SpeedPPC - PPC Marketing at Warp Speed

SpeedPPC Review – Pay Per Click Campaign Optimizer

SpeedPPC Review – SpeedPPC The Pay Per Click Campaign Optimizer.


SpeedPPC - PPC Marketing at Warp Speed


SpeedPPC is used and trusted by thousands of PPC experts. It is used in over 90 countries because of it’s ability to drive more profitable PPC traffic than was ever previously possible. You can create super targeted PPC campaigns that quite simply out-maneuver and out-perform your competitors thus making your business far more profitable.

SpeedPPC – conversion kicker
SpeedPPC is an brilliant set up accelerator for Pay-Per-Click campaigns and has a feature called a conversion kicker.

SpeedPPC is the product for you if you want to set up a substantial AdWords campaign using a wide range of keywords with ads that are carefully crafted to get high click through rates and then drive all the resultant traffic to landing pages that themselves are relevant to that traffic and include the keyword text (to reduce bounce rates and increase conversions) and you want to do this really fast.

On the sales page you’ll see a demo of how one campaign was set up in just 12 minutes to include:

8720 low competition keywords
436 tightly themed Ad Groups
1744 ads – 4 per Ad Group
8720 focused landing pages

All in 12 minutes!

Which search engine PPC systems does SpeedPPC work with?

Google AdWordsSpeedPPC
Yahoo! Search Marketing
MSN adCenter
ABC Search
Affiliate Radar
Ask
Enhance
goClick
LookSmart
Miva
Search123
ValidClick

There’s more info on the site including an interesting “how SpeedPPC works” section

Here is what PPC power pack contains:

WordPress Dynamic Landing Page Plug-in
They’ve created a private plug-in specifically for the WordPress platform that allows you to dynamically pass in keywords to your website pages through the URL to help you get an increase in Quality Score and conversions

Affiliate Datafeed/ Advanced Landing Page Generator
Their most advanced landing page system will have your mind spinning with ideas. It allows you to load product/item/affiliate datafeed CSV files into our software (which you install on your server) and you can dynamically generate detailed landing pages on the fly simply by passing keywords into it. Insanely powerful.

15 Tested Landing Page Templates (including PSD’s)
Provide high quality landing pages based on proven, tested, high conversion principles

In-house Quality Score Guide

400+ Extra Keyword Expansion Lists
Known expressions for expanding out and finding quality buying keywords

Accelerate your PPC campaign building success
Super fast PPC campaign building technology – build 8720 low competition keywords in 436 tightly themed Ad Groups at the same time build 1744 ads – 4 per Ad Group and 8720 focused landing pages all with withing minutes!

Over the past decade, pay-per-click (or PPC) advertising has been one of the most effective methods of driving targeted traffic to your website. Fortunes have been made and companies have created huge communities through effective PPC ad campaigns that are in sync with their target audiences. With PPC, you can generate tons of targeted traffic to any web page in a matter of minutes. You’re only limited by your imagination and your advertising budget.

But, as the PPC marketplace has matured, competition has increased and costs have risen. Gone are the days when you could grab a few keywords, slap up a hastily-written ad, and experience PPC success. Today, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can quickly spend a lot of money with very poor results. To put it another way… Smart advertisers win. It’s time to take PPC seriously.

That’s where SpeedPPC comes in. SpeedPPC is a software solution for dominating PPC marketing. With SpeedPPC, you have the tools to quickly build, optimize, upload, and track PPC campaigns that deliver great Quality Scores and help you catch the longtail. In simple terms, by doubling your Quality Score, you halve your costs. And SpeedPPC v4.5 takes PPC campaign building to the next level.

How SpeedPPC Works

The new line of attack for PPC marketing

SpeedPPC is based on ultra-smart methodologies.

Relevancy and quality score are vital for your campaigns’ success. That means tight-knit relationships between your keywords, ads and landing pages.

SpeedPPC’s patent-pending process builds the anatomy of a perfect campaign – in a way that makes it easy and hassle-free for you!

You can launch powerful PPC marketing campaigns of any volume, quickly and effortlessly.

Click SpeedPPC to visit the website

The future of SEO is CONTENT!

Content is Still The Furure of SEO

Content - The Key To SEO

Content is, was and always will be the future of SEO! Search engines love content, give them juicy nuggets of unique information and you will be rewarded.

The rewards are numerous:

  • The more content you write and get indexed the more chances you have of appearing in a related search
  • The better your content is the more chances there is of someone giving you a backlink, trackback or bookmark
  • The more backlinks you have the more non-search engine visitors will visit your site
  • The more backlinks you have the higher you will feature in the SERP’s

Take this blog for example: I write maybe one article a month, I do absolutely no backlinking whatsoever, I often forget I own it from one week to the next…  Yet it receives 20K to 30K unique visitors per month and consistently earns me between $400 -$700 over that period. Personally, I think it could earn a whole lot more than that but this site was a “labor of love” and I do precious little to monetize it!

So let your content pull-in the search engines and backlinks… if your content is even half decent people will link to it. Once your site is established you don’t even need to get your posts indexed, an article posted on this site can and often does show up in the search results within 30 minutes of being published.

Many internet entrepreneurs fail to see how content writing can benefit an internet retail or eCommerce site. Well, here’s the trick, start a blog alongside your retail site. Write about your industry in general and link the articles back to your product pages but more importantly write about your products, write about them in as many different ways as you can. Write about each product more than once but each time focus on different variables such as sizes, colours, locations and other product options. Each article gives you a chance of being found when a customers types in a specific product search.

Example Article Title:

Featuring the Dr Martens 2976 Boots -Size 9 Boots in GAUCHO or Brown

This may feature in a search for “Dr Martins Boots” but probably wont. However, it stands a great chance of featuring in a search for “Dr Martins Boots size 9 in brown” or numerous other variations of that search… And believe me many customers are that specific when they search for products. What’s more, it’s often the case that the more specific the search expression is the closer the customer is to making a buying decision! Think about it, while your researching the market your searches tend to be very general but when you’ve decided what you want and you’re about to buy it, your searches tend to become very specific.

I have many articles that pull 2K+ UV’s per month but I also have articles that pull just 50 UV’s per month that are just as profitable. Simply because they are very focused articles and therefore convert the visitors at ridiculously high rates.

Nothing is free but once I’ve invested my 20-30 minutes to write an article (or pay someone to do it for me) there’s nothing more to pay and if that article converts just 10 times a year for the next five years it’s time  / money well spent!

This process may be a little slow and boring compared to the immediate hit you get from paid traffic but it’s solid sustainable income that grows your internet business month on month with no additional investment apart from the time it takes to keep building your online infrastructure.

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Web Traffic Genius Review

Web Traffic Genius

I purchased Web Traffic Genius for the automatic creation of back-links on the content posts for several of my Blogs. I decided to see if the product claims were true: Does it create more Back-links for my sites? Will it increase my search engine rank and ultimately will it increase my Website traffic?

Web Traffic Genius was originally called “RSS Power” and is now supplied for a single purchase price in two different versions. The “WordPress Plugin” version was what I was mainly interested in but you are also given an HTML website version that will run fine in most environments and can be used (with less automation) on more or less any website. What WTG does is create a new unique RSS Feed for each and every new entry on your site or Blog, it then completely automatically submits these newly created RSS Feeds to over 20 of the top ranked RSS aggregators on the internet. What’s more, all of the RSS aggregators have a PR5 or better. You can also create additional accounts with some of these services as well, plus, you can create extra feeds that will create even more backlinks for your websites. Your regular RSS Feed (if you have one) is not effected at all and will continue to operate as normal. The new feeds are automatically created and placed in a new sub-folder within your website infrastructure. The process creates huge volumes of backlinks for your sites by way of the RSS Aggregator sites.

Within just 7 days of using the product I was able to substantially improve my positions in Google. The really good thing is that it’s a multiple use license and I can install it on as many sites as I want.  What’s more Web Traffic Genius has import and export features, so I only have to set it up once and then I can import my set-up into every WordPress Blog or website I own.

In my opinion this is an absolute must for WordPress Blog owners, Web Traffic Genius will automatically build multiple high-profile back-links and will ultimately build traffic momentum and it will do it every time you create a new post on your Blog.

Web Traffic Genius won’t necessarily give you instant results in traffic right away. You will start by seeing an increase in rank and this will be followed by a significant increase traffic. The benefits of using this tool will probably take a month + to really be appreciated, but trust me it will really pay off.

For more information on Web Traffic Genius Pro, click here now: Web Traffic Genius

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Secret Adwords – Review

Secret Adwords

One of the best new products to be introduced in a long time and it’s set to change the whole landscape of the ‘paid Incusion’ market place

Google’s best kept Adwords Secret!

After many years of internet marketing I’ve finally found Google’s best kept Adwords Secret! This tecnique shows how using Google Adwords you can get instant Secret Adwords traffic and only ever pay $0.01 per click? – Just imagine how many sales/sign ups/leads you could generate with traffic this cheap!

Paul Lynch one of the internets most successful SEO Experts introduces these step-by-step DVD’s and training manual. You can simply watch over his shoulder as he sets up a new campaign from scratch and watch it generate clicks at an unbelievable $0.01 Per Click!

Then all you have to do is just copy his methods on all your own sites and watch the money roll in!

By the way, you can do this for ANY NICHE, ANY KEYWORDS AND AS MANY SITES AS YOU WANT … which means there’s almost NO LIMIT on the amount of profit you could be generating using this incredible new technique!

SEO – Dominate the search engines for your keyword

dominate

This is really easy stuff so I’ll make it brief and easy to follow.

So you’re looking for good positions on the search engines preferably on the first page and better still, somewhere in the top 5 results.  Well it’s not necessarily as difficult as you may think and on occasions you can get your Blog listed multiple times on the 1st page meaning you can completely dominate that particular search term.

First, consider what search term you would like to be listed on the search engines with? And what expression people will type in to find your blog?  Be realistic though, as nice as it would be, your unlikely to dominate an expression like ‘mobile phones’ with two hours work.

Now create a blog using your desired search term as the title of the blog:

(ie: Wireless Camera Blog)

Now for the longwinded part, you need to create 30/40 keyword related posts for your blog.  You could pay an article writer to do this for you, at maybe $3 article your only talking about $100 or so for all the content your blog will need.  Alternatively, you could do a bit of research and write the content yourself, it may take a bit of time but it’s normally worth the effort and you may learn something about your product while your doing it.

Post three quarters of your articles to to this blog.

The next step of the search engine optimisation process is to get 30/40 back-links, doesn’t really matter how; I often search for other wordpress blogs using the search term below:

‘Leave a Reply’ ‘Name “(required)”‘ ‘Mail (will not be published) “(required)”‘ ‘Website’ + ‘wireless spy camera’

Leave the quotation marks in place and replace ‘wireless spy camera’ with your own target keyword expression.  This search will return a list of wordpress blogs that have some relation to your keyword expression in the post.  Simply leave constructive comments on 50 – 100 blogs, try to make your comments as legitimate as possible… avoid leaving superfluous very delete-able comments like “gr8 post m8″

NOW- sign up with a few blog listing sites such as:

TopBlogArea.com
DigNow.com
topblogging.com
blogcatalog.com
blogdigger.com
mynewblog.com
TopBlogRateDir.com
Blogs.com
Blogifer.com
lsblogs.com
Bloggernow.com
BlogsOnTop.com
Skinny.com

etc… do a bit of research and find as many as you can, there are quite a few out there!

After you’ve set up accounts with the above blog sites (and any more you may wish to add), you need to add a second blog using the Title, (ie: wireless spy camera) in other words keep titles of yours blogs the same or very similar… and in the blog description, use your keyword expression:

“wireless spy camera”…etc…..

Now post the remaining articles to this blog.

Now leave to simmer for anywhere between 3 weeks and two months.  There you have it, you’ll be listed on the 1st page for whatever search term you want! (Within reason of course)

Good huh? I get a lot of traffic with this technique!  It amazes me how something so simple can have such a positive effect!

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Do Nofollow links increase traffic and PageRank?

There is a general conception that NoFollow links are rubbish, so you have to wonder; is there any value in accumulating them?

The theory is NoFollow backlinks do not get indexed, this is perhaps true for a percentage of the sites out there but from experience, I can confirm that NoFollow links do indeed get indexed.

So for what reason does this happen? Well, it’s all about site authority and link relevance. Large amounts of NoFollow links do get indexed but they get indexed because of the content on that site. Despite the fact they are unlikely to increase your backlink count, there is a popular belief that suggests they will increase your PageRank.  However, for the simple reason that the link is indexed and is therefore displayed in the SERP’s, they will ultimately bring in traffic!

50% of the battle is the relevance of the link.  In order to get NoFollow links indexed they must comprise keyword rich relevant information. It’s important not to spam your keyword! Responding to questions on high PR Forums is a good example, if you answer a question making sure you include your keyword in the answer.  The question and the result (your answer and backlink) will then appear on the indexed page, meaning that it will get indexed and it will get listed even though it’s not going to increase your backlink score.

The other 50 percent of the battle is authority, Look for authority websites with lots of visitors and lots of indexed pages, google especially will index and list both the question and your answer and with it, a link to your website. (No backlink just indexed).

So the question is, are NoFollow links useless? Not at all, you should make NoFollow linking an integral part of your ‘traffic creation’ exploits.  However, you have got to make sure you find the correct sites to get your links from. Remember RELEVANCE & AUTHORITY.

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Social marketing, the rising star of the internet marketing world

Social marketing is the rising star of the internet marketing world and is in the process of being shrouded in hype by clever marketers trying to get you to part with your cash. In return they will push whatever you want to pushed in front of an ever increasing hoard of internet socialites.

Social marketing is another name for metaphorically getting ‘out and about’ on the internet and striking up relationships in an attempt to promote your business / personal endeavours.  Lets say you are the owner of a website that sells sporting memorabilia, you would try and relate to people that will have an active interest in this type of product.

Forums and blogs have been around for some years.  It’s no secret that contributing on blogs and forums that discuss your product or service and making interesting informed comments will increase your exposure.

This may all seem like hard work and the rewards may not appear to be worth it.  However, there are many success stories where individuals have contrived to be very active on blogs and forums in their community.  And have managed to turn this activity into a substantial gain.

Social marketing has other benefits, people often like a personal touch and like to buy from companies or people who know what they are talking about.  If you have a good knowledge of your industry and the product you sell you could quickly establish yourself as a leader in your field.  If this is indeed the impression you give, people will be inclined to pay attention to you and ultimately purchase your products.

Recently, new social marketing opportunities are presenting themselves through platforms such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook (for more, please see this comprehensive Social Network List). These sites attract thousands of real human visitors and if you go to the right areas you can find plenty of people who potentially, will be interested in what you are selling. You may be advised not to jump straight in and start advertising. Make yourself known to your target community, build a few relationships, maybe include the odd link to your website once in a while where you think it warrants it. Simple interaction and relationship building is more important than link building at this stage. People will come to you in good time rather than you chasing them. You just have to make the first step and assign twenty minutes to half an hour a day to become more visible and establish relationships in communities that have the potential to refer you your target customers.

Results and timescales may vary, some communities are much larger than others but it’s generally relative, smaller communities are often easier to establish yourself as a market leader as there is less competition. Larger communities carry more traffic and you will get your share based on your activity and professionalism.  Either way a little hard work can go a very long way.

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90 Tips and tricks to enhance the quality of your Ecommerce website

General Ecommerce :

  • Ultimately, websites are there to provide your customers with a better service.  Don’t build your website with anyone else in mind.
  • Consider what you want each page of your website to achieve and go about designing it to fulfil these goals.
  • Tell your customers about your company on your ‘about us’ page, consider who your customers are and portray an image that will appeal to your target market.
  • Don’t rely exclusively on internet technology. Build alternative sales channels: direct mail, sales brochures etc.  Build a customer base and look after them.
  • Give your customers every means to contact you: phone, email, physical address, live chat, Aim, etc. And respond to all customer contact in a professional and timely manner.

Ecommerce software usability

  • Avoid slow loading; time consuming graphics or animations on your home page.  No one wants to sit and watch some sycophantic, webmasters ego massage before they get to your core data on your website
  • Keep your home page up-to-date with your top-selling and newly launched products.
  • Every product on your website should be reachable within 3-clicks of your homepage.
  • Recommend additional related products for items added to the shopping cart. Amazon do this very well, they recommend related products on the product page, even before the customer reaches the shopping cart.
  • Never add items without the shoppers consent, this will ultimately cause high levels of shopping cart abandonment
  • Use buy buttons whenever and wherever a product is displayed, make it as easy as possible for customers to add products to the shopping cart.
  • Display your product prices wherever buy buttons are displayed.
  • Let your customers know exactly how much your products cost.
  • Link to other sites that carry relevant information and products to your own
  • Avoid having excessive outgoing links. There are varying opinions on maximum quantities; I try to limit outgoing links to a maximum of 15 on any given page.
  • Optimise your images:
    Speed – but try to get the balance right between quality and speed.
    Use original images – where possible take your own photographs
    Name your images – use your keyword in your image naming conventions
    Alt tagging – complete image alt tags, this is another opportunity to push your keyword density
  • Create a sitemap for your site.  This has two direct advantages: First, a sitemap created in the right format can be uploaded to Google which will increase the chances of each page being indexed.  Second, it will make sure that no pages on your site are orphaned.
  • Use friendly URLs this has two main advantages: Firstly, they are easier for your visitor to remember.  Secondly, they are good for SEO, yet again another chance to plug your all important keywords.  Mod_rewrite will continue to make this possible if your using dynamic PHP content.
  • Run a blog along side your site and regularly write about the products you sell.  Content is king create other industry related articles and you may be amazed at the traffic this generates.
  • Use compelling call to actions – buy now, while stocks last, limited offer, etc.
  • Surprise your regular customers with gifts and discounts.
  • Make sure your site has search facilities that make products and content as easy to find as possible.
  • Use breadcrumb navigation, this will help your customers understand exactly where they are on your site.  It also helps your customers find similar or related products.
  • Shopping carts should be editable. Customers need to be able to remove products and change product line quantities easily.
  • Never add exorbitant costs during the checkout stage.  Avoid overly high postal costs or surcharges.  For Business to Customer (B2C) based sites, add the sales tax / VAT to the advertised product prices so customers don’t get a nasty shock when they get to your checkout. Hidden costs lead to shopping cart abandonment.
  • Never add anything to the shopping cart the customer hasn’t expressly requested.  This will alienate potential customers, which will lead to cart abandonment.
  • Avoid lengthy or unnecessary registrations prior to checkout.
  • The checkout process should be quick and simple and should only collect absolutely essential information.
  • Give your customers a sense of confidence by displaying appropriate security and ‘site-safe’ logos.
  • Provide as many payment options as possible. Cheque, credit card, Paypal etc.  The more payment options you allow, the more customers you will attract.
  • Consider offering free shipping when a certain order total is met. This may increase your average order totals.
  • Use website analytics and statistics to help you understand visitor activity and behavior.  Google analytics is free and is really rather good!
  • Give your customers as much information as possible: include delivery methods with expected durations. Also make your privacy policy and return policy easily accessible.

Design technology and development:

  • Adhere to web standards in the construction of your HTML pages.
  • Avoid the use of excessive and/or poorly optimised graphics and keep the amount of flash and slow loading media to an absolute minimum.
  • Where video media is embedding into a page don’t force it play automatically. Allow the visitor the choice if they wish to view the video file or not.
  • Try to avoid links through graphics as they optimise for search engines far less effectively than text links.
  • Where possible use text links and anchor the link with keywords appropriate to your website.
  • Avoid slow loading web pages and pay special attention to landing pages and your homepage.  Optimise these pages for speed; slow loading pages create high levels of visitor bounces.
  • Your 404 page is presented to visitors when they try to reach a page that does not exist. Try to be creative with this page, you could add a site search or navigation menu to help the visitor find what they were originally looking for or you could link it back to your home page / another section of your site.

Retail Ecommerce SEO:

  • Study your competitors SEO campaigns, SEO Quake which is a free browser plugin, will give you analysis of the sites you visit.  Study your competitor’s back-links, emulate them and improve on them.  Take your top 20 search engine competitors for desired keywords and target 30% of each competitor’s back-links.  You will quickly start to see your pages rise to the top of the indexes.  (Ignore authority site listings in your niche… firstly, they are not a threat and secondly, you will never compete with the quantity and quality of back-links that these sites attract)
  • Take the time to build a strong list of target keywords.  If you’re struggling for suggestions again look at competitors sites.  Look at their Alt tags, page titles and keyword densities.  This practise will quickly give you the keywords your competitors are targeting and will help you build a comprehensive keyword list.  For deeper analysis Goolge has a keyword suggestion tool built into their adsense programme and deeper analysis still you could look at Wordtracker.  Monthly subscription to this site will give you probably the best keyword tool on the market.
  • Limit the amount of keywords you target on any single page to 4 or less.  Targetting too many keywords on a single page dilutes the page from an SEO perspective.
  • Long-tail keywords are expressions that consist of 4 or more words.  You don’t generally have to target these expressions; you will pick them up naturally from a mixture of words the search engines find within your content.  However, every now and then you will find a ‘little diamond’, one that produces a good few clicks.  When you do, write a bit of content to target this expression.
  • Never copy word for word the manufacturer’s product description. Rewrite the description in your own words.  This may seem a bit of a waste of time but the search engines filter out duplicate content.  If you copy the manufacturers description, chances are your product page will not be indexed and will fail to show in the SERP’s
  • Use your keywords liberally in your page titles, meta tags and headings. However, don’t spam, avoid using so many keywords your text is no longer readable and never try to be clever by making the keywords the same colour as the background (an old practise that allowed webmasters to stuff their pages with keywords without ruining the visitors experience of the page.
  • Again use keywords in your product descriptions liberally.  Check your keyword densities (SEO quake will do this for you) keyword densities of over 5 could be considered spamming.
  • Try to obtain quality back-links but do so steadily, sudden fluctuations in back-links could alert search engines to back-link spamming.  Various methods for obtaining quality back-links are discussed on several other posts on this site.
  • Use links on your site to other pages on your site and when you do anchor the link with keywords relevant to the target page. For example this is an example of anchor text. Clever and relevant use of interior linking is very good for your SEO campaign.
  • Ask for reviews from your customers, the ever changing and unique content that this will produce is very good for SEO.
  • Use book-marking and social networking tags on your product pages. These allow your customers to bookmark your products for future reference or share your products and services with their community and/or friends.

Email marketing:

  • Create an opt-in email list and encourage your customers to join
  • Ask customers to sign-up for a newsletter during or just after the sales process and send regular product information to the people that join.  However, don’t flood your customers mailboxes with emails every five minutes.
  • Provide the ability to opt-out every time you send your customer an email or newsletter
  • Make sure you call your customers to action in the emails – buy-it-now, limited offer, limited stock, hurry while stocks last, buy now because when they are gone there gone – you get the message!
  • Make your slaes offer clear and concise and make sure it’s visible before the bottom of the screen when the mail is first opened.
    Pay per click (PPC) marketing tips:
  • Begin with your best selling products and build your campaign from there.
  • Use keyword analysis products to build a comprehensive keyword list
  • Start with less expensive long-tail keywords, your looking for very specific targeted expressions that will hopefully give you very good conversion rates.
  • Budget your campaign spending and analyse your return on investment on controlled bursts of traffic.  Google analytics allows you to set goal conversions which means you can analyse which keywords are giving you the best return on investment (ROI)
  • Add negative keywords to campaigns, these terms are often less expensive and may convert just as well.
  • Google have a feature built into their software that means if you improve your advertising quality score it reduces your average click cost.  So improving your ‘click to impression rate’ actually reduces the amount you pay.
  • Try to use your keywords in your ad copy.
  • Use call to actions in the ad copy.
  • Don’t get involved in bidding wars, getting the top position is not necessarily that important.  There is a school of thought; I’m told that suggests that positions 4 to 7 provide the best return on investment.
  • Deep-link your campaigns, don’t just throw all your traffic at your homepage.  Make sure your customers are taken to a product page relevant to the reason they originally clicked your advert.
  • Look out for price drops, when setting your PPC amounts you will regularly notice keywords with the following characteristics:
    Position 1 = 0.65
    Position 2 = 0.64
    Position 3 = 0.63
    Position 4 = 0.22
    You will notice there is a big price drop between Position 3 and Position 4.  This Means that if you bid $0.23 your ad will go in at position 4 and you will pay less than half than you would to obtain position 3.  This represents great value for money!
  • I often turn the ‘Content Network’ off, this means you won’t pick up traffic from 3rd party websites and your traffic will only come directly from the Google site.  However, in my opinion, content clicks from 3rd party sites tend to be more impulsive and are often not made by people actively looking for your product / Service.
  • Create various versions of your ad copy and test them for performance.
  • Create various versions of your landing pages and test them for performance
  • Experiment with your keywords, ditch low performing keywords and push the high performing ones.

Comparison shopping engine marketing:

  • Comparison engines only work for branded and or mainstream products people use them to find the cheapest price for a specific brand / model product.  If you’re selling unbranded products you could be wasting your time listing on comparison sites.
  • Comparison site aren’t too dissimilar to using a PPC network but they tend to be very targeted, clicks from comparison sites generally yield very good conversion rates.
  • Test the market with your best selling products.
  • Learn how to prepare a data feeds or find someone who can.  Comparison sites normally accept a text file, CSV file, Excel file or some form data file prepared in the form of a list of products formatted in a particular way.
  • Obviously populate all required and recommend fields but also populate as many optional fields as possible.  The more data you provide the more comprehensive your listings will be.
  • Don’t forget to use the exact Manufacturers Part Number MPN or SKU. This will ensure your listings are correctly displayed when searches for specific products are entered.
  • Update your data feeds regularly, weekly or monthly.  In some cases even daily updates are required if your business is fast moving and competitors keep manipulating their prices.
  • Google base is free and entries are displayed directly above the start of the natural listings in a very prominent location.  If you list your product nowhere else, take the time to list on Google Base.
  • Amazon market place also offers free listing but will charge you a percentage of the sales total (percentage based on what category your products fall into).  It’s worth mentioning that there are no credit card processing costs with Amazon sales, they take all the money and forward it straight to your bank account once a month (less their percentage of course)
  • Remove out of stock products as soon as possible.
  • Deep-link your listings so your potential customers are taken directly to the relevant product page.
  • Analyse all statistics and remove any poor performing products.
  • Analyse your comparison site competition, if other merchants are undercutting you or have promotional offers that undermine your listings, you may want to try and compete.

Customer support & service:

  • Give your customers an exceptional service.
  • Give your customer as many ways to contact you as possible and respond to all customers contact in a professional timely manner.
  • Use a Freephone or toll free number. It’s well reported that offering free calls can increase sales contact by up to 30%.
  • Make sure the person who takes the sale call has been properly trained and knows the products inside out and backwards.
  • Display your contact information on all the pages of your websites
  • Some customers will rub you up the wrong way.  Remain courteous and polite however ignorant the customer may be.  If it makes you feel better swear about them after you put the phone down.

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Starting an Internet Business

Have you ever fancied yourself as an internet entrepreneur.  There is a general misconception that building an internet business is a simple case of designing a website and waiting for the money to roll in. The honest fact is:

Building a website is easy, building a successful internet business is far more challenging!

You could be forgiven for thinking that it’s relatively straightforward to build an internet business, there are plenty of high profile success stories involving internet related businesses and there are plenty of people out there who make considerable online incomes.  Consumer internet spending has risen to over $45bn, this figure has risen year on year since the internet was founded and everything suggests that online spending will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

The internet is changing the way we live and as I have mentioned in previous posts it levels the playing field somewhat, giving small businesses the opportunity to compete and win business from major corporations. The question is just how simple is it to get a new internet business off the ground?

Business planning
The first thing any prospective entrepreneur should do is write a business plan. Ideally your business plan will be a concise, clearly written document outlining your business objectives: 

Consider your product, how much is your product going to cost, how much do you intend to sell it for, calculate your profit margin.  Estimate your indirect expenses packing and delivery cost, advertising and marketing, light heat and power internet hosting, telephone etc. etc. etc. Will you still make a profit after all these costs are factored in?

Consider your competition and how can you create a competitive edge. How can compete with them in the same market place and how you can be better, cheaper, or provide a value added service that will encourage potential customers to spend their hard earned money with you.

Consider your customers, who are they, where do they live, what age groups do they belong to, what social groups are they likely to be involved in. Once you know who your customers are, consider how you plan to retain your customers and keep them coming back for more.

Consider how you plan to market yourself to your target customer.  What forums and websites do they visit, what keywords do they type to find the information they look for.

Consider all the start up costs involved in getting your business started and if required where you think you may be able to secure the funding.

Establishing your market
You must establish that there is a market for your business concept, is there a genuine interest in your product / service.  Start-up businesses need to establish a niche or a competitive edge something that defines them from the competition.

Financing
Raising finance is particularly difficult given the current economic climate but there are several financing options available to business owners. For many companies, funds may be required from several different sources.

Bank finance by way of a loan or overdraft can ultimately be less expensive than the sale of shares or equity in your company.  However, equity investment is probably a better proposition for companies who don’t want to increase borrowing or are unable to provide the necessary security.

With equity investment there are two options “business angels” or venture capitalists. Business angels are ‘high net worth’ individuals who look for high potential, fast gowing businesses who want to raise up to $250, 000. Business angels can also add value with a wealth business advice and a rolodex of useful contacts. Venture capitalists don’t usually get involved until your dealing in figures of over $2,000,000 – they will usually expect to see a return on their investment within a three year period.

There are normally some government backed funding or small business grants that can be applied for.  The availability of these funds are continually changing so it may be worth doing some research to see if there are government funding options available to you when you start your business.

A lot of small businesses finance themselves using a mixture of credit card debt and loans from friends and family.  In my opinion these are both high-risk strategies, before using either of these options, consider why you have not been able to raise money using more traditional methods.  If knowledgeable business financers don’t think your business proposition is viable, why do you? Credit card debt is about as expensive as it gets so before opting for credit cards make sure you have your calculations correct and only use credit cards when you require very short term financing.  Accepting money from family and friends can also be very costly but from a personal point-of -view. Before you borrow money from family or friends make sure they know the terms of the loan. Always repay them when you say you’re going to or risk getting a sometime very unwelcome business partner.

Another common business error is to under finance.  If you start your business with too little funding you risk running out of cash before your venture gets a change to really take-off. 

Your website
Website development can be very costly if you don’t know where to look.  However, you can pay as little as $150 for a simple ecommerce script.  In fact OSCommerce is released under the GNU General Public License, which means it’s completely free.  There are also a multitude of website scripts and ‘off the shelf’ products that can give your website a market leading feel without spending a massive amount of your budget.  However, a little technical knowledge can go a long way when your running a internet business and if you don’t have the aptitude for technical work, my suggestion is, find someone who has and get them involved either as an employee or partner.  You can also find a wealth of knowledge on sites like Digital Point.  If your looking for something specific, something that can’t be bought ‘off the shelf’ you could consider having a site developed for you.  Take a look at getafreelancer this site has a multitude of highly skilled developers from all over the world at surprisingly reasonable prices.

Don’t forget, your website is your storefront make sure you update your website constantly.  Content is key, give your visitors a reason to keep coming back again and again.

Marketing
The various marketing options open to internet businesses are covered in many other posts that can be found on this website but it’s one area where new internet start-ups often fail.  It’s not unusual for webmasters to develop their site and just expect the orders to start streaming in.  However, the reality is you could have the best website in the world but without visitors it won’t receive a single order.

There are plenty of paid traffic services but in the early cash-cautious days really try to concentrate on the numerous ways traffic can be generated for free.

Get involved in community sites such as forums, social networking sites and blogs.  These are all great ways of introducing yourself to your potential customers without parting with a penny.  You may also find that commenting on community sites with a backlink to your website will increase your search engine standings and will thus provide you with more free traffic.

The Customer experience
Make sure your site is fast and easy for customers navigate.  Make sure the order process is straight forward, as a site with a complicated sales process is likely to leak customers. Customer information must be kept safe and potential customers should be assured that your site is data secure.  Give your customers as many ways to communicate with you as possible and where possible use toll free methods so it does not cost them anything.

Don’t give up your day job
Starting any business takes time, in my opinion this is even more the case with internet businesses as traffic momentum has to be given time to build.  So don’t hand your notice in straight away, as there may not be much in the way of income in the early days. Make sure you really like the product or market that you’re trading in.  You’re going to be spending a lot of time working with it and if it gets boring it will be difficult to maintain the passion, determination, energy and enthusiasm required to get your business off the ground.  It’s also important to be realistic. Contrary to popular belief, success on the internet is not that common and while there are many new start-ups very few make any money. That said, although building a web based business is one of the hardest things you ever do, if you make a success of it, it will be one of the most rewarding.

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The Essentials of Article Marketing

Article marketing is a free and a very effective way to bring targeted traffic to your website. In addition to traffic, article-marketing campaigns also help to establish yourself as an expert in your niche and to develop the brand awareness about your products. It involves writing small articles (300 — 500 words) on different topics related to the subject of your website and submitting to different article directories. If you cannot write the articles yourself, those can be outsourced cheaply. The following are the different steps involved in article marketing:

The most important step involved in article marketing is keyword research. There are different keyword research tools available, which may be used for this. Instead of general keywords, look for ‘long tail keywords’ which attract some traffic from the search engines. Use these keywords in the title and the body of the articles. Try to maintain a keyword density of 3% to 5%. Write different articles using these keywords and submit to the various article directories. 

Do not make the articles too long. Try to keep them within 300 to 500 words. If you do not know the subject well, do some research. You may look for other similar articles on the internet. At the end of each article, add a small ‘Resource Box’ or ‘Bio Box’ which should contain a few words about yourself with a link to your website or blog. People who read your articles may visit your site/blog through this link. The better the quality of your articles, the more clicks you are likely to get. 

Submit the articles to different reputed article directories such as, Ezinearticles, Go Articles, Articlebase etc. Never submit the same article to different directories, as the search engines will treat it as duplicate content. To avoid this, you may change the title and a few lines of each article, keeping the keywords intact. When people search for these keywords in the search engines, these articles may come up in the search results. If they like the articles, they may click your link and visit your site/blog. In this way, articles help to drive high quality targeted traffic to your website. But to maintain the flow of traffic, you must write and submit articles on a regular basis.

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