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Posts tagged: Targeted Email Marketing

The Voice of Reason: A Web Presenter

A web presenter is a little man or woman that pops up onto your screen and talks to you while you surf a website. Like a popup window, the web presenter comes with a small ‘x’ somewhere on the screen (usually next to or just above them) that you can click that makes them shut up and go away. Unlike a popup window, the web presenter exists as part of the same page you were already on, and it moves with you as you scroll up and down the page.

A web presenter offers small businesses or web-based businesses the opportunity to have something that they might otherwise lack: a face and a personality. For web surfers that are accustomed to dealing almost entirely in text and maybe the occasional flash video, a web presenter can be a very arresting and captivating element on an otherwise humdrum website.

That said, it’s easily possible to misuse a web presenter. Generally, you want to craft your presenter’s script so that they act as a tool that increases conversions, much like a targeted email marketing campaign or a carefully-crafted sales letter. But because the web presenter uses voice rather than text, it has a very different threshold for driving traffic away.

More specifically, it’s OK to write in all red capitals letters with arrows pointing at them if you need to make a major point in text. But if your web presenter tries to perform the vocal equivalent, they’ll get shut off before they finish their second word. Web presenters should present themselves as informational, friendly, and laid-back.

Think of it this way: remember the last time you walked into a brick-and-mortar store and you were genuinely impressed by the guy or gal behind the counter. You want that kind of attitude — helpful, engaging, friendly, and ready to leave you alone if you want. Those web presenters get listened to, and they make sales — which is ultimately the point.

So if your conversions are lagging, hire a company to put together a professional web presenter for your site. When your surfers find that there’s more information waiting in a friendly and interesting format, they’ll stick around — and that’s often the key to converting them in the end.

Lose The Bounce with a Web Presenter

One of the worst feelings that can creep over a webmaster is logging on to their analytics page and seeing 1000 visits in 24 hours — with 984 bounces. A bounce, in this context, means a visitor who came to your webpage, stayed for less than ten seconds, and vanished without following a link away (usually by closing the window that was open to the page.)

Bounces are bad, because they tell you that something about your site is fundamentally flawed. It might be that you accidentally linked a forum post about the latest MLS game to your site about fly fishing, but more likely there’s something about your site that people are instinctively distrusting.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do about it, one of which is to have a web presenter made for your site. A web presenter is nothing more than a pop-up video of a live person that talks your visitor about your business and your site. In some cases, they can be extraordinarily distracting (this is particularly true on modern adult sites) or annoying (if the ‘close’ button is particularly hard to find.) But that doesn’t need to be the truth.

Assuming you can avoid an irritating web presenter, you’ll find that having one reduces your bounce rate significantly. After all, a surfer who came to your site of his or her own volition had a reason to be there — they just decided against it. If you can capture their attention with a web presenter, you can get them past that initial reaction and get them interested again.

It works because of two factors. First, a web presenter has a voice, and it’s a lot harder to walk away from someone you believe is talking to you than it is to click away from a website. Second, the presenter will load and start talking while the surfer is still deciding whether to bounce or not, so having the presenter start with an intriguing or controversial statement can quelch the bounce reflex in it’s tracks.

All that you have to do is make sure that once they’ve decided to stay, they’ll go on to make you some money. We suggest targeted Email marketing.

Article Writing and Distribution is the Foundation of Long Term Success

When you get going with a Web-based business, there are two separate tacks that people take in order to establish their success. The first is to spend money on advertising, get people to come visit their sites, and hope that they make more than they spent on advertising. The second is to work, spend a lot of time building backlinks and raising their rankings through organic SEO, and hope that they rank high enough to start bringing in enough money to pay the bills.

Then, there’s article writing and distribution. It’s both at once, and it works wonders.

In general, you can pay someone to write the articles, to distribute the articles, or both — though frequently it won’t be the same person doing both parts. That’s because the kind of people who find it easy to string words together with flowing eloquence tend not to enjoy sitting there and mindlessly clicking “submit” over and over on dozens of different article directories, and vice versa.

Once you find the people who can tag-team the job appropriately, however, you’re golden. Here’s why: when you have a well-written article and you submit it correctly to an authoritative article directory, you get the total package. Your article will likely rank quickly for it’s chosen keyword (assuming you did your keyword research correctly, of course). Once it’s ranked, you’ll start getting organic traffic through it as people click from it to your homepage.

That’s targeted traffic, and it’s worth quite a bit. Moreover, every article provides you with a context-controlled backlink with the anchor text of your choice, generally from a quite reputable source. (If you’re submitting to Jackopff’s Article Bucket, you might want to reconsider and see what it takes to get onto EZineArticles.com or another major article directory.)

Repeat the process, coming up with quality topics, solid keywords, and reputable directories every time, and you’ll soon find yourself with a quite functional web-based business. It’s a lot of effort, and it takes both creativity and technical knowledge, but once you know the game, it’s very very worth your while.

The Power of Conversion: A Lesson in Targeted Email Marketing

Let’s do a little bit of basic math. Let’s say you’ve got a website, and for every 200 visitors that come to your site, you make a sale. (People spend a little time on your site, so you know they’re not just bouncing as soon as they land — there’s clearly something attractive about your copy that has them engaging, they just won’t buy.) You’ve got yourself a conversion rate of a meager 0.5%.

Let’s say you’re selling an ebook that doesn’t cost anything to produce, but you have to make at least $1200/month to pay your bills and whatnot. Every sale makes you $30. At this point, in order to make ends meet, you need 40 sales — or 8,000 visitors each month. Sound likely? Not unless you’ve got a lot of money and one hell of a PPC management team.

Solutions to the dilemma are obvious: get more visitors, or improve your conversion rate. Getting more visitors is going to get exponentially harder — but there’s an easy tool you can use to improve conversions; it’s called targeted Email marketing.

With targeted Email marketing, you collect Email addresses from the people who visit your site, and you send them Emails regarding the topic they visited about. For example, if your site sells a product designed to help them pick up men at a bar, you might send them Emails about common problems with bar patrons or how to drink without getting wasted.

At some point, you slip in a sales pitch for your product — and because they’ve had the chance to get to know you through your Emails, they’re a lot more likely to buy from you. The longer you wait to pitch them — and the higher-quality the material you send in the interim — the better it works.

The result, if done correctly, is a massive spike in conversions. Because after all, if you can convert a whopping 3% of your visitors through targeted Email marketing, you don’t need 8,000 visitors each month anymore — you only need 1,334. That’s an incredible decrease in the effort you need to put into marketing, all for just a little extra put into conversions.

Directory Submission: The Front Line of Backlink Building

When it comes time to get someone to do some basic website SEO work for you, there are a lot of different techniques that they could engage in order to get your website indexed and ranked quickly:

  • Article writing and distribution
  • Blog commenting
  • Directory submission
  • Forum posting
  • Video marketing
  • Social bookmarking
  • Custom blog creation
  • Web 2.0 properties
  • And those are just the most common…there are dozens more!

It’s important that SEO companies use a variety of these different kinds of methods. One thing that search engines hate is a monotonous link profile. In other words, if 80% of your links come from forum posts, the search engine isn’t going to give those links a lot of authority, because they’ll assume the same person is making all of those forum posts.

That said, there’s a pretty good logic behind doing at least one of those activities often and first: the directory submissions. The reasons are simple.

You Get Indexed
If you’re a brand-new site, you need Google to recognize your existence as a valid site before it will send you any traffic about any subject. Getting indexed can take weeks if you’re not smart about it — but when you submit your URL to a few dozen high-authority website directories, you virtually guarantee that you’ll be indexed within 24 hours.

You Get Authority
Website directories — at least, when they’re chosen well by your SEO people — have quite a bit of standing with the search engines. They tend to be old sites (that’s good), with pretty narrow categories, meaning your site is on a page with a bunch of closely related sites (that’s good), and the links are one-way rather than reciprocal (that’s good). All that goodness adds up to plenty of benefit for your website.

You Get Control
When you submit a link to most web directories, you get to control a few very important things. The first is the description of your site in the directory itself. That gives you control over the context your site is listed in. The second is the anchor text of your link — that lets you focus your site’s ranking impact on a particular search term.

With all of these benefits, a startup’s strategy should be obvious: start with the directory submission, move on to everything else. You’ll be glad you did.

Local Internet Marketing Is Good Small Business SEO

In the vast world of small business SEO, there are some practices that are obvious, and some that are overlooked by many small businesses. For example, it’s commonplace for small businesses to have a website and for that website to feature a blog. That’s just good SEO. But one thing that many businesses seem to completely overlook is the power of local internet marketing.

Local internet marketing is essentially the art of convincing Google and the other search engines that your business exists at a specific location. The result is that when people in your area search for a keyword related to your business, they see your website in the rankings. The second result is that when people someone else search for a keyword related to your business alongside a keyword related to your locale, they’ll get results that include your website.

The reason why local internet marketing is good small business SEO is simple: it’s easier to be a small fish if you’re in a small pond. A florist in remote Forks, Washington can reach the top of the local rankings with about twenty minutes of concentrated effort — compare that to the 55 million results for “floral delivery” without the location in mind. Even if you live in a big city like Los Angeles, local internet marketing can cut your competition by as much as 90% compared to the generic form of your chosen keyword.

Local internet marketing also has a bigger benefit to your business than generic internet marketing does. That’s because local internet marketing sends people through your front door. Broad-keyword internet marketing sends people to your website. The conversion rate from visitor-to-buyer on a website is excellent at about 5%. The conversion rate for visitor-to-buyer in a brick and mortar store is appalling at 5%; it’s average around 40%. So local internet marketing is easier to rank with and converts better.

If you own a small business, you have every reason in the world to look into local internet marketing — but just in case you need one more, here goes: most SEO companies charge less for local internet marketing than they do for broad-spectrum SEO work. Check it out for yourself, and jump on the bandwagon before someone else in your town takes the number one spot all for themselves!

The Latest Changes to the Rules of Organic SEO

Organic SEO is changing even as we sit back and try to keep up. Google released a new algorithm called Panda in March, and has updated it several times since then — and Panda has changed everything. Until Panda, it was enough to follow a complex but definable set of rules regarding everything from keyword placement and density to creating a natural link profile.

Today, however, there is an art to SEO that simply didn’t exist before. That’s because Panda suddenly put rules in place that takes the “user experience” into account. For example,

EzineArticles.com used to look like this:

And now, it looks like this:

See the difference? The largest and most profitable article directory on the Internet did away with two navbars, and 3 different blocks of AdWords because Panda slapped them downward in the rankings until they complied. Their profitability is down because the AdWords are gone, but the other choice was to have it tanked completely because their pages simply wouldn’t show up on any search engine results pages.

Why did this happen? Simple: because according to Panda, your user experience sucks if you have a bunch of crap interrupting or distracting from your main content. There exceptions; Panda loves social bookmarking buttons and other ‘share-me’ stuff and won’t penalize you if you’ve got it alongside your content, for example. But by and large, modern SEO means creating clean, easy-to-use pages just as much as it means creating keyword-dense, heavily-backlinked pages.

But wait — there’s more. Panda doesn’t just check your content pages for user experience. It checks every single page on your site and gives your entire site a weighted ‘usability score’ — which means that your entire site can get penalized if just one or two heavily-visited pages have a poor user experience.

What that means for SEO in the modern world is profound, because Google is now forcing us to juggle between satisfying the demands of Panda and being able to effectively monetize our sites — how easy that ends up being has yet to be seen.

Why Blog Posting is the SEO of the Future

Blog posting is the SEO of the future, and there are a lot of good reasons why. By blog posting, by the way, I’m not talking about going to other people’s blogs and leaving comments on them in order to get backlinks. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in this case I’m talking about going through with a custom blog creation process and then making blog posts to your newly created blog on a regular basis.

The reason why is that blog posts can be carefully optimized for a specific keyword (like, say, ‘blog posting’), and get quite a bit of love for that particular keywords. Once the love is obtained, they can then easily focus said love onto your target site through the use of clever anchor text. With every blog post, a new keyword develops an interest in your site. That’s great value. All you need to do is learn how to properly optimize for a given keyword.

The Basics of Optimizing Your Blog Posting Efforts for Specific Keywords
Everyone knows the basics: Put the keyword in your Meta Title tag. Put it in your headline. Put it in your first sentence. Put it into some subtitles. Put it in between 1% and 2% of all words from there on. That’s all easy — but there’s more.

You should also try to fit your keyword into the post’s permalink. Oftentimes, this is automatic because WordPress and other blogging engines generally create the permalink based on the post’s title. But sometimes the permalink gets created before you insert the title or something else goes wrong, so you need to go back and change the permalink manually to make sure the keyword appears.

Ideally, you’ll also have a tag and a category that both match your keyword at least in part. That won’t always be possible, of course, or you’d be creating a new tag and a new category for every single post you make — but you should make it possible for your highest-impact and highest-competition keywords.

Do that, and every blog post you make will focus an entirely new and different and powerful keyword onto your site — and that’s the kind of power that w

The Smart Money is on PPC Management

There are a lot of routes to Internet business success – many of which are slow, require monstrous luck, or will slowly eat away all of your time until your family and friends have abandoned you to be stuck in the Web forever. There are a few routes that don’t have any of those problems, but they tend to cost quite a bit of money. Organic SEO performed by a pile of qualified experts will drain your wallet long before the backlinks kick in enough to start bringing money back in.

The other path to solid traffic is advertising, and right now there’s no better advertising — when it works — than pay-per-click advertising. The facts behind the system are pretty simple: you pick a keyword, you tell the system what your maximum bid for that keyword is and how much you want to spend each day. Then, when someone searches for that keyword, they see your link in the “sponsored links” box. If they click on your link, you pay an amount up to your bid (usually a few cents less).

From a business perspective, all you need to do is make sure that the cost of your total bids is less than the amount of money you make on an average day from all of the traffic your PPC advertising brings in. Sounds simple enough, but it’s not. There are dozens of pitfalls you can fall into, ranging from problems with the keywords you chose to the advertisements you put up to the ability of your sales page to actually convert the traffic into buying customers.

That’s why the smart money isn’t just on PPC advertising, but on PPC management. PPC management means outsourcing your PPC campaigns to a group of experts that know the PPC industry inside and out — people who can avoid the aforementioned pitfalls and make sure your income exceeds your outgo.

With a PPC management team on your end, you will end up spending more money than you did when you tried to run PPC advertisements on your own — that’s undeniable. But you will also make more money than you did running them on your own, to the point that your bottom line will love you for making the move to a PPC manager.

First Page Placement is Within Your Grasp

When you just start to get a website off the ground, the notion of getting your site first page placement for even a few keywords can sound like pie in the sky. Truth be told, however, it’s both easier — and harder — than you might think. That’s because there are multiple ways to get that first page placement, but none of them are entirely without complexity.

Organic SEO
The first route is your standard organic SEO magic: you build a vast array of backlinks. You make sure you present a natural backlink profile from a wide variety of websites, including directories, articles, blog comments, social bookmarks, web 2.0 properties, and more. The process takes an immense investment in time, not just in terms of man-hours, but in terms of allowing months to pass in order to convince the search engines that your site isn’t just a fad.

Organic SEO is complicated because there are a lot of ways to screw it up. You have to know the basic process of building backlinks, but that’s just the beginning. An artificial link profile (i.e. all of your links traceable to the same IP address; all of your links appearing around the same time of day/days of week; etc.) is a surefire way to get all of your work undone in a hurry, and it’s hardly the only one. With Google’s new Panda update, you have to worry about details like how your page looks to incoming visitors as well.

Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay per click marketing — also known euphemistically as ‘sponsored placement’ — are the ads you see at the top of each SERPs page that aren’t the natural results. Every search engine has them, and anyone willing to bid on the keywords can get their site listed in them. Of course, it’s not an easy process to wrap your mind around, much less explain in a few words.

The key to doing PPC correctly is to not do it at all. If you’re going to rely on PPC marketing to get your traffic flowing to your site, just bite the bullet and hire a qualified PPC management firm. These people know the pay-per-click game inside and out, and the fees they charge are nothing compared to the money you’ll lose if you try to get into the PPC game unaided.

In short, first page placement is right there for you to have — but be prepared to work with the experts to get there, plain and simple.