What Is Tagging And How It Can Help Your Online Business?

What Is Tagging And How It Can Help Your Online Business?

World wide web

World wide web (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Articles took the internet marketing world by storm in 2004. Blogging and pinging were hot marketing strategies for 2005. Videos set the online business world ablaze in 2006. Now, the question that many NETrepreneurs ask is this: what’s the next big thing that will hit the internet marketing world by promising to be highly efficient and wondrously profitable?

The answer?

It’s called tagging, and though you may not be familiar with it right now, you will be able to master the same by the end of this article.

What Is Tagging?

Tagging is a new way of categorizing certain topics of your blogs. Now, categorizing blog entries is nothing new. Whether you have been using Blogger‘s services or Word Press, you should be very familiar with how categorizing works. If your entry has something to do with search engine optimization strategies, for example, chances are, you’d place it under the category of SEO. If your entry has something to do with email marketing techniques, you’d place the same under the category of Email Marketing.

Image representing WordPress as depicted in Cr...

The titles of these categories are very important for tagging.
This is because these titles serve as your tags.

Okay, but why is tagging so important for Internet marketing?

Tagging is an innovative way of categorizing information in the World Wide Web, a fact which we have established earlier. But tagging has a distinct advantage over other categorizing methods currently available.

Image representing Technorati as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Users are in control over the proper categories of the information they will share.

Users are no longer dependent on search engines to do the categorizing for them. Now, with tagging, they can simply allocate certain content under certain categories and the tagging system will take care of the rest.

The foremost tagging service available for people on the internet is technorati.com. It is a widely popular website that attracts millions of visitors everyday. It’s not really different from the pinging systems that have grown in popularity over a tear ago. The system employed by technorati.com involves the following:

– Users can categorize their latest blog entries according to tags.
– Each category will display the newest entry on top.

– The hottest tags will be displayed on the homepage, available for everyone to see.

Immediately, the businessman in you will see the many benefits you can derive from Technorati‘s tagging system.

1. You can use it as a market research tool. Simply study the hottest tags, which should correspond to the hottest topics on the internet today. With millions of visitors, such hot tags hold a lot of weight, and whatever you can gain from the same will more or less be determinative.

2. You can use tagging as a new model of pinging, albeit better. Do you have a blog? Categorize each new entry and classify them according to the hottest tags of the moment. You’d be able to expose your URL to a very wide audience.

3. Update your blog regularly, and tag every new entry. You’ll almost, always be on top of the category appropriate for the tag. This is a great way to ensure fresh visitors every time you post something new.

Tagging Is The Next Big Thing

Image representing MySpace as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Already, tags are being implemented in other popular websites like MySpace and YouTube. It’s the wave of the future, a category management system that any online businessman can sure exploit to drive monumental traffic for his of her website.

Tagging is one of the novel methods included in what many veteran internet marketers have labeled as “new age marketing.” It’s something that the present generation of internet users have come to accept as a standard, and to win their attention, we have to play their game.

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Why Paid Traffic Delivers Better Results Than Free Advertising

English: licence google adwords Français : lic...

English: licence google adwords Français : licence google adwords (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why Paid Traffic Delivers Better Results Than Free Advertising

I bet your inbox is filled with success stories. I get about four hundred emails daily. And every message tells me how much money the owner of the program has earned. But the facts are that for every real success story there are nine stories contradictory to theirs. A lot of people have unsuccessfully launched an online business and only a handful will make it. Let us take a closer look at one form of paid advertising to help you succeed.

The people who made it online, are they lucky? No sir, they earned it! It takes good business sense and a lot of effort. Most of all, it is the eagerness to succeed and the determination to learn and the willingness to invest in a lot of hard work and some money.

The Basics

Traffic is the name of the game. Without traffic, you do not get visitors. And without visitors you would not have anyone to sell your products to. In the internet world traffic is the walk in customer. The more traffic you have the more people would be able to sell your products to.

Of course not every person that comes in will buy, but the greater of number that do come in to browse your merchandise, the greater number of people that will buy your products. It is a simple and known fact.

But, how do you get traffic, enough traffic that could make a small percentage of eventual buyers enough to make a good profit. Many big companies generate traffic of tens of thousands a day and a measly ten to fifteen percent actually buys, but that small percentage is enough to provide them with good business.

Many of these success stories get their traffic from paying others. Yes that is right. You have to spend money to make money. Advertising is the key. The more people that knows that your site exists, the more people would of course go to your site, that is common sense.

My experience is that the many ways that can get you advertising for free do not generate the same high volume as the methods you pay for.

Let us take a look at the Search Engines

The search engines will be the easiest and fastest medium in finding what a person needs in the internet. Search engines have been very popular because they provide a vital service to many people. They are free and easy to use. It is easy to understand why so many companies would pay to advertise with these search engines.

Search engines provide information to the millions of users that they have each day. They provide links to many sites that a user may be looking for. If your sites link pop up in the high ranks of the search results page, you get a great chance that they will go to your site. While search engine optimization is a cheaper and low cost way to get your site a high rank, paying for advertisements will ensure that you will be on the top ranks.

When you pay for your advertisements, it is like paying for your traffic. This may sound like not such a good idea, but the payoffs would tell a different story. When you pay for your traffic, you are guaranteed of a consistent traffic flow to your site. You will never go with an empty sales day.

Paying for your Traffic

Usually, you will be charged with the number of hits a link gets when your ads is clicked, this is called pay per click. For some search engines, you will be charged with the number of times your ad shows up when a certain keyword or keyword phrase is searched. It is imperative that you have good keyword content in your ad. There are many tools that help you find the right keyword.

All the money you spend in paying for your traffic will not be for nothing. You will get an impressive boost in traffic which will also result to a great boost in your sales figures. Paying for your traffic would be a really good idea and you will get all the benefits it has to offer.

Of course there are many other forms of paid traffic that deliver very good results. PPC is only one of them. I recommend you first look for a manual that will teach you everything about Pay Per Click.
Just start Google and insert pay per click. You get 144.000.000 results! But the first pages will give you enough valuable info. Many marketers earn big money using this advertising method.
A friend of mine started on a ZAR227 weekly budget with Google Adwords and soon his PPC ad brought him ZAR2,719 a week.

So you see, do not give up hope!

While Planning or Designing a Website wear the Shoes of a Crawl Spider

While Planning or Designing a Website wear the Shoes of a Crawl Spider

Architecture of a Web crawler.

Architecture of a Web crawler. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The World Wide Web is similar to tests of strength knights of yesteryears went through. To taste success a website needs to be more than functional or great looking. It is a complicated business and webmasters are now kept on their toes trying to get higher rankings on search engines.

The secret lies in appealing to search engine spiders and so you need to know in detail h

ow a spider works before you build a site.

• Spiders

Spiders read text and cannot comprehend images, colours or graphics. So, any page that is design friendly with little or no content it will receive a low rank. Unless, you include in text format information contained in graphic images; submit only URLs of main content pages and not splash pages; include ALT descriptions of all pictures and include keywords that pertain to them.

• Know that the components that attract spiders are: TITLE tags, META tags, Header tags, keywords, and links. Many spiders score entire sites based on the overall scheme.

Spiders read algorithms and do not take in whole pages. So, be news savvy and like newspapers place the most important information first. Titles, headers, and the introductory paragraphs must present the essentials.

• Keep updated on technical advancements in the way search engines examine materials. Read through guidelines of major search engines, as well as blogs and forum devoted to SEO and spiders.

Once your page is designed think about using a search engine stimulator to evaluate your pages. See: http://www.webconfs.com/search-engine-spider-simulator.php you can add the tool to your website. The report will clarify where you need to make any changes.

A search engine stimulator

Diagram of the search engine concept (en)

Diagram of the search engine concept (en) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

will also help you determine whether hyperlinks in your pages are “real.” Experts recommend using tags instead of java script based menus. Try and limit hyperlinks to less than 100 and check that they do not lead to 403 Forbidden or 404 Page Not Found pages. Spiders do not deal with such errors and your pages will not get indexed.

What any search engine spider does

is that is crawls the web and indexes pages in any given database. The spider makes use of algorithms to determine page ranking and relevancy of indexed pages.

Be SEO savvy

and select keywords that search engines will find. Tools like Keyword Playground and Website Key Word Suggestions will help greatly. Avoid dynamic pages and if you have them then run them through the spider stimulator to check if dynamic pages are accepted. Get your Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions Right these are the delicacies a spider relishes. They are the cornerstones of page ranking and relevance in the “eyes” of any spider.

When planning a web site and its pages keep in mind at all times ” the spider.” This will help you develop pages that are search

screenshot from a opensource search engine (op...

screenshot from a opensource search engine (openwebspider) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

engine friendly.

Author Bio

Aaron Brooks is a freelance writer for www.1888seoservices.com, the premier website to find Seo consulting, link buildings and professionals seo training, online marketing tips, seo tools and more. He also freelances for the premier Web Directory site http://www.1866webdirectory.com

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

Link Building 101: How to Evaluate the Power of Directories

PageRank

PageRank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Link Building 101: How to Evaluate the Power of Directories

 

It’s extremely important to be able to evaluate the power of a
directory for link building. Especially when you consider that the
power of a directory listing is much more complicated than just looking
at the PR of the directory homepage.

 

Hence, the goal of this post is to train the average SEO enthusiast
how to quickly and effectively evaluate the power of general directories
through link analysis and evaluation. The post is going to focus on the
power of general directories because they are much more prevalent than
niche directories; which obviously are powerful if your in the same
niche. At the end of the day, there are hundreds of directories (both
paid and free) that you can submit too, so you need to know how to
quickly evaluate the power of these directories in order to make the
most out of your time and money. Efficiency is key!

 

Without much further ado, here’s a list of the 7 most important
criteria to look for when evaluating the power of general directories:

 

1.) Check the PR of the directory:

Although PR isn’t everything; this
is hands-down the fastest and easiest way to judge the power of any
directory. As a general rule of thumb, any directory at PR 5 or above
has good authority, while anything below a PR 3 has low authority.

 

2.) Check whether domain ranks in Google:

This important test
identifies if the directory has been penalized by Google. Simply go to
Google and type in the directory domain name (without spaces); they
should appear #1 unless the domain is targeting highly competitive
keywords (should still be on first page). If they don’t appear at all
and Google suggests a different search term, then they have been
penalized by Google.

 

3.) Indexability and last time cached:

This quick check-up is to
determine how often the Google bots are indexing the sub-page’s content.
Just go to Google, and enter a cache query. For a directory sub-page, a
good cache date would be within 1-2 weeks, but no longer than 1 month. A
higher frequency of cache dates indicate that the site is more powerful
and authoritative.

 

4.) Number (and quality) of inbound links:

Is a fairly simple measure
of the overall power and authority associated with the directory. The
higher the better. Being listed in DMOZ wouldn’t hurt either 🙂

 

5.) Number of outbound links and PR of sub-pages:

When choosing a
category to submit too, relevancy is the most important factor to
consider. But oftentimes, a submission could go in several categories.
In these cases, in order to choose the best sub-page or category to
submit too, you need to look at the sub-page’s PR and also the number of
outbound links. One of the most telling signs of an authority directory
is if they have PR sub-pages, because Google loves to take the second
level PR away from directories.

 

So, if you find a directory sub-page of PR 3 or higher: the directory
is carrying a good amount of power, authority and Google credibility.
The second point to consider is the number of outbound links on the
sub-page. In many cases there will be so many listings that you won’t
even get on the first sub-page of your selected category. You need to
keep this in mind when deciding which category to submit too. You want
to submit to the sub-page that has a low number of outbound links to
ensure that your link gets the most link juice available.

 

6.) Does the directory have sitewide links in Google?:

When you
search for the directory’s domain name do they have sitewide links under
their listing? If yes, this signifies that the directory has high
authority in Google’s eyes.

 

7.) Check appearances at public events and industry conventions:

The
theory behind this test is simple; if the directory owners can afford to
advertise in key industry events (SES and SMX for example) then they
obviously have a long-term strategy and are an authority. Obviously this
rule isn’t set in stone, but being at these events is a pretty clear
indication of a powerful directory.

 

There’s also one more test, but it takes more time as it’s a bit more
advanced because it can be time intensive. The anchor text test is a
great way to determine the power of a directory by measuring the link
juice that the directory passes on to your anchor text. Here’s how to
execute the anchor text text:

 

– First you need to find a unique anchor text within a sub-category (that isn’t mentioned on the site’s homepage)

– Next, check to see how that site ranks for that specific keyword(s) in the SERP‘s

 

This test doesn’t take into consideration the other link building
efforts of the client, but it is an effective way to attempt to measure
the link juice being sent from the directory to your site (or client’s
site). The hardest part is finding the unique anchor text, because most
of these anchors would most likely be targeting their site’s competitive
keywords, which would be mentioned on the homepage. But this isn’t
always the case, hence why the anchor text test can be very useful when
you are trying to gauge the power of a link within a directory.

 

Another thing to keep in mind with the power of directory submissions
is the featured listing or premiere listing option that enables your
listing to be placed at the top of your desired sub-category for some
extra dough. Is it worth it? Personally, I don’t see much value in these
type of listings unless the sub-page has PR and a lot of outbound
links. In this case, a regular submission wouldn’t get you on the first
page of the category, so it would be worth paying an extra $20 or so
because without it, your link won’t be getting the same “juice” as it
would be if placed on that desired subpage with PR.

 

Remember to keep this quick checklist in mind when considering which
directories to submit too, and also be sure to check out the last part
of this series which will cover potential downfalls and other mistakes
to avoid when making directory submissions.

How a Duplicate Content Penalty Can Hurt Your Online Business

What really is Search Engine Optimization?

What really is Search Engine Optimization? (Photo credit: Go Local Search)

How a Duplicate Content Penalty Can Hurt Your Online Business

Creating good, unique content for your blog or website can be
intensive and time consuming, and you are the person who should reap
the full rewards of your efforts. There is, however, a growing trend in
internet marketing referred to as ‘splogging’ (a combination of spam and
blogging) that can sometimes inadvertently punish honest webmasters,
even if they create unique content from scratch.

Splogging is a practice that the search engines look down upon, and
it consists of creating a free blog and using automated software
programs to “scrape” together content from various sources. These
automated programs are web robots that scour the internet looking for
information and articles related to a certain topic, and they will copy
various pieces of content from different sources to create a new page.

This scaped content is put into the blog and surrounded with ads, and
the owner will then use spam or other dishonest promotional practices
to try and drive traffic to his blog. None of the content on this blog
or “splog” is original, it is simply articles from different websites
that are copied and posted.

When it comes to the merchants of information

such as Google and Yahoo, they are constantly monitoring the status of the internet and working to improve their search engine algorithms so that they can deliver relevant and useful information to people. One of the latest
developments in search algorithms has been the addition of a “duplicate
content filter” which will penalize the ranking of certain webpages if
they contain information that is identical to some other webpage.

The search engines

look down on this type of behavior because their goal is to provide people with information that is relevant to their
search, and they do not want these people going to a page that is poorly
designed, stuffed with ads, and filled with unoriginal and useless
content. So in order to combat this, the search engines implemented a
filter that will block all webpages containing the same content except
for one of them.

Even if you are the most honest and genuine webmaster around and the
thought of doing something like this would make it hard for you to sleep
at night, there is still a chance that you and your online business
could be penalized by the duplicate content filter. The way this would
happen is that a web robot or content scaper will happen across your
webpage and copy its content before it is indexed by the search engines,
and then when your content (which may be original and have been
painstakingly and laboriously crafted) is posted on the “splog” it will
get indexed before your own page does.

Then when the search engines finally discover your page,

they will
already have a saved copy of a separate page that already contains this
exact content and will penalize the rankings of your webpage instead of
the unoriginal blog which should be penalized.

Another way that your business could be negatively affected by the
dupicate content penalty is if you look to submitting articles as a
method to garner traffic and publicity. Many webmasters will choose to
create articles for their website or blog and then submit those articles
to different article directories.

While this practice in and of itself

is not a bad idea, one of the consequences to submitting the same articles that you put on your own
website is that the search engines might index the version on the
article directory first before indexing the version on your website, and
they will slam you with the penalty instead of the directory. This is
especially likely if you submit your articles to big, popular content
directories such as Ezinearticles and ArticlesBase.

The way to avoid this is to write your articles and publish them on
your own website, and then wait about a week or so before you submit
them to article directories. Ideally you would want to wait until you
can find your article in Google so that you know that it is indexed and
that it counts as the original version (meaning all other versions will
be penalized).

SEO Mistakes To Avoid

The world of SEO can be fraught with danger if you do not
have a clear idea of what you are doing. There are certain tactics to
avoid as they will most likely harm your rankings rather than improve
them. Here is a short list of SEO methods and mistakes that should be
avoided at all costs.

Many sites use a splash page as an entry point to a website, this is
predominantly a page that has a beautiful picture and graphics but only
has the text ‘enter here’. This is an SEO disaster, while the image may
be aesthetically pleasing; it holds no currency with search engines.
Most search engine spiders are looking for text, when they reach your
splash page and find only two words, unsurprisingly they are not
impressed. Your homepage is the most important page in your site and as
such should be the most visible to search engines.

Some developers are keen to include text and pictures as images on
web pages. Once again this is a mistake that should be avoided. While it
may produce a stunning visual effect, it will be invisible to search
engine spiders, creating no benefits for SEO. It is text in the proper
sense that is a worthy inclusion, while creating a page that fuses text
and pictures together may be visually appealing, it will not improve
your rankings, subsequently your SEO efforts will be wasted.

The importance of tags has been debated furiously recently, while
some SEO specialists may argue that they are not important, this is
certainly not the case. Search engines still place great importance upon
the tags as a way to categorise and list the content on a web page. If
you leave a tag out completely or only put in mediocre information, you
are missing out on a prime SEO opportunity, as a result, you should
always put effort into the writing of your tags. The same can be said
for the description tag as this once again give relevance to a web page
and makes it more ‘readable’ for search engines.

While you may recognise the importance of tags in your SEO efforts,
some may in fact be making a great SEO mistake in writing them. There
are still a number of operators and developers out there that will write
the same tags and descriptions for all of their pages. Creating unique
tags is a golden SEO rule that will improve your rankings. Some
developers even like to put their own branding into their tags.
Naturally it is understandable that company directors will want their
company name as the first tag, this is a common mistake. More important
is to place a highly searched key term as your first tag to ensure your
site’s visibility is secured.

The best way to improve your rankings is to produce quality and
informative content on your web site. There are many who neglect this
when undergoing SEO focussing on the off page elements instead. By
creating quality, unique content you are ensuring that your site is
worth reading, for both human users and search engine spiders. If you
can become an authority in terms of the information on your site, high
rankings will follow in time.

One of the worst mistakes is to attempt to hoodwink the search
engines, this is often referred to as ‘black hat’ SEO. Methods such as
creating hidden text, also known as ‘cloaking’ should definitely be
avoided as these methods will harm your rankings in the long term. They
may even lead to your site being kicked out of the search engine
listings, leaving you with no traffic at all.

While these mistakes are common in the world of SEO, this article has
only scratched the surface of what can be a minefield. This is the
reason why SEO specialists should be employed to carry out your
optimisation as uneducated attempts may result in worse rankings than
before, and even de-listing from search engines.

The 7 Points of Do-It-Yourself SEO

The 7 Points of Do-It-Yourself SEO

English: The three biggest web search engines

Ever felt intimidated at the convoluted, jargon-ridden

information about Internet marketing for small businesses available on

the Net? Ever been horrified by the huge fees the experts charge,

putting search engine optimization beyond your own means? Ever thought:

What exactly is search engine optimization anyway, and can I do it
myself?

The answer is: Yes, you can! The basics of search engine optimisation

in applied web marketing are simple. It’s all to do with the keyword

content of your text copy, and can be summarised in seven points.

1. Register a good domain name which reflects what your site is about. Even if you are an established business, don’t register www.FredJones.com if you make widgets. Rather, you want to register something like www.BestWidgets.com

because that would inspire confidence in people looking for quality

widgets who would not necessarily have heard of Fred Jones the

English: a chart to describe the search engine...
widget-maker.

2. Name your page URLs based on reasons similar to the above for your

web promotion, except now you can be more specific. Search engines like

to know what your page is about. Name a page after a product

(BigYellowWidgets.htm) or a service or action

(Buy-Widgets-by-Post.htm)

on one of the sales pages.

3. The text in the title tag is crucial in letting search engines

know what each page is about. Put your important keywords in your title

tags, using both the singular and plural versions (people will search

for both) and make these tags different and specific for each page. For
example, “Widgets and After Sales Widget Services”. Whatever you do,

don’t call the home page “Index”, but treat it almost as a

mini-description.

4. The other tags (at the top of the html page) between the two

HEAD” tags are not as important as the title tag, but the description

tag is still used by some search engines in displaying what you would

An overview of online marketing. A simple grap...
like web users to see when they scroll down a page of search results.

Some search engines don’t use the description tag at all; others, like

Google, sometimes use part of it together with part of the main body
text surrounding prominent keywords on your page. So you may as well

treat the description tag seriously; make it brief (about 25 to 30

words) and as comprehensive as possible in the short space allowed. Make

sure you have your popular keywords included within your description

tag. The ALT tag is used for a very short description of an image or

graphic file, and is what is displayed if you allow your mouse pointer

to hover above a graphic. These days it is not considered important for

search engines. The COMMENT tag is never displayed on the body page, and

is used by coders and designers as an instruction or reminder to

themselves about what that section of html coding should be doing; in

the past, some webmasters in their quest for website promotion and

search engine ranking used to stuff keywords in the comments tags, but

now it is generally acknowledged that the main search engines pay little

or no attention to these.

5. Keyword density. Each search engine has its own preference as to

how many times a keyword phrase appears on the page in order to signify

the relevance of that keyword phrase (in other words, in order to help

the search engine understand what the page is about). Around 5 to 8 per

cent is a rough guide as to the optimal level. Don’t overdo it,

otherwise it will be seen as spam or keyword-stuffing. Also use your

keywords in the headings tags H1 and H2. There is an H3 tag as well, but

it is doubtful whether search engines bother with that, as it is

perceived as less prominent on the page, therefore less relevant to what

the page is about.

6. Don’t forget good linking in your website marketing. Search

engines will judge the importance of your web pages to some extent on

the number and quality of incoming links from other sites. Ask other

webmasters with sites on similar themes to yours for a link, in exchange

for a link back. These sites should not be in competition with yours,

but should be similarly themed. You may occasionally be asked by other

webmasters if they can link to your site. If this is so then have a look

at their site; make sure that their site is relevant, that it has at

least some Page Rank, and that it just “feels” good, and has no nasty

surprises like redirects or unexpected popups. You don’t want to be

associated with a “bad neighborhood”!

7. Make sure that important keywords are included in the anchor text

within inbound links from other sites. This is crucial to search engines

when they try to figure out the relevance and importance of your pages.

The inbound link from the other site should take the form of something

like this (I’m using normal brackets instead of angle brackets so as not

to use compromising html): (A HREF=”http://www.Yoursite.com”) your

important keywords included here(/A). You should definitely avoid

something like (A HREF=”http://www.Yoursite.com”)click here(/A), which

tells search engines nothing except that your site is about “click

here”. Be careful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Five Basic Principles of Online Marketing

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...

Word Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog – 08/15/08 (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

The Five Basic Principles of Online Marketing

Ask the experts about the most vital parts of online marketing, and you’ll invariably come up with a list of five major responses. These five critical online marketing principles are:

1. Dead-ends

2. Giving and selling

3. Trust

4. Push and pull

5. Niche marketing

The dead-end principle means that your web marketing effort can’t just exist. It must give prospective customers a reason to look around and take action. Otherwise, it’s the same as having them see your ad, then turn around and go elsewhere – your ad was a dead-end to them, they didn’t get anything out of it. No matter how informative your website is, with gorgeous graphics and a winning layout, if it does not encourage your visitors to take certain actions, then it is just taking up web space and isn’t actually filling a purpose. Therefore, when you’re designing your web marketing strategy, before even building your site, you’ll need to ask yourself how you’ll obtain your visitors. You’ll then need to choose which activities will get you to these results, and which of them can be done in-house, as others are outsourced.

The giving and selling principle refers to the fact that when people shop online, they expect to receive something a little extra. Therefore, one fantastic method for attracting customers to your website is to give something to them for free, and then attempt to sell them something else. The strategy typically goes as follows: the first step is to attract people to your site using a good amount of free information. The second step is to inform these prospective customers about your products and services. The free stuff doesn’t need to be something tangible. Even the information has value, and then once they’re hooked, they’re ready to learn about what you have to sell them.

Trust is an extremely important principle for web marketing. In fact, many experts believe that it is the most important of all the other principles for selling your products and services. Without this trust, people simply won’t buy from you and you won’t have a business. Trust is built in a number of ways. This can include selling well known and respected name brands, by clearly displaying your privacy, shipping, and return policies, by joining well known and respected organizations, and by offering guarantees that you’ll stand by. A customer-friendly system based on quality and transparency allows you to build your credibility and will earn the trust of your prospective customers, leading to more sales of your products and services.

The push and pull principle works by pulling people into your website using attractive content, and then pushing your information to them on a regular basis using email. This can be done in a number of ways; most commonly, this has to do with opt-in programs such as newsletters and updates about sales and other promotions. Since websites are relatively passive, it is extremely useful to add an active element to your marketing campaign that will remind your prospective customers of your existence, and entice them to act on what you have to offer.

Niche marketing has become a vital part of the web marketing industry. It is a recognized fact that to be successful, especially with an online business, you need to know your niche, and market directly to them. With a small business, finding the niche must be filled in order to give them enough leverage against the competition. A niche allows a business, no matter how large or small, to focus on a certain corner of the marketplace, limiting the competition, and focusing on the precise type of person who is most likely to become a customer. The key to niche marketing is to begin with a business plan to identify and define your focus and purpose, and then build your website and marketing strategy based upon the vision you’ve outlined. This encourages consistency and accuracy throughout your web marketing efforts.

All of these principles are very important to creating a successful marketing strategy online. By making sure that these principles are all fulfilled, you can be certain that you’ll increase your number of new visitors, and – perhaps more importantly – encourage past and current customers to return.
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Hidden Ways to Get into Google

Image representing Google Blog Search as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

Hidden Ways to Get into Google

Everyone is concerned about their Google rankings. An algorithm change or an update can leave many a webmaster in tears.

However, I often like to sneak in through the back door. So today I’m going to reveal to you some of my Google secrets. After you look closely, you will find that there is much more to Google than meets the eye and I want you to take advantage of every resource. So, let’s look behind the scenes into Google’s lab.

Google Base

Google Base was launched in November of 2005. Google base describes itself as “a place where you can add all types of information that we’ll host and make searchable online”. Now, if that isn’t a webmaster’s dream, I don’t know what is.

Your item could be almost anything: your products, research papers, articles, or press releases. You can describe all of your items so that you can zone in on your targeted visitor. In addition, your items may also get included in the main Google search index, Froogle, and Google Local.

Anyone with a Google account can use this service, so why not give it a try. Google base is the perfect way to get an additional audience for your content.
To find out more about Google Base, visit  http://base.google.com/base/about.html

Google Local

Getting your products into Google local can put your items in front of some serious buyers. People often go to Google Local looking for a specific item or service in a particular geographic area. So, if you own a small business, Google Local is the perfect opportunity to increase your reach without spending lots of advertising dollars.

Froogle

Froogle offers searchers a directory of products by category, a searchable index of online products, and the ability to narrow searches by price range. By putting your products into Froogle, you can get some very targeted, qualified traffic to your website.

So, how do you get into Froogle? Well, Google has already been actively searching the web for online product catalogs. For many online merchants, there’s a good chance that Froogle already has some of your products listed.

However, one of the best ways to get into the Froogle directory is by providing them with a data feed that lists your products, descriptions, pricing, and URLs. This allows you to fully optimize your listings.

To get the most out of Froogle, you’ll want to make your product description clear and enticing. Create titles that not only have targeted keywords, but also encourage the visitor to click-through to your site.

Once they are at your site, it is important to upsell and cross-sell. Otherwise you will be throwing potential profits down the drain. Make the most out of every Froogle referral.

When someone does decide to make a purchase from you, be sure to capture their name and email address. This way you can develop a relationship with them and offer them related products in the future.

Now, onto a facet of Google that you certainly won’t want to miss out on.

Google Blog Search

This is one of the best ways to get some additional listings in Google. If you have a website, why not start a blog. By starting a blog, you can be indexed on a number of blog searches, including Google Blog search. This area of marketing is largely untapped, so it is the perfect time to get your particular niche grounded in these specialty search engines.

To get your blog listed you simply need to ping an updating service such as weblogs.com. It’s as simple as that. If you are using WordPress, you can set it up to where your blog pings the major services every time you make a post.

You can have multiple listings in the Google Blog Search because they list specific posts as well as entire blogs.

Google Video

Google Video allows you to have your very own tv show on one of the largest search engines on the internet. This is a form of multimedia that is certainly gaining popularity online. Right now it is in a growth stage and it’s one of the perfect times to get in and be one of the first one’s in your particular market. Videos are also a great selling point if you have a product that can be demonstrated. With Google video, you can now have your very own infomercial indexed in the search engines. Of course, you’ll want to provide some great content too. To check out this new technology, go to http://video.google.com

Google News

Want to get your article and even your picture into Google News? Well, it’s really not that hard. The first step is to go to http://www.americanchronicle.com, Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the link that says “submit work”. From there you can sign up to be a contributor.

If accepted as a contributor, you will then be able to submit articles along with a picture. Many of their articles are syndicated on Google News and will be available to the millions of searchers who go to Google News each and every day.

If you are looking to get your press release into Google News, all you have to do is submit your press release to prleap. As you can see, there’s certainly no need to pay money to get into Google News.

Now that you know about the many faces of Google, you will be able to use many of these hidden tactics to your advantage. You see, there are so many people who just don’t put in the extra effort required get exceptional results.

This puts you at a great advantage over atleast 70% of webmasters online today.
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7 Free Search Engine Optimization and Writing Tools

7 Free Search Engine Optimization and Writing Tools

Traffic. Everyone wants free traffic, and what better way to get it than optimizing your site?

There are some very simple things that you can do to optimize your site. If you want to get more from your website, then implement these strategies, use these tools, and make your website spider food for the search engines.

Below are some of the best sites I have found for optimizing my sites.

1. Check your site.
Before you start tweaking your site, you need to make sure that it’s either in Google or not banned by Google.

The truth is, you want to optimize your site for Google, which is now the number one search engine in the world.

It won’t do you any good to optimize your site if Google won’t accept it.

Use this tool to check your site.

Google Banned – http://www.googlebanned.com

2. Toolkits
If you can find the tools you need in a collection, this will save you a lot of time, as well as frustration because you will know exactly what you need to do to properly optimize your site.

You’ll want to check different aspects of your site like page rank, metatag information, and links. Nothing will drive your potential customers away faster than broken links.

This site, in addition to offering a forum on search engine optimization, also offers a nice collection of tools for helping you optimize your site.

SEO Chathttp://www.seochat.com/seo-tools

These two sites also offer search engine optimization tools. It’s really a matter of preference, as well as what tools you need to optimize your site.

Add Me – http://www.addme.com
Evrsoft – http://www.evrsoft.com

3. SEO Software
You can also use software to help you optimize your site. Where software will help you the most is to actually help you optimize your site for the keywords you are trying to target. It’s a waste of time to optimize your site if you haven’t optimized for the right keywords.

This is the software I use, and it’s free. It works for both MAC and PC, and it has some of the best documentation I’ve ever seen on search engine optimization because it’s written for the average person. It also includes a basic search engine optimization training course, a 50 page manual, and excellent, step by step directions for preparing your website for the search engines.

Web CEO – http://www.webceo.com

4. ROR Generator/Robots Text Generator
A what?

ROR is similar to a robots.txt file in that it gives information about your site. The difference is that an ROR file is in XML format.

You can use this generator to create an ROR file for your site, and then paste a button to the main page of your website. When the search engines spider your site, they’ll spider this file and have a better description of what your site is about.

I would also recommend that you create a robots.txt file because this will tell the search engines what not to spider on your site. If you own a members’ area, or you sell anything, you don’t want the search engines spidering your download pages.

ROR Generator – http://www.rorweb.com/rorgenerator.php

Robots Text Generator – http://www.searchenginepromotionhelp.com/m/robots-text-creator/simple-ro…

5. Site Map
A site map is not only a great tool for letting your customers know where everything is located on your site, it can also help you with the search engines.

By creating a site map, you will have an index of all the pages on your website. When the search engines spider your site, they’ll find all of the pages. This will help you with your rankings.

Creating a site map, especially if you have hundreds, or even thousands of pages on your site, can be very time consuming. This generator will speed up the process.

Spider Map Creator – http://www.searchenginepromotionhelp.com/m/spider-map/creator.php

6. XML Site Generator
Google is now offering webmasters a chance to submit an XML site map.

An XML sitemap is a search engine friendly sitemap of your site. This isn’t written for your visitors though. It’s written for the search engines so that they can find all of the pages on your website.

Even if you include a sitemap on your site for your visitors, I would still recommend that you use an XML sitemap. This can speed the process of getting your site indexed by Google. This is an easy way to make sure that all of your pages get indexed.

Creating a sitemap is easy. You can use the generator listed below. Once you’ve created your sitemap, submit it to Google.

XML Site Maps – http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/index.php

Submit your sitemap to Google – https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/login

7. Linking
There’s been a lot of talk about linking because linking is one of the most important strategies for getting high ranking in the search engines.

The more links you have pointing back to your site, the higher the page rank you will get, as well as creating a way for others to find you. You can use this strategy to get referrals from other sites, which is free traffic. It’s targeted, and you are being recommended by another site.

Before building your linking strategy though, you should check your popularity. See who you are linked to first.

Link Popularity Checker – http://www.marketleap.com/siteindex/default.htm

Once you have checked your link popularity, begin by building links back to your site. Below are two sites that offer directories you can submit your site to.

Directory Manager – http://www.123promotion.co.uk/directorymanager/

Free directories that don’t require a link back – http://www.directoriezsubmission.com/free-web-directories.htm

Linking can drive a lot of traffic to your site. The more backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the more popular it will be. You’ll also get a lot more traffic.

Before you start to market, complete your site. Optimize it for the search engines, and use these tools to help you get higher rankings.

 

SEO for Beginners, Part 2: Spiders are People, too

SEO for Beginners, Part 2: Spiders are People, too

OK, arachnids are not people, and search engine spiders are not really people, either. But what I’m driving at is that search engine spiders “think” like people. How do I know this? Because human beings wrote them. Any software that does analysis of any kind does so with the intelligence and analytical rules programmed into it by its human developers.

How Humans Comprehend

Imagine that I handed you an article to read that I had printed out. It’s about 20 pages long, but I didn’t tell you anything about it. Worse, you’re going to have to pass a test on the content. Get out your highlighter!

The best reading instructors teach their students to get the context before seriously studying a text like a chapter of a history book or an article. This is because educational research has shown that knowing the general scope of a selection helps human readers comprehend and retain more of the subject matter. By the way, this example is real, not contrived: I used to be a high school teacher and I took a good deal of post-graduate coursework in what is known as “content area reading”.

The easiest way to get the general context is to find the title. The next step is to look at section headings. The combination of the two frames the range or scope of the document or chapter. You can also pick up some hints from picture and diagram captions.

Once you know what the document is about, you can begin to dig into the actual text. As you read, you can often discern important or significant points by repetition. That is, content that is paraphrased and rephrased is often very important: The author obviously thought it worth the effort to rephrase the explanation a couple times (or more). [This paragraph contains a clever example, if I don’t say so myself: Did you see it?]

How Search Engine Spiders Comprehend

Not too surprisingly, search engine spiders take the exact same approach as humans.

Like human readers, spiders start to get a clue by looking at titles and section headings. On a web page the spiders all look for your title tag, so it certainly pays to create a title for your web page. Furthermore, it pays even more if that title contains keywords.

An Aside: What are “keywords”, anyway?

Most search engines ignore the keyword metatag in the HTML of your web pages, so why do web marketers constantly talk about keywords? The reason is that even if you do not use the keyword metatag on your page, you should select several keywords that describe the content of your page, and then make sure those keywords are sprinkled throughout the page multiple times and in a natural-sounding manner.

The places to use keywords include the title (in the h1 HTML tag), heading text (e.g. in h2 tags), alt and title tags for images, and in body text.

These keywords give the search engine spiders a stronger sense of what your page is really about.

Here’s an important observation: Ultimately, our goal is not to “trick” the search engine, but rather to help it see clearly what our content is about. Google and the other engines are getting very adept at figuring out artificial keyword sprinkling. Never string keywords or keyword phrases many times in succession. Google, in particular, sees this is a keyword spamming and will exact painful revenge.

There is also speculation that if your keyword-to-content ratio is unnaturally high, the search engines also discount that. I believe that to be quite likely, but “unnaturally high” is a closely guarded secret. The bottom line for me is that if the body text sounds funny because of all the keywords, you’ve moved into the danger zone. I’ll recommend to you the same thing I did to my Advanced Composition students years ago: Read your page aloud. If it sounds odd in any way, rewrite the odd part.

The search engine spider looks for your section heading in-surprise-the HTML heading tags, especially the h1 tag. You should use these tags on your pages, and make sure they contain keywords.

One often overlooked place to insert keywords is in the alt and title tags of images. Although not quite analogous to a caption that a human reader would examine, the spiders nevertheless figure that these tags probably give a hint as to what the image is about (and in normal circumstances, they do). The image, in turn, gives another clue as to what the page is about.

Once the spider provides a pretty good idea what your page is about, the search engine’s next job is to figure out whether your site has high quality content.

More Software and Human Similarities

If somebody claims to be an authority on a subject, it is usually prudent to check out the claim-especially if we’re going to be hiring them or our money is otherwise involved. We humans generally do this by checking references.

The search engine spiders operate in fundamentally the same fashion. They assume that a site has high quality content on a given subject if other web sites have links pointing to it. In other words, the site is likely good if the references check out.

Google, in particular, has become very sophisticated in its link analysis. For example, if you trade links, the value of the link is diminished somewhat (nobody knows how much for sure). The reason is that if you really have content that I value and I think my site visitors need, I’ll link to you without a trade. An unreciprocated link is one of the surest signs of high quality material on the referenced web site.

The search engines have also gotten very careful about paid links. If your link shows up on a link “farm” (a page or site that only exists for the purpose of creating links to fool the search engines), you may find your site banned altogether. Remember the old butter commercial where the lady says, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” and then she conjures up a storm? Well, the same is true for the search engines. Get caught trying to fool the spider and she’ll bite you.

Forgive the mixed metaphors and just remember the point.

The search engines are also known to discount run-of-site links. Let’s say you have a link to your home page on every single page of your monstrously large web site. Even though it might add up to thousands of links, it will have almost zero credibility in terms of boosting your page ranking.

The moral to the story is this: Don’t use run-of-site links to boost your ranking. If it is crucial to your site navigation, fine. Just don’t do the work creating all those links and expect them to help your page rank at all.

There is one remaining question, namely “Do internal links help? That is, does a link from page “A” of my web site to page “B” boost page B’s page rank on Google or any other search engine?

According to my sources, the answer is yes, but only just a little. External links are given a lot more credibility. Unfortunately, external links are substantially more difficult to acquire.

Next time: The importance of links and how to get them.