Archive for September, 2011

The Mechanics of Search Engine Optimization

In today’s net-savvy world it has become the norm for businesses to have websites that they use to widen their exposure and advertise their products and services. Conversely, search engines make it very easy for potential customers to search for the products and services they need online.

For a website to be successful, its link should land in the first three pages of the search engine, which should result in many visitors visiting the site. This can be achieved by implementing some search engine optimization on your website, which is popularly known as SEO. I thought I would explore the mechanics of SEO today in order to give you a better idea of how the process works.

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a special software robot called web crawler or web spider crawls through the site’s pages to gather links, which lead to other pages in the site. Those pages are then stored on the server of the search engine.

The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer. The indexer’s job is to extract information from the stored pages, (such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page, and other links that are stored for the web spider to crawl through in the future).

In the beginning, the search engine optimizing algorithms were dependent on the keywords and other technical information provided by the Webmaster. The use of keywords was and remains an integral part of success, but the other technical information didn’t prove to be useful, because some Webmasters added irrelevant elements to it in order to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML code of the web pages in order to achieve a good rank for the page, but these were instances of abuse that often resulted in the fetching of irrelevant pages.

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithms, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page, the more chances it had to be viewed by a person.

Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlinks. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging and selling and buying links, which led to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose.

Algorithms became more complex every passing day, and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, and that finally resulted in high quality web pages.

Although investing in SEO is potentially very fruitful it can also be quite risky, because without any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code in websites, affecting menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic.

Search engines like Yahoo have algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank, but according to the cost per click or set fee. If an advertiser desires for the page containing his ad to be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as in many cases only the big businesses are fully able to increase the number of hits of their page using this method, but not the small businesses that might have a better quality page but a very small advertising budget.

Now that I’ve shared all that info with you, I must tell you to proceed with great caution when dealing with SEO service providers. SEO can be great for your online presence if you do your due diligence and deal with the right expert, but it can eat up your budget very quickly if you don’t, without any meaningful results…PROCEED WISELY!

Convert Every Visitor into a Subscriber!

If a person visits your website and leaves, chances are that he or she will not come back, especially if there are no compelling reasons to do so. After all, we all behave rather impulsively on the Internet, so much so that we can easily forget where we were 10 web pages ago.

But the bottom line is that your visitor may not come back to your website again. If 1,000 visitors visit your website, leave and never come back again, you can imagine the amount of potential revenue lost, simply because they do not come back. You could have converted a fraction of the visitors into your customers.

Some may say that creating unique content can keep some of the visitors coming back, but very often unique content is not the solution. The real, long-term solution lies in converting your visitors into subscribers of your mailing list.

Before your visitor leaves your website, you want to convert him or her into your subscriber via a simple opt-in to your mailing list. You do this by asking for your visitor’s name and email address through your opt-in form, (which is a MUST for every serious Internet marketer out there).

And if your visitor signs up to be on your mailing list, you can still follow up with him via email. You can send your subscriber a newsletter, get him/her to consider your offers, and share information and valuable resources with them in order to practice attraction marketing the way the top marketers do.

All in all, you want to convert as many visitors as possible into subscribers so you can obtain the potential revenue you rightfully deserve – the easy, wise way. Remember, the money is in the list!

Looking for an effective way to bring thousands of visitors to your website?

Whether you are a total newbie to internet marketing or a seasoned veteran, I think it might be safe to say that by now you have probably figured out that there is one element that is at fundamental to ALL successful websites: TRAFFIC!

When I started this website I knew that I was going to have to find ways to secure reliable sources of traffic in order to get it on the cyber-map, and I didn’t want to waste time and effort on fly-by-night schemes. Luckily my search took me to Revisitors.com.

Revisitors.com does all the traffic-generating work for me, and GUARANTEES that I get the amount of traffic that I want. Depending upon my needs and budget, I can choose any amount of highly targeted visitors to be directed to my site easily and effectively, with less effort (and cost) than many of the other options I have seen out there.

One thing I really like about Revisitors.com is that it is a “spam-free zone.” I can be SURE that the visitors they send will want what I have to offer — (they’ve already expressed an interest in finding out more about internet business and marketing, which is what this site is all about!).

A feature of my Revisitors.com membership that I also appreciate very much is that it gives me access to several useful business resources that include:

– FREE e-books and deep discounts on exclusive and premium titles.
– Internet and Direct Marketing videos and cassettes at members-only rates.
– Articles and other information on every aspect of Internet business.

Revisitors.com is a great marketing option that has done wonders for my business efforts and for this website. If you are serious about Internet marketing and entrepreneurship you need to do yourself a favor and add this useful service to your online marketing toolbox!

The Magic of Autoresponders

Most of the time, a majority of those who visit a new website have no intention of purchasing anything. These people are normally surfing the Internet for information, and happen to stumble across your website.

There are a few impulse buyers out there who will buy from your site on the first visit, but this is far from being the norm. Although most visitors will leave without buying anything, you’ll find yourself wondering why your visitor counter keeps increasing and your sales aren’t improving.

In most cases it takes several exposures to new products or services before someone will decide to buy or join. In order to capitalize on visitors who happen to visit your site without making a purchase or joining your team, you’ll need a way to follow up with them several times. An email list is one way to do it, as it will allow you to show your product to the same market as many times as you like.

To successfully manage an email list, you’ll need something known as an autoresponder. An autoresponder is a great asset to your website, because it can handle virtually any email you receive. You can think of an autoresponder as a salesperson who never get sick and is always there to answer emails, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It will also follow up with your clients when you instruct it to do so, continuing to add information to your list as well.

Autoresponders are very helpful tools that capture and manage email addresses and names that they collect from your website traffic. Once you have signed into your autoresponder account, you can use a sign-up form and capture both the name and email address for any of your website visitors. Once you have that information, you can add it to your customer list so that you can get back to the customer repeatedly with information about your services and products.

There are many other uses for autoresponders. Along with sending out personalized emails to your clients, you can also send them free examples of your products, snippets of useful information, or special offers. You can add virtually anything you want to an autoresponder, and send it out when you wish. You can also send out a broadcast message to everyone on your customer list at the same time, which will get your information out there and save you a lot of time.

To get started in the right direction, all you need to do is find yourself an autoresponder. You should always avoid free autoresponders, because systems that you pay for will always give you a lot more in return.

The autoresponder that I use on a regular basis in my business is Aweber. It is the most complete and easier one to set-up and use, and also the most affordable. I have used it consistently and never had any problems, so I recommend it without hesitation.

Remember, if you are serious about achieving success with an Internet business, autoresponders are a MUST HAVE and an essential tool that you will use every day!

MLM versus Corporate America: Which is more of a pyramid?

Many people compare the MLM business model to the many illegal pyramid scams that abound out there and that victimize so many good people all the time.  And these people could not be more wrong.

As for this comparison to a pyramid – think of any large corporation that comes to mind.  This corporation will probably have a CEO, a president, a vice president, middle management, a sales force, and hundreds or maybe even thousands of hourly employees.

It goes without saying that the guy at the top, (the CEO), is going to make the most money, and the compensations continue to decrease along the down-ward ladder that starts at his cushy leather chair.  The only way to get paid more and move up the ladder is to boot someone else out of their spot – and this is what people call okay and normal!

Not to mention the fact that the corporate slave masters seem to have no problem with working people to their limits…and then kicking them out the door before any of their benefits kick in, (as always, there are some exceptions, of course, but I have seen this happen time and again).  How is this any less pyramid than the flawed conception of Network Marketing that exists out there?  All people in the company work hard, but ONLY those at the very top have “permission” to make a lot of money.

Now, in Network Marketing the basic idea is that it will be of great benefit to everyone involved to help people who are new reach the top.  In fact, the ENTIRE business model hinges on this idea – the ONLY way to become really successful in the long term is to help others.  Of course, there will always be a mathematical limit to how large a network can become, but with today’s global marketplace and a suitable compensation plan, there is usually plenty of room for everybody.

A Network Marketing company can diversify and find new markets, just like all companies have to.  But what about the miserable statistics of MLM, the over 90% drop-out rate etc.?

This is mainly caused by the simple fact that the vast majority of people who decide to go into MLM do not have a clue about how to do Network Marketing correctly.  And I must admit that some Network Marketing companies are responsible for this themselves, by providing useless and success-killing ideas like pitching your script to your “warm market”, making a “100 list”, chasing your friends and family until they start avoiding you, etc.

You see, this is a somewhat unique industry.  Most people don’t realize that Network Marketing is a business of marketing and promotion pursued by people who have NO IDEA how to market and promote.

Read the above paragraph once more and let it sink in…

If you are going to be involved in Network Marketing you need to develop both the right mind-set and acquire the right knowledge (and no, they usually don’t teach this in college).

You must learn that when you do this business right:

* You don’t have to “sell”. That’s the LAST thing you want to do.

* You don’t have to ask people to join your business. If you’re doing things right, they will ask you!

* You don’t have to post “work at home” flyers, chase your friends and family around, or become an annoying nuisance everyone tries to avoid!

* People will PAY YOU to prospect them!

You should learn that this is not at all about the Vitamins or whatever product your company is selling.  In fact, this is one of the single biggest mistakes people make in Network Marketing.

If you’ve read this whole article and you think you would like to learn the RIGHT way to work an MLM business to achieve success, stick with me.  You will not be disappointed!

MLM is NOT a dirty word!

Today I want to write about something that seems to be one of those things that people either love or hate. What I am talking about is Network Marketing, also called MLM or Multi-Level Marketing.

Right from the beginning I will say that there is no need to have extreme views about this, because it is simply a business model that you can use if you wish. I use it because I have learned how to make it work for me using a few simple techniques and a few tools that automate the process and allow me to leverage my efforts to the max. You can see them all over this website, and you’re more than welcome to learn more about them and try them.

However, before you do any of that, it is crucial that you understand HOW the business model of Network Marketing works.

I think there are basically two reasons that some people seem to be almost electrocuted simply by hearing someone mention the words “Network Marketing.” Either they have tried it themselves, (and because they didn’t have the slightest clue of how to do it right failed miserably), or they belong to the group of people who can’t get the idea that MLM  equals pyramid scheme out of their heads.

This second misconception is easy to debunk. Pyramid schemes are illegal almost everywhere. Do you really think that massive multinational companies like Amway or Herbalife could operate year after year on an entirely illegal basis? OF COURSE NOT!

Secondly, this view on Network Marketing shows that the person thinking this way is just plain ignorant. He or she hasn’t done an ounce of homework on the various business models that are available to each of us today, and they are ignorant of the industry itself.

This means they aren’t serious. It means they “would like” to make more money, but have no intention of making it happen. They continually “look” for home businesses, which is enough to satisfy their minds that they “did everything they could”, but everything they find out there is flawed and are “scams”. They are looking to buy “hope”, not a business.

There is a Chinese saying that goes something like this:”If you spend too much time thinking about your next step, you will be standing on one leg for the rest of your life”. Yes, there ARE scams out there, but MLM is definitely not a dirty word and it is not a synonym for scam. Get over it!

The “Networking” Part of Network Marketing

Networking is obviously an essential part of Network Marketing, and every successful network marketer knows this to be true. Although networking is such an intricate part of Network Marketing, the two terms are not synonymous.

However, there are many similarities. Both rely heavily on people skills. Both require people to confront their fear of talking to other people. Both carry with them the risk of rejection. Both also carry with them enormous opportunity. And to quite a few people out there, (and you know who you are), both are considered very dirty words.

Of course people that consider networking as ‘something that should not be done’ don’t understand what networking is really about. The same can be said of people that think Network Marketing is somehow something that is beneath them.

Many people think of networking as a way to get connected solely for their own advancement in life. In that respect a person might feel that it is unethical or not noble to network. This line of thinking stems from the idea that advancement will always come at the expense of someone else, that success in life is a zero-sum game.

These people often look at Network Marketing from the same perspective. They think of profiting from other people’s efforts as something that is negative and not fair to them.

In reality, successful networkers will tell you that it doesn’t work that way at all. Networking doesn’t have to happen at anybody’s expense, and the business of network marketing doesn’t reward anyone for taking advantage of others, but that is ignorance talking.

The truth is that, in actuality, the Network Marketing model rewards people for helping other people to succeed. In that respect, it may very well be the most ethical business model in the world today!

A lot of the negativity around networking can be explained by the different types of networkers. Some can be considered ‘hunters’, moving in for a quick kill, after which they move out again. They often operate without regard for the other person’s interest and because of this they will enjoy the fruits of success for only a limited period of time.

Often it will not take long before people find out what’s really driving the hunter. Once they see that he or she is only looking after his or her own interests, their willingness to interact with this person will quickly evaporate.

By contrast, truly successful networkers are often ‘farmers’ who spend a lot of time sowing and nourishing their relationships, instead of just focusing on reaping. They invest in their network, they energize their network. They use their network, but they never ever abuse their network! And their network knows this.

A true networker will always keep the interests of others in mind, and that’s why working with a true networker is so enjoyable. Networkers are often very likeable and as such people like to interact with them.

Networking is a skill that is essential to ALL businesses, not just Network Marketing. Although Network Marketing differs in many ways from the more traditional forms of doing business, the importance of networking is just as prevalent, if not more so.

A network marketer that doesn’t know how to network will be out of business in no time. Network Marketing is first and foremost a people’s business and this implies that the ability to effectively work with people is absolutely critical. This is why successful network marketers are extremely adept at networking.

Many have found out over time that developing this skill can pay off in many areas outside their Network Marketing business as well. Business owners who have started a home based business on the side often apply their enhanced networking and people’s skills in their traditional business with great success.

So whether you are in Network Marketing or in a more traditional type of business, don’t underestimate the importance of becoming an effective networker. And if you really want to master this skill you may find there is a lot to learn from good network marketers.

So if you happen to know anybody that fits that description, try and benefit from their knowledge on the topic. It will surely help you network your way to success!

Network Marketing: Why is it so great?

If you’ve ever heard of Network Marketing, you probably already have a notion of it being essentially a people’s business. Some have also labeled it a people’s franchise, because of the similarities between the business models of network marketing and franchising.

Advocates of the industry name it as the ultimate people’s business and say there is nothing quite like it. People that are in network marketing will immediately respond positively to this.

As a former military person, I feel attracted to Network Marketing because in order to be successful in it I find it necessary to apply many of the leadership principles that I learned in the Army.

Network Marketing is an endeavor that revolves entirely around the ability to train and mentor successful people. It provides an opportunity to achieve success by following a few simple practices, regardless of what a prospective network marketer’s station in life may be.

One of the unique characteristics of the network marketing business model is that every individual distributor is in business for themselves but never by themselves. They will always be part of a larger organization, and most compensation models are usually designed in such a way that every person can count on some form of support from their upline or sponsor.

It is no secret that fortunes can be made in this type of business, and many have done just that. Of course, this is not the majority of network marketers, but every individual distributor does have the same chances.

Success or failure in network marketing are not dictated by politics, race, age, background or gender, but always by results. In that respect it is probably also the fairest business model in the world.

For many people, however, the true value of their home-based business is not directly in the financial return. The lessons a person can learn while building his or her own network marketing business are truly priceless.

Many people are totally transformed through the personal growth they experience as a direct result of their challenges in their MLM businesses. It forced them to get out of their comfort zones, grow, and in many cases become a better person.

So what is so unique about Network Marketing in this respect? Doesn’t every entrepreneur have to deal with challenges? The answer of course is: Yes, they do. And they also experience personal growth as a result from this.

However, the industry has advanced tremendously with the advent of the Internet and the opportunities it brings. Most modern network marketers are self made, and many of them have learned their trade not through formal education, but through the use and study of web-based marketing/instructional systems such as the Empower Network Blogging System and SiteBuildIt.

One of the great things about network marketing is that this type of education is built into the training systems of every good company out there, so much so that there is no business on the face of the Earth that places such a strong and direct emphasis on the importance of personal development as the Network Marketing industry.

Network Marketing is all about building people. It is probably the best school on the planet if you want to learn about what it takes to be successful in life, and you don’t need rich parents or an Ivy League education to enroll!

Pay-Per-Click Advertising: How to make your business “CLICK”!

PPC stands for Pay Per Click – a popular advertising technique on the Internet. Found on websites, advertising networks, and especially on search engines, PPC advertising involves sponsored links that are typically in the form of text ads. These are usually placed close to search results, where an advertiser pays a particular amount to visitors who click on these links or banners and land on the advertiser’s web page.

In essence, PPC advertising is all about bidding for the top or leading position on search engine results and listings. Advertisers do this by buying or bidding on keyword phrases that are relevant to their products or services – the higher the bid, the higher the spot on the search results, the more the people will find the ad (and click on it) to go to their websites (this is why some people call it “keyword auctioning”). Advertisers would then pay the bidding price every time a visitor clicks through the website.

PPC advertising is also known under the following names/variations:

·    Pay per placement
·    Pay per performance
·    Pay per ranking
·    Pay per position
·    Cost per click (CPC)

PPC advertising is usually done with the following standard procedures:

1. Setting up an account and/or deposit funds.

2. Creating a keyword list.

3. Choosing (and setting up) an account with a PPC search engine.

4. Bidding on the ad placement, including the search result words or phrases.

5. Writing out an ad copy.

6. Setting up the ‘landing pages’ for your ads.

7. Placing the advertisement in the search engine.

There are many benefits to Pay Per Click advertising, making it an effective way of promoting a business ‘online’. Some of them are listed below:

·    Get launched immediately. PPC advertisements are implemented very quickly – they can go ‘online’ within an hour after winning the bid and paying for it.

·    Obtain specific, pre-qualified, and quality traffic. PPC provides you with quality and well-targeted traffic. Visitors are narrowed down into ‘qualified’ people who are actually looking for specific products and/or services that you offer – those who are more likely to become a ‘lead’ (a convert) and complete a transaction (either by buying your product or subscribing to the service that you are offering).

·    Widen your reach. PPC advertising provides additional traffic to your site, aside from the natural or “organic” search engines.

·    Track your investment. PPC advertising makes use of a tracking system that will determine exactly who comes to the website and what they do once they arrive – the length of their stay on the site and the number of pages (including the actual pages) that they view. These are valuable tools in determining statistics such as return on investment (ROI), acquisition cost-per-visitor, and conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who are converted into customers or leads).

Below are some important things to consider when planning on a pay per click campaign:

1. Know your product. Take an inventory of the product and/or services that you have to offer (before anything else).

2. Stay within the budget. Determine your daily or monthly budget; and stay with it. This means keeping your budget in mind, avoiding bidding wars if possible.

3. Bid just right. Know how to bid right – a bid that is too high can exhaust all of your money, while a bid that is too low can make you lose that spot.

4. Watch the bottom line. Measure your profit margin against your spending or expenses. Know when to stop and terminate your PPC program – if you spend more on advertising but have little or no sales at all.

5. Find the right keywords. Decide which keyword phrases to opt and bid for. Do some keyword research, either by actually looking at existing search terms or with the use of online keyword suggestion tools, to know which terms are mostly used when searching for items that are related to your business. Focus on specific keywords, not on general ones.

6. Write effective ads. A good PPC ad is that which can persuade and move a searcher. There are several approaches to this:

·    Discount offers
·    Testimonials
·    Celebrity/famous endorsers
·    Money-back guarantees
·    Free trials or sample offers
·    Freebies
·    Reverse psychology
·    Major benefits (“Lose weight”)
·    Direct instructions (“Click here”)

7. Maintain a professional-looking site. Your web content should be regularly updated and checked for spelling and grammatical errors. There should be no broken links or images. The website should be simple – designed in such a way that it will be easy for visitors to navigate and load. Include contact details to create a good impression among potential customers.

Done properly, PPC advertising can be an effective marketing tool that will maximize the return on your investment!

The money is in the list!

Marketing is an essential tool in the growth and development of any business, particularly when working with online affiliate programs or with network marketing systems.

Since the advent of the Internet to the masses, people of the entrepreneurial mindset started to flock to this new medium of information without knowing its fundamental principles, how it works, the techniques that are needed to survive in it, etc. These well-meaning folks literally bombarded the Internet thinking that life would be a lot easier if they invested in starting online businesses, but unfortunately they were the epitome of the blind leading the blind.

Indeed, it is a well-known fact that it is entirely possible make money online, and a great deal of folks do, but only those who know their way around and employ the best marketing strategies available. These strategies and resources are usually found only by a few, and only after a great deal of investigation and trial-and-error.

What people don’t know is that online marketing does not have to be stressful or even complicated. There are a couple of principles and a few simple techniques that must be adhered to to make this the case, though.

Take for example the use of your prospect list, particularly if it is an opt-in list. Many newbies think that building an opt-in list is just a waste of time and money, and quite often the idea never even crosses their minds. What they do not know is that, according to the “Golden Rule of Internet Marketing,” the money IS in the list.

Why? Because with an opt-in list you get to keep your readers on the hook by providing them with information, promotion, and other campaigns in order to entice them to buy again and again from you.

Basically, opt-in lists are lists of email addresses that prospects and customers provide consensually. This means that after the prospect visits a particular web site, there is an option on whether or not they wish to subscribe to the mailing list of the online business for any future promotions, newsletters, or campaigns that they would like to be informed of. Most targeted prospects do provide their contact information and the corresponding consent to contact them.

And because providing their information is entirely optional, the prospects are not aggressively pushed into providing their email addresses to the website. Plus, the website owners will not be accused of spamming, because emails that will be sent always have the consent of the prospect.

Creating an opt-in list can be very beneficial to your business. In fact, it has been proven that in the two-step concept of selling, follow-ups are important to sustain the interest of the prospect. The other step is to sustain the interest of the buyer.

Hence, in order to sustain the interest of your buying public, it is best to create an opt-in list so that you can always give your buyers the chance to remember your products, your business, and your services that they have been satisfied with.

Here is a list of reasons why building your own opt-in list is beneficial:

1. Opt-in lists are the business’ most valuable asset

If you were to ask the owners of any online business about their most valuable asset, they will tell you that it is their opt in list. This is because opt-in lists are customers’ lists that can provide higher probability sales in a more consistent and stable condition. Because with opt-in lists, all you have to do is to follow up orders or sales through promotions and ad campaigns.

2. It is always available

The best thing about an opt-in list is that it never grows old. As long as your customer needs something to survive, your contact with them will never grow old. This means that you can potentially have a fresh, new transaction with them every time you inform them that you have new products or services. Every transaction is a new way of increasing your sales. Simply put, no opt in-list = no sales.

3. A bigger opt-in list means bigger profits

The more prospect and customer names and email addresses you have on your list, the more chances you have of increasing your online sales. Every name and every email address can be worth a hundred dollars that can be accumulated with each transaction

Boiled down, an opt-in list is not just an ordinary mailing list. It is the very core of an online business’ existence and survival!

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