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Local internet marketing for small and medium businesses

Research shows that an astonishing thirty to thirty five percent of user-based search queries on the major search engines like Yahoo! and Google are targeted towards local businesses. The percentage is increasing as mobile computing has become very popular and people have also become more open to the idea of buying stuff online. Small and medium businesses comprise the long tail of advertisers. Search engine giants need small and medium advertisers and businesses to try out their associated products and services not only to gain a market stronghold but also to increase their reach and popularity in the developing markets across the world.

If a user is searching for a book store in a specific area, the local search feature embedded in all the search engines helps the user locate products and services in a defined radius. Earlier, this search was specified to locate a service a user was looking for within the driving distance (WDD) of the users’ location. Recently, Google launched the ‘Nearby’ search feature that generates results based on user-generated local search queries. So, if you’re an online marketer or business owner who chooses to promote their small or medium business at a local level, the online marketplace still remains a great spot to promote your website on. Online search is now integrated into iphones and mobiles using the Android platform through the ‘Near Me Now’ mobile application. Using the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is a great way of promoting local businesses. You can pitch your site using email marketing, blogs, online forums, videos, social networking sites, etc.

Local internet marketing can be more affective by establishing a good network of affiliated and referrals. An affiliate based system can enhance the visibility of your business and maximize your Return On Investment (ROI). Another way of promoting your business is by using the process of geo tagging. By linking your pages to Google Maps and defining your company’s or store’s location using either the latitude and longitude option or just the physical address, you can allow people to find your business when they type in local search queries. You can now go ‘glocal’ (Global and Local) using different Web 2.0 based products and software.

How is Custom Blog creation a major marketing strategy?

Online businesses need to keep their clients and users up to date to retain loyalty and maintain their existing client base. All professional websites more often than not have a blog that is attached and associated with their website. Business owners, Internet marketers and online entrepreneurs who post to their blogs regularly ensure that their websites seem up-to-date and their referral and affiliate networks are also kept in the loop about various changes and updates through the blog.

Major search engines like Google and Yahoo! use algorithms to classify websites into various categories. These algorithm-based web crawlers or spider bots scan the web day in and day out. They index the websites that seem relevant and over a period of time, depending on user response and website popularity, the website improves its ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). A high quality website that has a blog where regular entries are made always has a better PageRank and a higher quality score when compared with a website that doesn’t have a blog. Custom blog creation is a very effective marketing strategy and most of the services associated with blog creation are also an integral part of the efforts made to improve the ranking of the website. All these attempts are white hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. Setting up a blog is one of the many legitimate ways of promoting a good product or service.

Custom blog creation also helps the process of website branding and promotion. They enhance the visibility of the website and maximize the Return On Investment (ROI) by attracting and diverting large volumes of relevant online traffic to the main website. For marketing and sales based business to succeed in the long run, custom blog creation is imperative. The atmosphere of the online marketplace is dynamic and new strategies are constantly required. The combination of intense competition and dynamic content makes custom blog creation an integral element of the architectural framework of the website. Competitor analysis along with sufficient research can help create an informative blog that is highly relevant to a chosen business.

Why is blog posting the best way to get your website into the limelight?

Blogging has become a buzz word today. The most enjoyable part of online innovation and technology are the tools and electronic media they offer to promote online business, products and services to target a wide online audience in the smallest possible span of time.

Blogs can act as standalone websites or parts of a website where users can post entries of their choice. The content on the blog can vary from videos to images to text-based written descriptive events of their life, opinions, commentaries, important events, etc. More often than not, blogs are maintained by an individual entity. They are available for free and major search engine like Google offer their own blogging software like ‘Blogger.’ The blog account is linked to the email account and other Google products and users can log in using the same username and password.

Blogs give people unlimited access to carve and establish a niche space using their blogging skills on the web. Today, blogs are also employed by many marketing agencies, online entrepreneurs and ecommerce websites to inform their customers about the latest offers, sales, etc and all the promotional material, event updates, policy and product updates, important news and latest developments like new business ventures, projects in the pipeline are also posted there. While company-specific blogs are a great way for clients to know what’s going on with a particular company they’re’ dealing with, many technology, science, art, book and movie review websites have blogs where multiple users can contribute to the blog collectively. Shared blogs are very popular as they promote the ideas and opinions of a large group of people and can be accessed by just logging in.

If you’re not savvy enough to create a website, but would like to promote your business online, blogs are the easiest modes of online promotion. They can also be monetized by allowing the search engine to display ads on them. The only thing users need to do is give the search engine permission to access their blog to display ads that are relevant and in sync with the content of the blog. For example, if you’ve a blog on book reviews, people might buy a book through an advertisement on your blog after reading the corresponding review of the book and you get paid for the transaction. Users can also choose the design and layout of their blogs. Blogs are excellent sources of information for a wide range of topics.

How good PPC (Pay Per Click) management services can help your business?

When a user types in a search query into the search box of the major search engine Google, along with the search results are displayed ads, above the search results and on the right side of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). While the search results are generated in response to the user-generated search query, the advertisements displayed contain the either the exact keyword or variations of the keywords that the search query contains. Each time a user clicks on a particular ad, the advertiser associated with that ad has to pay Google a fixed price for using that keyword. This amount is referred to as the ‘Cost Per Click’ (CPC) of the keyword and these advertisements are called Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns as the advertisers have to pay Google for each and every user click.

There are two networks that work in tandem along with the search engine to define the advertising and the publishing network. Advertisers who choose to use the SERPs to display their advertisements need to create a Google AdWords account to set up advertising campaigns. The quality of the ad text and the display URL that links the advertisement to the landing page of the website decide the popularity of the displayed advertisement. Online advertisers set up multiple campaigns and use a trial and error method to determine which campaign is performing well. Each ad group is assigned a set of chosen keywords and variations of those keywords. By choosing popular keywords that generate a lot of traffic online, relevant ads that are descriptive of the products and services being offered can be created.

Apart from the SERPs, advertisers can also choose specific websites to display their ads on. These websites belong to the network of publishers who have signed up for Google AdSense accounts that allow the AdWords ads to be displayed on their websites. The search engine and the chosen publisher websites provide an ample amount of real estate for Internet marketers and advertisers to display their ads. AdWords-integrated software helps track ad performance by registering the total number of clicks and the associated sales.

How social bookmarking acts as a powerful marketing turnkey solution

Gone are those days when people stored their favorite pages in specific folders using the associated web browser. Not only is this process of bookmarking pages and storing information in folders highly cumbersome, but it also makes this stored data inaccessible to the user when they switch PCs. While the process described above is referred to as ‘bookmarking,’ today ‘social bookmarking’ is the way to bookmark pages and websites of your choice.

It’s a whole new way of accessing and organizing information. In social bookmarking, a user signs up for an account that is associated with a social bookmarking site. Once registered, the user can add their favorite pages directly to the bookmarking site. This enables them to access their bookmarks at any point in time and on any system that is connected to the Internet. Social bookmarking sites also allow users to categorize the pages of their choice by entering keywords or descriptive keyword phrases that aid the process of tagging the bookmarks, so the user can pick any page they choose to visit instantly. Just like online photo albums, users also have a choice of marking a specific bookmark either as a private or a public bookmark. This option allows the user to either share their bookmarks with their friends or enjoy their personal space and privacy. Some social bookmarking sites even alert their users if a particularly URL they chose to bookmark is no longer functional or available.

People can access these bookmarks based on a number of different categories. It could be a search based on a person, a specific tag or in terms of the classification and the popularity of the bookmarks. As these bookmarks are accessed by a large number of people and online communities on a daily basis, adding your website to well-known social bookmarking sites and tagging them with the appropriate keywords will not only help you reach a large audience of potential clients but also enhance the visibility of the products and services offered by you. This is how social bookmarking can be used by Internet marketers to promote their business.

Organic SEO-The Natural Way to Effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be done in various ways. One way of optimizing your website for major search engines like Yahoo! and Google is using the black hat technique of search engine optimization. As the term suggests, black hat methods are commonly employed by business whose only goal is to improve the ranking of the website, so they appear on the first page of search results. These methods, more often than not, violate the terms and conditions of the search engine algorithms.

Though you might drive a large amount of traffic to your website in a very small timeframe using these techniques, your website will always be subject to scrutiny by the well-developed web crawlers and might face the danger of being blacklisted by the search engine. Once a search engine algorithm blacklists a website due to its use of spurious methods of enhancing its visibility, it becomes very difficult for that website or other similar websites to be indexed by the crawler again. When online advertisers have a large budget, they tend to pay very large amounts for every keyword that they bid on while setting up their advertising campaigns. Not only is this deemed illegal by search engines, but more importantly these websites are not competing against other similar websites in a fair and legitimate manner.

To avoid all these problems and ensure a hassle and trouble-free survival in the online marketplace, a better bet would be to employ organic search engine optimization to improve the ranking and performance of your website on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Organic SEO is a white hat SEO technique that has become very popular due to its low cost of investment, incredible effectiveness and most importantly, it uses a number of methods and technique to improve the ranking of a website in compliance with the rules and regulations of the search engine algorithm. The most important method employed in Organic SEO is creating a website that has a good amount of highly relevant information along with well-define keyword and description metatags and putting keywords in the ‘alt’ attribute of image tags.

How Targeted Email Marketing can help your business?

Today, direct marketing is the one of the best ways increase the visibility of any online business. Though short messaging and multimedia messaging services (SMS and MMS) help connect to a global audience, the amount of content that can be packed into a single text message or a multimedia message is highly restricted. Though there are many Internet-savvy users who check their email regularly, not many people use their mobile as much as they use their PCs and laptops to ensure web connectivity.

Email or electronic mail is the most effective way of promoting an online business. It doesn’t require any investment apart from setting up the system to send the promotional and marketing messages to a target set of people. Its reach is limitless and this form of marketing gives the owners of the business and budding online marketers and entrepreneurs an excellent Return On Investment (ROI), when implemented in a strategic and intelligent manner.

Targeted email marketing is a great way of not only ensuring the loyalty of existing clients but also attracting new and potential clients in order to enhance the reach of the business. Email marketing can also be combined with a well-connected system of referrals. So, if a client likes a particular product or service that your website is offering, they can choose to ‘spread the word’ by pitching the same product or service to a colleague or a friend by either forwarding the email to them or by playing the role of a ‘referral’ and referring them to become a part of the existing network. Affiliate and referral networks directly or indirectly use email marketing to drive sales. The only difference between the two is that the former network uses specific affiliate links and websites to record traffic to the website.

Another way of promoting your products and services is to buy a small amount of online real estate from other well-known companies. This essentially means that you also have an option of promoting your business through the emails sent to a large number of customers by other popular companies, in the form of advertisements.

How can you increase the traffic to your website using Website SEO?

Website Search Engine Optimization is the collective term that involves the various attempts made to improve the ranking of a website on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). While search engines like Yahoo! recognize sites that contain key search terms and keyword phrases, keywords metatags and description metatags, Google assigns each and every website a definite PageRank that decides the position of the website in response to user-generated search queries. Google stresses more on link prominence and link density. The more recent search engine from Microsoft called Bing works on completely different signals. It likes sites that has capitalized search terms and queries in the URLs. It also relies on very strong URL matching signals. It is the only search engine that is solely based on website branding which means it prefers web pages from relatively larger and popular websites. So, in order to ensure a good website ranking on all these major search engines, a few important tips are:
Your website must have well-written, unique and clear text that draws the attention of online visitors within a time span of a few seconds.

The images , videos, advertisements, etc that are primarily used to promote the website must be integrated seamlessly in the website, so they flow with the existing theme of the online business and are representative of the offered products and services.

The layout and design of the website should be appealing enough to draw the attention of the users. The website should look professional, but at the same website navigation must appear to be easy, even to a layman. They must find exactly what they’re looking for.

The content must be divided into suitable categories to create highly relevant and suitable titles and sub-titles which is exactly what the web crawler is looking for.

At the end of the day, it’s not just keyword research and analysis or backlinking that helps improve the ranking of a website. A website can also move up the search engine rankings if it has a well-established and large client base. So, even the popularity of the website can greatly improve its visibility.

Does Directory Submission enhance the ranking of a website?

One of the most effective ways to improve the ranking of a website is to submit it to a relevant directory. While most people prefer automating the process of directory submission, the truth is that directory submission gives accurate results only when it is done manually. There are many web directories available online. But, for Search Engine Optimization to be successful, the choice of the web directory becomes extremely important.

Your website may have excellent content, an intelligent layout and a smart design. But, what is the point of all this if it is remains inaccessible to a large number of potential clients. Submitting your website to the correct online directory will give it the required exposure that will in turn give your online business the well-deserved impetus to maximize your profits. Promoting your website becomes much easier if it has a large number of well-researched and high-quality backlinks. By linking other professional websites to your website, you can catch the attention of the web crawlers and search bots to improve your ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

The two kinds of online web directories are general and niche directories. As the terms suggest, general directories list sites in broad categories while niche directories include categories and subcategories that are fewer in number and higher in topic relevance. Users are more likely to visit only those websites that are listed in either of these directories. This is because these sites are highly search engine friendly and have a good ranking. Web directories are also excellent sources of one-way links or reciprocal backlinking. In this way, once a website is submitted to them, they also help drive traffic to the target website as it is now associated only with other popular and well-known sites that have been added after the process of manual review.

Tips to get your website a First page placement on search engines

The online marketplace is a hub of constant activity and intense competition. Each and every website has to compete against millions of other sites that offer similar products and services. So, it becomes extremely important not only to get your business noticed by the online audience but more also ensure that your website gets traffic that is legitimate and not spam.

Search engines have inbuilt algorithms that constantly scan the web for relevant and good pages to index them in order to include them in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). A good understanding of the principle based on which these crawlers or bots work will help you increase the visibility of your website and in turn enhance your Return On Investment (ROI). A visitor will choose to become a returning visitor and eventually a potential client only if they like the site. In Search Engine Optimization, this defines the process of ‘Conversion.’

A few important things to keep in mind to get your website a first page placement include:

A good landing page: The home page of the website is the first page a visitor sees. Importance must be given to both, the written text as well as the images that together constitute the overall content of the landing page. The text content of the website must be well-written and the chosen images, embedded videos, etc should give the page a very professional look and feel.

User navigation: The primary and secondary user navigation should be easy. This can be accomplished by integrating the website with dropdown menus, radio buttons, navigation and search bars, sitemaps, well-defined tabs and easy-to-read content categories.

Backlinks: Incorporating high-quality and relevant Incoming links from external websites that have a good PageRank into your website increase the popularity and ranking of your website.