Browsing "online marketing"
Online marketing is fast becoming everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a common myth that one can easily earn high profits working from home. Not everyone who enters into business on the Internet succeeds. Just building a website isn’t enough to make money online. There are a lot of online business tactics you need to know and follow.
Online Business is Crucial
For any online business to flourish, link popularity is a major factor to consider. So what is link popularity? Most Internet users come to know about a particular site through search engines. Based on various algorithms, search engines give a ranking to the sites indexed. The better the ranking, the more popular your site is.
The keywords in your website play a crucial role in determining the ranking of your website. The more common your keyword is, the more you come down in the ranking list. Does this mean that websites with common keywords never flourish in business?
By applying certain strategies, your website can achieve a very good ranking even with common keywords. But remember, link popularity or web promotion is something that cannot be achieved overnight.
One way of achieving link popularity is by linking to different sites. Link sharing is a major feature of online business. It is through the links placed on web pages that people come to know of other sites. People, when surfing through a particular site, often click on the links on that page to gain additional information.
When your link is placed on another site, it is more likely that the visitors of that site will also visit your site. This increases the number of hits on your site. But keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that linking with all the sites you come across can add popularity to your site.
Search engines give a lot of weight to the links. While the links from quality websites can give you good sales and traffic, a bad link can spoil your whole business. The quality of the sites you link to matters the most. To take advantage of people who work to build their link popularity, some sites are made just to link to different pages. These websites are nothing but long lists of links. Don’t ever think of linking to such a site as this will do more harm to your link popularity than good.
With the current debate over Links Versus Content, people are once again asking what works to gain the most visitors, the most attention. While creating content is obviously the only way a search engine can find you, creating focused content is even more effective.
What about linking? If content is the bread of the internet, links are the butter. If those links are relevant and natural (or natural looking), the benefits are outstanding. But what if linking is merely the tip of the iceberg? The SEO landscape looks ripe for change, but just as the search engines are evolving at an ever-growing pace, that which is being searched is also evolving–mutating form, function, and execution almost right before our eyes.
There are five major changes on the way in the online world, which quite simply will revise, refine, and revolutionize our understanding and approach to search engine optimization. Actually, what we call SEO will become a subset of the larger world of search engine usability–no longer will SEO be solely the purview of SEO experts. Normal, everyday users will have more of a hand in shaping the way data is found than ever before.
The following five things are due to disrupt and alter the way in which optimization and interaction are applied.
#1. NGT (Next Generation Tagging) – Imagine objects within video and audio able to be organically and dynamically tagged by parsers directly connected to search engines. Imagine products tagged not only by text but by interactive, dynamic multimedia, which is fed and organized through these parsing agents. Utilizing microformats, hybrid peer-to-peer networking, and new content distribution models, the next movement in tagging is full-embedded content awareness.
#2. ACG (Automated Content Generation) – No, I’m not talking about spam generators, though that will remain part of the search engine equation. ACG in this case refers to content that is pushed through the pipes and passageways of feed servers and mashup generators to become reshaped content. Utilizing massive “rainbow” libraries, content can be matched, parsed, and regenerated as entirely new content that is still relevant and highly focused. You think that widgets blog is run by people? It’s not. Not anymore.
#3. The Web Will Be Reviewed – More products and services are being publicly reviewed by users all over the globe. The emphasis on user-submitted reviews will become more important as marketing to individuals becomes more ubiquitous. In Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat, Globalization 2.0 is where the end user and the front provider share an intimate relationship. Thus, what the end user says about the front provider and its service or product will greatly determine how those services and products are found.
#4. Optimization For Longevity – Social networking sites like Digg and Reddit have fostered the “Get Links Quick” dream of fast and easy exposure, but they don’t encourage long-term optimization. Digg traffic cascades show an extremely low hangtime for traffic spikes, and links are rarely persistent or maintained. Sites that have the most staying power are the ones who will optimize for the long-term. This means looking ahead, spotting trends and changes in the landscape before they happen, and applying that in a sustainable model.
#5. The Semantic Web – As search engines get smarter, the words you type into that search box will actually mean something. Function words will enable engines to read the incoming data in much the same way as a human does, determining not just definition and location, but context and connotation. This means your content generation will need to be even more focused and applicable for human readers–even if some of those human readers are actually human emulators! As the Google guidelines states, don’t build a site for search engines, build it for people.
While all these coming changes are revolutionary in their own way, they don’t change basic tenets of how the web will work. It will still thrive on and be driven by usable content and ideas. This is the web as it should be.
This is the web as it will be.
Guest post by Jeremiah Lewis.
Today’s high traffic web world can prove to be quite elusive in making your company seen and heard amongst the millions of other sites competing for the same business. People can put anything they want on their websites to drive traffic to them and hopefully catch that client they’ve been waiting for. But have you stopped to think about whether these efforts are really helping you to make an impact to interest viewers, and to ultimately draw them in to spend money with YOU?
Enter Social Media Marketing – one of the newer phases of popular sales methodology being used online. Only problem is that there seems to be no clear cut methodology or systemization to this loosely defined sales tool. It’s like a free-for-all in the web marketing world with every person having a different take on what will and won’t work, what the objective of it is, and how it can maximize your website’s efficiency. So let’s arm you today with a few key points for you to consider for yourself in order to earn your own fair share of the pie in this online arena.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing (SMM) combines the goals of internet marketing with social media sites such as MySpace, YouTube, Site Pal, and MyVirtualSalesPerson as well as many others. The SMM goals will be different for every business or organization, however most will involve building ideas or brand awareness, increasing visibility, and possibly selling a product or service. SMM may also include online reputation management.
How you choose to do it is entirely up to you, but here are some general rules that can be of benefit to you when planning your online marketing campaign using Social Media:
You’ve heard me say this before, but I’ll say it again “Do your research!”. To create an effective Social Marketing Campaign, you must first do your research and know your target market. As the owner of your business, you know what you wish to achieve, however, the site viewer is not interested in this in the least. They’re interested in how you can benefit them for the best price. In order words, your site must meet the visitor’s needs first before the owner’s needs. One way of doing this is to provide the most appealing brand you can offer. In order to do this, you must provide your visitors with immediate solutions to their needs, and answers to their questions, and the information they desire.
Find a way to create a powerful, lasting customer experience. When a potential client visits your site, you have to provide them with enough stimuli in a quick enough time to make that visitor want to stay on your site and not click over to another one pulled up in their keyword search. So, how do you do this, you ask? Perhaps you can use video and sound. The technology exists nowadays to maximize the viewers’ experience. We are a visually stimulated culture, so perhaps put some thought into ways in which the viewer of your site can be ‘caught’, drawn in, and sold on whatever it is you have to offer. Some common ways of achieving this are with authoritative information, entertainment, humor or controversy. But be careful when planning on using audio files and video on your website. If not planned properly, they can be a huge waste of time and money. If they fail to capture the target audience’s attention, you may as well have not invested any of your money in the first place. Be wary of experience overload as you do not want to overstimulate your audience. Too much, and your message is lost. Too little forethought and your messaage doesn’t come through clearly enough to snag the viewer. It’s a balancing act really, so know your audience and what they are looking for. On the plus-side, using video and audio files are an inexpensive way to advertise your product, brand your company, and compete in the online marketplace. Remember that if you are going to use these strategies, your media files must contain information critical for search engines to find, index, and display in search results.
It’s imperative that you use your Social Marketing Tools to build relationships with your viewers. The bonus of the web is that we can deliver our message informally so that the viewer feels a connection with the company. Rigid professionalism goes out the window in favour of a more comfortable, friendly, person-to-person approach. This lack of formalism breaks down corporate barriers and helps the viewer feel connected to you, your company, and your product. It’s realism in its truest form. So don’t waste your time with vidoes or sound clips that look and sound like they came from the annals of corporate literature. Be down to earth in your message delivery and watch people flock to your site. It gives them something to trust in, something to feel safe with. Why? Because it’s human, it’s real, and they can relate. Allow potential clients to see your integrity. This unique voice is what will set you apart from the many other companies also vying for the same business online.
Effective Social Networking is about quality, not quantity. Make your web presence count. Do not create a website that overloads visitors with too many experiences or the novelty will wear off and you will be left with a website that does little to attract business and drive sales. Essentially, what I am saying here is do not spread yourself too thin with all of the online social marketing tools that are out there. Choose one or two very powerful tools that will best capture the essence of your message or your business and maximize its potential. Remember, it’s better to be in one great place, rather than in too many so-so places at once. Build your own presence effectively. Too much will be your downfall.
Call to Action
Lastly, use Social Marketing Tools to convey your business’s Call to Action and ask for that ever important Sale. The marketing tools you choose must create a need with potential clients. Show that your company, product, or service solves a problem that they, the viewers, have. Most importantly though, before you use these Social Marketing Tools, realize that you need to anticipate objection before it occurs and provide solutions in innovative ways so that they can’t say no. Use your Social Tools to kindly ask for the Sale. You will be surprised how an effective, well-thought out marketing tool can provide you with the Sales your company is seeking. For example, by using a Virtual Sales Person your company will have the power to influence, motivate, and persuade prospective clients to believe in and buy your call to action. So, you can use Social Marketing Tools as an online employee of sorts, you could say. Let these tools do the work of a salesperson and watch the traffic increase to your site.
In short, Social Media applies to everyone. That’s why businesses should harness the Social Marketing Tools available to them to give their business a competitive edge within the web environment. If you hope to survive in the virtual world of business, you must stand out. So make sure you do your research, employ the tools effectively, don’t overkill them on your site, and always provide quality over quantity. This combination, I believe, will provide your business with the edge it needs to stand above competitors and see a return on your call to Action.
Canadians use the Internet more than anyone else in the world. They spend more time online, have more wired households, are more sophisticated in our online behavior, do more searches. Pick your metric, Canada is ahead of the pack when it comes to online usage. For example, when we look at average hours spent online per month, Canadians are top with 40 hours, followed by Israel with 37.4 and South Korea with 34. The US is in 8th place with 29.4. Canada also leads the pack in Online Reach, with 70% of households wired. This time, the US comes in second with 59%. Average pages viewed per visitor? Canada comes in tops with 3800. The UK is second with 3300 and the US clicks in with 2500. See a pattern emerging? They spend a hell of a lot of time online there. And much of that time is looking for something to buy. Canadians are the world’s best shoppers. You research every purchase down to the nitty-gritty detail. The Internet was created for shoppers just like you.
By common consensus with most Canadian search marketers I’ve talked to, Toronto seems to be the epicenter of the orifice that Canadian advertisers have lodged their collective heads in. The city doesn’t get it, the province doesn’t get it, the country doesn’t get it. When it comes to search, Canada (with a few exceptions) is clueless.
I remember my first SES in Toronto. I had been attending the US shows for a few years previously, and it was with more than a hint of nationalistic pride that I attended the first Canadian show. But my jaw soon dropped at the questions I was fielding from the audience. This group was at least 3 years behind the US market. That was 4 years ago. Since then, the US has dramatically outpaced Canadian growth in search savviness. And if you look elsewhere, almost every market I’m familiar with, including the UK, France, Italy, Germany and even China is rapidly gaining on the US. But Canada still seems to be blundering its way forward, overlooking the fact that Canadians spend a huge amount of time online using search engines. It’s to the point where it’s unforgivable.
Show Us the Money!
Here are just a few of the stats I pulled from comScore, Yahoo! Canada and other sources:
Canadians spend $28.05 in online advertising per internet user. The US spends $71.43.
21% of Canadians media usage is online, but it gets 6% of the budget
In contrast, newspapers and magazines get a 7% share of total media usage, but capture 42% of Canadian ad budgets
The US spends almost twice as Canada per capita on search marketeering
Canadian shoppers get it, so why don’t business?
These are extracts from Gord Hotchkiss, A Canadian Search Marketer.
Fresh Traffic, The world renowned SEO Marketing company is opening new offices in Winnipeg offering services to Canadian Business, Get in First
Fresh Traffic the Online Search Marketing & SEO experts are opening a new global office in the Winnipeg Manitoba Province area of Canada, for company’s looking for search engine optimization, search engine marketing, pay per click management or link building Fresh Traffic’s new office is offering world class SEO services to all Canadian business owners. SEO Marketing & Online Search Marketing has become a vital ingredient nowadays for any successful business. CEO of The Fresh Group Jerry Booth says opening a new office in the Winnipeg area which has a centralized Canadian position is the ideal place to service clients from Vancouver, Calgary & Winnipeg at one side to Quebec, Montreal & Toronto at the other as well as throughout the whole of Canada, the new office will also complement our presence and other offices in the UK & US.
He says our team of industry-leading experts and Search Engine Optimization Consultants bring years of experience in programming and design and provides the highest quality technological services to meet expectations and budgets for both personal and business agendas. We invest our talent, vast experience and creative ability, and employ the latest industry tools to each project we take on. We often get called the Google Consultant, The Google Doctor, Internet Strategists Google Expert and of late the online poker kings, off course we are very good at what we do and it is very flattering, but with clientele in ecommerce, theme parks, travel, holiday, film, publishing, online magazines, car racing, online toy stores, models, poker, casinos, media, dating and sport to name a few, we would rather people know us for Solid Search Engine Optimisation Advice & SEO Consulting services which produce top natural and organic search results using white hat tactics, Here at Fresh we always use 100% ethical SEO procedures.
Recent poor weather across the UK has taken its toll on the high street, but has seen sales undertaken online soar, according to new figures.
A report from online retail organisation IMRG revealed that the month of June saw internet retail sales hit £3.5 billion in value, in a boost to internet advertising.
Year-on-year growth for the second quarter of this year reached an average of 52.5 per cent, up from the 35.3 per cent increase recorded during the same period of last year.
In contrast, rainy weather kept overall retail sales growth at just 0.2 per cent during last month.
“Thanks to the internet, shoppers are getting used to thinking about, finding and buying goods and services in new ways,” IMRG’s Jo Evans told VNUNet. “They no longer need to plan their lives around when the shops are open.”
A recent report from Jupiter Research forecast that one fifth of the world’s population would be online by 2011.
Online spending in the US grew by almost a fifth to a massive $47.5 billion during the second quarter of 2007, indicating the huge impact of internet marketing.
Digital measurement expert comScore found that non-travel e-commerce increased by a whopping 23 per cent to $27.2 billion, while travel spending on the web grew by 14 per cent to $20.3 billion.
The comScore study also predicted that online consumer spending in the States would probably reach $200 billion in 2007, as more and more shoppers shun the high street in favour of the ease and good value of the internet.
Video games, consoles and accessories sales rose especially sharply, rising 159 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2006.
Other categories that grew rapidly included sport and fitness, consumer electronics, event tickets, jewellery and watches, and furniture and appliances.
The figures demonstrate the massive response garnered by internet advertising.
“Even factoring in the moderate growth rates from Q1, we’re currently on pace to break $200 billion in e-commerce spending in 2007,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
“However, in the past we’ve seen growth rates accelerate as the year progresses, culminating with the online holiday shopping season, so $200 billion may actually turn out to be a conservative estimate.”
A recent report from IPA showed that online marketing budgets are increasing fast as companies come to see the benefits of the medium. In the second quarter, 24 per cent of firms reported an increase in their total marketing budgets, with internet advertising posting the strongest gains.
If you pay attention to online marketing, you are constantly inundated with people who sell the so-called “secrets” to brand new marketing techniques on the Internet.
Each and every day you are bombarded with new e-books, teleseminars and software alleging to hold the “secrets” of blog and ping,or the “secrets” of the death of Google Adsense or the “secrets” of content is king for Search Engines.
However, the truth of the matter in nearly all cases is that most of these products are expensive and endorsed solely by the gurus who get paid for every item they sell. Real testimonials are rare and the pressure you are under to purchase these products is enormous.
Let’s make a two-fold pact for 2007:
One – We will not be swept away by all the hype on the Internet.
Two – We will primarily use tried and tested, successful Internet marketing techniques that won’t cost us a fortune to use.
To help you off to the right start in launching your own cost-effective marketing strategy for 2007, I want to share some valuable ideas that I’ve used to grow my own business. These marketing concepts are genuinely affordable, truly simple to implement and have honestly helped me gain generous exposure, which has resulted in new clients and increased sales. My top fifteen favourite effective and inexpensive Internet marketing tactics are listed below:
1. Article submissions to online e-zines, directories and newsgroups, and off-line magazines and newspapers (don’t worry about the duplicate content issues … just get as many one-way links to your site as possible to boost your Search Engine ranking). Writing and submitting free reprint articles is a resourceful way to generate increased exposure and will drive traffic to your web site.
2. Create and market your own affiliate program using low cost tools on the Internet, which incidentally, there are numerous tools on the web that are
very affordable. Offer affiliates your articles for reprint and allow them to use their affiliate link in your by-line. But don’t stop there … submit your
program to affiliate program directories so that prospects can find it readily.
3. Write and submit press releases to both paid and free press release sites. Let your target audience know about your company, new products and services you’re offering and also about special company events or promotions. If you’re concerned that perhaps your writing talents are a bit rough yet,hire a ghost-writer to draft your release for you. And yes, there are many talented, professional writers who work on a freelance basis and accept both one-time and ongoing projects at an affordable rate.
4. Register with and actively participate in forums that target your ideal client or customer. Check in at least once a week and offer helpful advice to other forum participants seeking assistance and information in your area of expertise. Be sure to craft and use a compelling signature that will get added to your posts. With just a small investment of your time, you can establish yourself as an expert within your industry, which can result in generous exposure.
5. Offer legitimate comments and articles to blog owners who cover your topic area and target your audience. Create solid and productive relationships, offering to make blog postings for them in return for a by-line with a live link to your site. The fact that you’re willing to offer blog owners something of value upfront will make them eager to reciprocate.
6. List your teleseminars, e-zines, live events and books on Craigslist in cities and sections that have appeal for your target audience. Sign-in and repost your listings on a regular basis to keep them current.
7. Research opportunities to be a guest on teleseminars, pod casts and webinars. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of opportunities available if you simply take the time to look for them. Keep a list of questions and potential topics ready for your pitch. Keep track of your guest appearances and promote them on your web site.
8. Actively participate in online social networks such as MySpace, Ryze and LinkedIn. Write compelling copy for your profile and be sure to have a good picture and logo to add where permitted. Including your photo allows people to feel a connection to you, simply because they can put a face to your name.
9. Join and participate in associations and non-profits that attract your perfect client. Find relevant associations by searching for your keyword + association in search engines and visit the American Society of Association Executives. Involvement in organizations such as this, as well as local civic organizations, offers valuable networking opportunities.
10. Place paid advertisements in e-zines that target your audience. If possible, purchase the advertisement when the publisher is running one of your articles in order to gain maximum exposure with this strategy. There are three types of common advertisements available in e-zines: classified,sponsor and solo. Chose the most inexpensive position with the greatest exposure.
12. Downloadable white papers are usually longer versions of articles and often include graphics and links to resources. As with your e-course require people who want the white paper to register for your e-zine. Encourage people to send the registration link to their colleagues, friends and family who share a similar interest.
13. Create your own blog, update at least every other day and include links to your web sites. Ping blog directories and Search Engines every time you make a post for verification that your blog is turning up results.
14. Sponsor contests and submit them to contest directories. Give away a book a month or an hour of your services and encourage people to register for your e-zine. If your business involves selling a product rather than a service, you can offer specific products for prizes with contest entry automatic when people signup for your e-zine. Be creative with your contests, but always make the winning prize something of value that is relevant to your business.
15. Testimonials and referrals can be obtained from the same people. Offer to include a picture with testimonials and a live link to your client’s web site. This strategy is a win-win marketing tactic for both you and your client.
No satisfied client would refuse such an opportunity! Instead of e-mailing referrals send a professionally written letter via postal mail with some of your most popular articles and invite recipients to call you for a free fifteen minute consultation.
There are dozens of free marketing techniques in the online and off-line world. These fifteen are not the only ones I use but they are my absolute favourites and have been used successfully by thousands of people, including Internet gurus. Don’t fall for every new marketing scheme; instead,spend your money selectively on marketing products.
If you are pressed for time hire a virtual assistant to handle the free and low cost marketing techniques listed here and carve out some time in your schedule every month to research and evaluate new techniques.