Monthly Archives: November 2008

Getting Free Traffic

Who doesn’t like free stuff right? People are so hooked on to the word “free” that most spam filters usually can’t stand that word. When it comes to free advertisement, I don’t think anything can beat the internet. There are so many ways of free advertising on the internet that people are awed by it. So here I am discussing different and free ways to advertise online and of course get free traffic from there.

  1. Submission to Search Engines:
    Free easy steps and Google, Yahoo or MSN Live will add you to their list of millions of web pages. However they get so many website requests that they might take way too much time in indexing your site. It is hence advisable not to completely rely on this method and utilize this time by trying other marketing methods to get more traffic and visibility online.
  2. Directories:
    There are so many directories online where you can submit your website for free. You can search for your niche directory or submit under your related category. One of the most famous directories is dmoz, an open directory. Google gives much preference to the sites that get listed here. There are other search engines which allow reciprocal link (link exchanges). Directories not only help you get targeted traffic but also quality backlinks which play a vital role in SERP.
  3. Press Releases/News Releases:
    If you have any announcement, news, or events happening, then press release or news release would be the best way to spread it around. You can publish press releases and submit it to various free press release sites. Similarly, you can post news releases on free news release sites.
  4. Classifieds:
    Craigslist is one of the most popular free classifieds available online. Posting ads on classifieds help you get targeted traffic. There are many free classifieds online.
  5. Forums:
    You can participate in forums and discuss on various interesting topics. This is one of the great way to get one way traffic. You can leave your newsletter link, web page link or blog link in there.
  6. Testimonials/Comments:
    If you have read a writer’s ebook, then make sure to leave your point of view there. You can leave your testimonial on that particular ebook which is of course a free and easy method to get one way traffic and quality backlink. Posting comments on various blogs is also a good way to bring traffic to your site.
  7. Article Submission:
    Do you write articles related to your website? Well then you can utilize this by posting your articles on various article submission sites. People are always eager to learn new things and if you can write unique and new stuff, then surely people would love to read it. Article submission sites like ezinearticle is one of the easiest, free and quick way of getting traffic.

A proper SEO (search engine optimization) of your website and the above mentioned advertising methods will give you a good traffic. You need to keep posting and trying new things to get traffic on your site. Try as many advertising methods as possible. The more backlinks you get, search engines will give more preference to your site and will also get good exposure.

November 20, 2008 ISSUE #36

BLOG for SEO

The importance of BLOG from SEO point of view:

SEO and BlogRecently I was going through Yahoo answers when my eyes stopped at this question: Does having a Blog help boost my website’s page rank? What is the importance of Blog from the SEO point of view?

I think a lot of people are wondering about the same question. The answer to this is Yes, Blog does help your website get good recognition and it does have a significant importance according to Search Engines, however few conditions apply. The first condition is whether or not you have enough time to devote to the blog. Just having few posts on the blog and forgetting about it will have no impact either on your website or on the blog. There’s no point in having a blog if you can’t come up with fresh materials and no time to look after it. Your blog needs more attention than your webpage. The reason behind this is, your readers expect regular posts and if you can’t come up with new stuff, you not only lose your readers (could be your potential customers) but also page rank. I’d like to give you an example. When I first started working at this company, my boss asked me to handle two blogs: I devoted my time and energy to both and in no time both of them got page rank 3 and with proper advertisements I was getting quite good traffic and search results. But during the course of time one of the blogs had to be stopped for various reasons. So after just a month the one I regularly worked on still had good results while the one we stopped lost its page rank and traffic. 1 month can be a short period but without proper updates all the effort could go to waste. So before you follow other sheep, be sure that the herd is not leading you to a dessert.

Coming back to the question how blog helps you get good page rank is that search engines have utmost respect for webpages who frequently update their content. The updates on the webpage signify that the owner constantly pays attention to it. However it is quite unpractical to keep updating your website, hence they came up with something called blog. Blog is the place where you share your ideas, and people are thrilled to read and learn from it. It started as a personal diary but later people started to view it from the marketing perspective. Hence people started to share ideas and they got more traffic as it was a form of free information. The other benefit of having a blog is that once you get good traffic you can advertise about your web page. Posts about offers and discounts could lead the readers to your web page. Having a good content in blog specially keyword rich content help get good rank in search engines. If you can provide valuable content then other people would like to link to you hence helping in link popularity. Once you have good keywords in your blog, good backlinks and good traffic the search engines will surely rank it well.

The best part about blog is they are really easy to set up as they need no coding skills such as HTML or web coding. Few of the popular blog hosts are TypePad, Blogger and WordPress. There are two options to publish your blog to your existing web hosting:

1. Publish to your domain. For Example: www.webaddress.com/blog or blog.webaddress.com.
2. Publish to the blog hosts domain. For Example: www.blogspot.com/yourblog.

The first option is the better one as it helps boost your webpage’s rank along with the blog. Blogging takes a lot of time and creativity. If you can afford to give it extra time then blog is one of the best ways to boost your page rankings and if you cannot then it’ll be having an extra door that you never use. So make use of it, be creative and gain popularity through BLOG.

Why Outsourcing is a better solution?

Outsourcing is defined as sending out (work, for example) to an outside provider or manufacturer in order to cut costs. One of the main reasons for the popularity of outsourcing is to lower cost or to cut cost. Money as we know is a huge factor in business. When one can get the same product or service with the same quality or better with less price, who’d want to miss that. The second reason will be increase in the flexibility. This is more important in the changing business world. Outsourcing increases the ability to concentrate on other functions hence giving you better results.

Cost is the main reason for offshore outsourcing but there are other factors that one should consider before thinking of outsourcing. It is not an easy job to choose an outsourcing partner. There is a difficulty to tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones. If ignorant, there is a greater chance of being mislead. The best way to solve the problem is asking around, getting recommendations or finding out the history of that outsourcer. I read somewhere that outsourcing is pretty much the same as we going for a medical check up. If we are totally ignorant about the whole process there’s a greater chance of being mislead by the hospitals or the doctors itself. In this case either we have to blindly trust them or simply check their record or ask someone who’s had experience with them.

I just mentioned how an outsourcer should be chosen. Once you’ve done that, half your work load should be considered to be off your shoulder. This will let you concentrate on other sectors of your business, giving more benefits and let me remind you again, at much lower cost. The outsourcing is such an in thing now. There are free lancers who work from home, and have employees working for them from all over the world. Isn’t this incredible? The outsourcing is like getting a helping hand. Your work gets done quicker, better and easier. It is so famous these days that from the jobs like health care to website design are outsourced. This not only helps the businessmen but also helps in boosting the economy of the countries involved. The employment rates of the developing countries have increased tremendously because of this new business technique.

AvenuesNepal.com as an Outsourcing Company:
Avenues Nepal is an offshore web development company which have been delivering the best to its clients. Avenues Nepal has been able to maintain the international standards and fulfill the requirements of its outsourcers. Established in 2004, Avenues Nepal has complete more than 1000 websites, with the creativity and effort from their experienced designers and programmers. Understanding the competition in today’s market, AvenuesNepal.com as an outsourcing web company promises to deliver the best at comparatively lower price.

Search Engine Optimization – Listing the keywords!

SEO_keywordsKeywords are the vital part of Search Engine Optimization. The relevant keywords and proper placement of them decides the visibility of your website on search engines. Relevant keywords help you get better traffic and reach potential buyers. Hence it is very important to expand your keyword list, to expand quality traffic on your site.

There are various free tools online to start with your keyword research. Google’s Keyword Tool is one of the famous tools available online. The other free tools include: Related Pages, SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool, Good Keywords and Digital Point Keyword Research Tool. There are other fee based keyword research tools availble. Among them WordTracker is a popular one. They also provide 7 days trial version. Your keyword research should include:

  1. Long tail keywords:
    Long tail keywords are the words you use with your primary keyword which gives you the depth of the keyword. For Example: Sweaters could be your main keyword and you can bucket this term depending on its other features like Short-sleeved sweaters, hand knit sweaters, cashmere sweaters, sleeveless sweaters, round neck sweaters etc.
  2. Synonyms and Acronyms:
    You can categorize your keywords with their synonyms and acronyms. A synonym is a word having same or similar meaning. For Example: Along with sweaters you can use other terms like cardigan, turtle neck, pullovers, jumper or jersey. An acronym is a word formed from initial letters of a name. For example: SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
  3. Word Stemming and Variations:
    When we Google a term, it returns not only the sites containing those terms but also its derivations. For example the search for swim shows results for swimming, swimming pool etc. Hence it is important to include word variation in your keyword list.
  4. Competitor Terms:
    World Wide Web could get pretty competitive, specially when you are aiming for a certain keyword which is the bulls eye for other one million websites. It is very important you know who your competitors are. If you are wondering how to find your competitors, well here’s what you can do: simply type your primary keyword on the search box and the results on the first page are your competitors (if you are aiming for the first page rank on search engines). You can use tools like IBP which provides you the list of competitors and their keywords. You can also check their title tag and meta keyword tag to check on their list of keywords along with how they have used it in their content.
  5. Misspellings:
    Humans make mistakes, which is an universal truth and they make mistakes while typing in the search box. Though misspellings are not very important but misspelled words could give you the chance to be on top pages. You’ll be amazed by the results misspelled words give. If you think they are worth it, well you can add it on your keyword list.
  6. Benefits and Features:
    The benefits and features of your product could be a very important reason and path for your prospects to reach to you. People are interested in what they get from using a particular product. Sometimes they might not know the name of the product but the usage of it. For example: They might search : cure for headache instead of the medicine name, so it is important you list the benefits and features of your product or services in your keyword list.

After your keyword research you can start keyword bucketing. Keyword bucketing simply means to categorize the list of keywords based on the search results. The higher searched terms can go together, the less competitive ones could be teamed together and so on (Categorizing your keywords totally depends upon your preference). This will help you know the popularity of the keywords. If you are new to the World Wide Web, it is advisable not to aim for the most competitive keywords. As a start you can use less competitive keywords.

NOVEMBER 06, 2008 ISSUE #34

Email Marketing III : Email Format

Email Marketing - Email FormatIntroduction:
In the past two posts I’ve talked about email marketing and various factors to be considered in order to have successful electronic mail marketing. Besides knowing the smart ways of promotion with the help of people’s inboxes it is equally important we know the standard format of email marketing. Some prefer to use plain text in their emails, while others like their emails to be attractive with pictures, banners with the help of HTML. Plain text emails are easy and cheaper than HTML format emails. It depends on the sender which one they prefer most. If you want to go fancy with fonts, backgrounds and pictures then HTML format is just the thing for you, where as if plain text makes you feel comfortable then well why not stick to it. If you want to be creative with your email, it is advisable not to use too many colors or go crazy with the graphics. Make sure you have a proper, professional and appealing email. We still don’t want our emails to be thrown in the trash can cause the readers find it hard to read. Here are few ways to use HTML to make your email appealing.

  • Headline and Subheads:
    The headline and the subheads should stand out among the other content of the email. Using a different color and bigger font size than the other content will help grab the attention of the reader.
  • Pictures:
    You can add pictures of your product in your email. Placing image of the product in an interesting way helps the readers to have brief idea about how it looks and they might be interested in knowing more about it.
  • Graphics and Fancy Fonts:
    Using lots of graphics and colorful fonts might not work so well. It is better to stick with minimum graphics (few important ones) and certain font style. Fancy text and graphics that make the email unreadable are better avoided.

Email format:
An email can be divided into different fields. From the “From” field to the salutation, it is necessary to follow a proper format.

  1. FROM:
    The “From” field is where you write in the senders address or your email address. There are ways of filling this space: i) You can either just type in your email address. For example: FROM: web-updates@avenuesnepal.com or ii) Type the senders name or the company’s name. For example: FROM: Sanam Kr. Shrestha/ Avenues Nepal Pvt. Ltd. The second one is a better option because the reader will get to see who wrote to them. People usually prefer to open emails that have the name of the sender. Some bogus email address might not sound so interesting and hence they might delete it without reading it. If typing in your name is not possible then use the company’s name. If you have brand recognition, you can use it to your advantage. People will be interested in knowing what a popular company has to offer.
  2. SUBJECT:
    The “Subject” field is probably the most important of all. The recipients usually check on subject line before deciding on whether to open the mail or not. It is important to carefully pick the subject line considering the limited characters. You can have up to 60 characters in the subject line; hence you need to be really tricky with it. Besides the limited space you need to avoid words like FREE. For years people have used this word to grab attention that people don’t trust it anymore. In fact spam filters usually don’t allow emails to reach the inbox with subject line containing the word “Free”. You can however provide deadlines on subject line if you have limited time to your offer. For example: “Subject: Renewal Deadline: 31st November ‘08”. You can also highlight the benefit of your product on your subject considering you don’t make it sound like an advertisement. Lastly avoid false promises.
  3. TO:
    People usually don’t pay much attention to this field but it is always better to take precautions Here are the few points to remember while filling the “TO:” field:
    – Avoid using only the email address. If you know the recipient’s name or the company’s name use it before the email address.
    – Avoid using only the first name. Some people find it too personal and hence can offend them.
    – Avoid using the word “list”. This makes the email sound impersonal and unprofessional. Some even consider it to be spam.
  4. BODY:
    We’ll start with the salutation. In the body field, it is very important to include salutation. It is always better to greet the customer or prospect. Use “Dear” if you are emailing the person for the first time or you don’t have a close bond with the recipient yet. “Hi” and “Hello” could be used at the latter phase. The second part of the body is the headline. If you have mentioned the purpose of your email in the subject line, then it is fine to not mention the headline. But if you want to include headline in the body then make the headline sound interesting. You also need to avoid ALL CAPS in headline. This gives the impression you are shouting the message. Now the body text, use a good opening line. The first sentence of the email should be interesting so that the recipient will feel like reading further. Don’t make the body too long. Stick with 2-3 paragraphs with few lines. If you can include the purpose of the email in the first paragraph it is to the best. Here you can include your offer, the benefits and the instructions. You can highlight the offer and if needed you can elongate the email. You need to be true and tell the complete story. Make the email sound interesting and don’t forget to include links. Do check the links if they work before you send out the email.
  5. Signature:
    At the end do include your signature. If you cannot personalize the signature include company’s logo and name. You can include your company’s full address along with the web site link.

NOVEMBER 02, 2008 ISSUE #33