. Just think about who the people are who would be most interested in what you have to sell. For example, if you have concocted a shampoo formula that will take chlorine out of a person's hair, you can't compete with giant companies that sell shampoo but you can narrow your market down to a niche and target sales to those who have swimming pools. You buy a domain, get a server, and build a website to advertise your product JUST to people who have swimming pools.
In essence, niche marketing is selling a product or service to those who want or need the product the most.


What Niche Marketing is Not


Niche marketing is not about trying to sell your product or service to the world at large. As a small businessperson, you couldn't afford that kind of multi-million dollar advertising budget. It isn't possible. You can, however, with only a computer, an Internet connection and a good idea sell to a smaller audience using niche marketing.
Niche marketing is not about trying to compete. Competition is taken out of the equation when you do niche marketing. You aren't out there in the world lined up beside or behind a million other people who are selling the same thing you are selling. You are selling to a specific audience that you have created for yourself with your opt-in email list.
Niche marketing is not about selling to different people every day of the week. Once you have your list built, you can sell to the same people time and time again. By taking as much time as you need and putting forth enough effort to get to know the people who make up your list of buyers you can continue to sell to them.
Niche marketing is not about focusing on the big picture. It is about focusing on the small picture and the smaller the better. Narrowing your niche down to a very specific part of a larger market assures you of gaining a fair market share of that small part. The world is a big place and there are billions of people. You only need an infinitesimal portion of the population to have a huge list of potential buyers of your products or services.
Niche marketing is not about seeing only the impossibilities. Niche marketing is only about looking closely at the possibilities. Small possibilities converted to sales can equal big profits.


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Writing sales copy that increases conversion rates

When writing a sales copy, all internet marketers know that a long copy will sell more than a short copy. This does not mean that the more words the better; the quantity and the quality of detail is what will improve its performance.

Having the correct sales structure will keep the reader interested from start to finish. These are the steps to follow to create a successful sales letter:

1. USE A POWERFUL HEADLINE.
Express the main benefit of your product in a short sentence. Grab your readers attention and make them want to continue reading.

2. CREATE EXCITEMENT WITH A SUB-HEADLINE.
In no more than two or three short sentences, expand on the benefits of your product and generate excitement in your reader. If you are offering a limited promotion, specify the limitations of your offer here.

3. OUTLINE THE BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT.
Give the reader three good reasons to buy your product. These reasons have nothing to do with the product's features; think about what your customer wants. For example, if you are selling holiday villas, say something like:

"If you want to take advantage of the comfort of a luxury apartment, enjoy the Mediterranean sun and save money on your summer vacations, then this might be the most important letter you'll ever read"

4. EXPLAIN YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION.
This is the specific benefit that differentiates your product from all the others. At this point, you must mention your USP in one or two sentences. You will explain the details later in the sales letter.

5. PROVE YOUR CREDIBILITY.
The most important thing to sell on the internet is credibility. Your readers have to trust you before they will buy anything from you. Give them three reasons why they should believe you. Try to prove that what you say is true.

6. EXPLAIN THE FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT.
Explain how your product will improve your reader's life or how it will solve a problem. The more detail you can provide, the more convincing your copy will be.

7. PROVIDE MORE DETAIL ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT.
Here is where you can tell the reader everything about your product. Use as much space as you need. Write until you get bored.

8. INCLUDE CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS.
In order to continue establishing credibility, mention testimonials of customers that have already bought from you and enjoyed your product. Have them mention what they liked most about the product instead of making general comments like "I really loved your product..." or something similar. Mention at least five testimonials.

9. ELIMINATE THE COMPETITION.
You eliminate your competition by giving your reader the information they need to see that your product is superior. Mention the elements where your product is excellent and much better than your competition.

10. BUILD VALUE.
To build value in your offer you have to let your readers know that your offer is so good, that they cannot refuse to take it. One way of doing this is to compare the value of your offer with the normal value of your product.

11. PROVIDE A SUMMARY OF EVERYTHING YOUR CUSTOMER WILL RECEIVE.
Make sure your reader understands everything he is going to get from you.

12. MENTION THE PRICE OF YOUR PRODUCT.
Mention the regular price and the sale price of your product. The regular price must be crossed out and the offer must follow.

13. LIST YOUR BONUS PRODUCTS.
The objective is to prompt immediate action by offering something extra. With this strategy, you are also adding value to your product. You can also try to create a sense of urgency by telling that the bonuses will only be available for a short time.

14. OFFER A STRONG GUARANTEE.
The strongest guarantee you can offer is a "money back" guarantee. The willingness to offer your product at no risk will generate a lot of trust and confidence among your readers. You have to honor your guarantee for any returns you may get, but you can be sure that the sales you will generate with this strategy will be by far outnumber the number of returns.

15. RE-EMPHASIZE YOUR GUARANTEE. Remove all elements of risk by closing your sales copy with something like:

"You don't have to decide now if this product is for you. Just get it and try it out. If it doesn't do everything I say and more, if you don't save money, or if your business doesn't improve, or if your life isn't better, or if you don't absolutely love it, just let me know and I'll give you every cent of your money back! So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain."

16. TELL THEM HOW TO ORDER YOUR PRODUCT.
Provide detailed instructions about how to place the order.

17. SIGN THE LETTER.
Use your full name and title.

18. CLOSE WITH A "P.S."
Use this part to emphasize the most relevant points of your letter.

Remember that this will be a long sales copy that will take your readers some time to read. With this in mind, you must work on the format and design of the copy so that it is as friendly as possible. Highlight the most important statements, so that the letter can also be read in one or two minutes.



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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SEO vs. PPC

There are two major search engine marketing strategies in use today: SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click). Both strategies are entirely different and it is tough to decide which one or which combination is right for you.

To decide which strategy is best for you, consider the basics. It is easier to judge the pros and cons when taking the big picture into account. People will continue to battle for the top search engine positions. Search engine marketing is undoubtedly one of the best sources of targeted traffic.

As people continuously try to find new and unique ways to get additional traffic to their web sites, the SEO industry continues to grow. PPC refers to advertising on a search engine that charges on a per click basis whenever a visitor clicks on one of your ads. The order of ads is usually based on bidding prices, meaning that the advertiser who bids the highest price per click will be listed first. These sponsored listings are known as PPC listings.

SEO tries to change your search engine ranking by looking at a number of factors including link popularity, Page Rank and so on. If your web site is search engine optimized then obviously you are more likely to have a good ranking in the search engines. A well-optimized and marketed site will be listed in the top results whenever a person searches for related keywords. One of the best benefits of SEO marketing is you don’t have to pay for any clicks! So, how can we decide which method is better? Both methods actually serve different purposes. However, one is likely to be a better fit for your business than the other one.

PPC 


PPC traffic, rankings and results tend to be more stable and predictable than SEO, and, combined with its low cost, this makes PPC one of the more popular ways of advertising. Most companies try PPC before they try SEO, because it’s seen as more stable. In many cases PPC lets you rank well on the search engines, without having to do the tedious work involved in SEO – no finding link partners, posting links, creating content and so on. As long as you have the budget for it, the ranking is yours. Another advantage is that the listing will get posted when you want it and not when the search engine gets around to it. With PPC’s popularity growing day by day, the market is also getting competitive. You will find that CPC’s (costs per clicks) are steadily rising, and for a common man it is getting tough to invest much. As with most auctions, the more people bidding on PPC, the higher the prices get.

What are pay per click engines?


Pay per click engines as the name suggests, webmasters have to pay
a fee for each click coming from search engine results. Depending on
how much the person bids for a keyword over his competitor his
website will be positioned in the search engine results.

How pay per click search engines work?

For example if a webmaster (SEM expert) bids $0.07 on the term 'tennis shoes'. If no
other webmaster bids more than this, he will stay in 1st position. If
second webmaster bids $0.08, then second one goes to 1st position.
Basically this is like auction procedure for No.1 position.

So what are SIX Golden tips to work with Pay per click search engines?

RULE No. 1: Keywords:

Select your keywords carefully so that every keyword reflects your
product. General keywords bring general public.

For example if you are offering search engine optimization service to
webmasters, 'search engine' will be a general keyword for you.
'search engine optimization' , 'good search engine ranking' etc,. will
be your good target keywords.

Another thing you have to remember is targeting your keywords. Like any
geographical locaton specific to your product or any specific
language...Some search engines like Google offer this feature to target
the keywords based on the countries and language.

RULE No. 2: Write a compelling ad:

Most of the times the pay per click search engine services limits your
ad characters and length. So try to keep the keyword in the ad headline
and the body.

This will be very useful with Google, which determines your position not only by
your bidding amount but also click thru ratio. It is to make use of
your ad space more efficiently.

See the example below:

"Ebay ebook: Every thing about How to make money on Ebay.
An Easy to follow Guide."

"Ebay ebook that Stands in number one position in
Clickbank Market place as a Top Seller. See the Proof."

Certainly anybody can say that the second one pulls traffic than the
first ad.

Try different ones and see what pulls more traffic for you. Check your
spelling and grammer twice before submitting your ads.

RULE No. 3: Don't enter in to Bidding war:

Keep an eye on your Return on Investment. (ROI) It is not that easy to
resist the temptation of being number one on pay per click engine listings
especially for the beginners. Always decide an amount how much you are
going to spend on advertising campaigns. Depending on that devide certain
percentage to PPCs.

With reasonable bidding amount you can get good amount of traffic
from PPCs.

RULE No. 4: Monitor your bidding amount:

Most of the people bid once and don't remember about it for weeks. Monitor
your bid amount after logging in to your accounts. Do this at least once
in every 2-3 days.

For example, If you go to overture.com and search for some of the the
keywords, you can find the first positions paying $0.87, $0.85, 0.35 for
the first three rankings. Don't you see who will be benefited by this?
You can get the first and second position for $0.37 and $0.36 respectively.

So always keep an eye on your bidding amount.

RULE No. 5: Landing page:

After clicking on your link and coming to your website, don't let them
search for the product for which they came to your site. Directly landing
on the product page is always a good idea and saves lot of your visitor's
time.

RULE No.6: Track your results:

Put some source code at the end of URL. Or submit different landing page
for your product. So people coming to that URL can be tracked through Google Analytics.

SEO 

If you are the owner, operator or manager of an Internet based business enterprise, you likely understand the great importance of drawing customers to your business website. In this regard, you likely have heard of the term search engine optimization. With that said, while you may have heard of search engine optimization, you may not know precisely what is involved in search engine optimization. You may not precisely understand what is involved in search engine optimization.

In point of fact, search engine optimization is one of the most important concepts when it comes to the marketing and promotion of an Internet website or a business existing on the World Wide Web. If you have spent any time at all on the Internet, you understand the fact that different search engines are widely used by people who access the World Wide Web. By typing in a particular set of search terms into a search engine, a person is provided with a listing of website resources that are intended to be related to the terms that were being searched.

Understanding the basics of how a search engine works, you understand that in many instances a potential customer is drawn to your business website as a result of using a search engine service on the Internet and World Wide Web. Of course, people being people, the typical person tends to only pay attention to those websites that come in at the top spaces of a particular search engine search. Consequently, those websites that come in towards the top of a particular search are the same websites that are more frequently visited. (This is a particular important fact for an Internet based business.)

The benefits to having your business listed at the top of various search engine results generally translates into a major increase in traffic and revenue enjoyed by your business operation. Therefore, even if you find that you are spending some money to ensure a higher search engine ranking, the money you spend will be money well spent in the vast majority of cases. Truly, money spent on increasing your search engine ranking, money spent on SEO, oftentimes translates into bein a true investment in the financial future of your business enterprise. Indeed, such an investment may mean the different between your business showing a profit and your business not getting off of the ground. It may mean the difference between success and failure.

The main benefit of SEO is that it does not cost per click. The disadvantages are that the traffic to your website is more unpredictable and requires a lot of work. With SEO, you have to adapt and constantly change strategies as search engines change their algorithms. SEO is also slower than PPC, as many search engines don't list new sites. So what should you choose? Well, it depends on how much money you are willing to spend, what your time line is, and what your return on investment is. If you have cash then PPC should be your first choice, as it produces fast results. PPC can also be used for testing the effectiveness of web sites. If you have time and money to invest in long-term results, SEO is an excellent option as well.

All and all, the best marketing strategy is typically to go with PPC in the short term to get immediate traffic and analyze conversions. SEO should then be taken with a long term view in mind, so you can reap the benefits of free traffic later on.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Direct email marketing for dummies

Forget direct email marketing for a second, and tell me if this has ever happened to you. You go outside and open your mailbox. You get the usual: bills, bank statements, maybe a phoney million-dollar offer. But then, in the middle of it all, you see an envelope from your favourite restaurant. “Thanks for being a loyal customer,” it says. “Next time you come by, let us treat you to a free dessert.”

Now I’m not exactly the coupon-clipping kind of guy, but when I run into an offer that’s so relevant to me, I simply can’t resist it. Millions of you are like that too. And guess what? Millions of you check your email more often than your actual mailboxes.

That’s where direct email marketing comes in. Forget spam. Spam’s just the phoney million-dollar offer, and direct email marketing is miles away from that. Direct email marketing is reaching the right customers, with the right offers.

Let’s go back to that coupon you received from your favourite restaurant, and let’s think about it from the restaurant’s point of view. If you clip that coupon and come into the restaurant, their direct marketing efforts were successful.

However, to get that coupon into your hands, the restaurant had to pay for printing, buy and stuff envelopes, address them to you and then pay for postage. And chances are the restaurant hired someone to do the printing, maybe someone else to the design, the envelope stuffing, etc. If you’ve ever sent flyers or coupons in the mail, you’ll know it’s both expensive and time-consuming.

Here’s the beauty of direct email marketing. First of all, direct email marketing programs are packaged so you can do it yourself. The emails are all pre-designed, and the backend is already taken care of for you. All you have to do is sit on your computer for about 10 minutes and click a few buttons. There’s no postage, no stuffing, no expensive printing fees.

And as small business owners have begun to discover the power of email, many direct email marketing programs are now built for non-technical folk. So even if all you can do on your computer is check your email and browse the web, you can still be an expert in these programs right away.

What’s more is you’ll still get access to the most advanced functionality. Let’s get back into the restaurant owner’s shoes. We’ve just sent a Free Dessert email coupon to all the customers who filled out our customer satisfaction survey and gave us their email addresses. We also included a “Forward to a Friend” link, so our customers can email the Free Dessert coupon to their friends.

Now (and here comes my favorite part about direct email marketing), we can go into the Reports and Stats section of our direct email marketing program and get deep into our campaign. We can see exactly who opened our messages, and when they did it. We can even see who forwarded their coupons to their friends.

And we don’t have to stop there. We can group all our readers who forwarded their coupons to a friend and offer them an extra incentive (We know they like to tell their friends about us, so why not offer them 25% Off when they bring in two or more friends?).

Information is power, and direct email marketing is one of the most effective ways to gather that information and put it to good use. So next time you get that flyer for your favorite restaurant, think about how much unnecessary money and time that restaurant owner is spending. Think about how much information he’s missing out on, and think about how much better things would be if he sent that flyer through direct email marketing.


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Conversion Rate
- The number of sales of a product compared to the number of people who visit a website to look at that product, or to the number of phone calls or sales visits that are made. (Cambridge dictionary)

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