Author Archives: Sanam Shrestha

About Sanam Shrestha

Mr. Sanam Krishna Shrestha is the Founder, Managing Director of Avenues Nepal Pvt. Ltd. ( http://AvenuesNepal.com ). He started his career as a computer instructor in 1992. He taught computer packages in computer institutes and schools. He formed database applications development company “FoxValley CompuTech” in 1994 and worked as the proprietor, Systems Analyst and programmer till 1999. He joined an American owned company AsianArt.com / Websoft International Pvt. Ltd. in the capacity as Business Manager and SEO Expert and gathered 5 years of experience. Now, he looks after the marketing division, business operation, resources of AvenuesNepal.com.

Steps to successful search engine optimization | SEO

SEOSubmitting your website to search engines does not get your webpage better ranking. That is a misconception about SEO that has been going around for quite sometime. It does no harm by submitting your site to them but it does no good as well. Just submitting your site to the search engines doesn’t give you a good spot on their pages. In order to be eligible and indexed by search engine crawlers you need to optimize your site. Search engine optimization is an on-going process. You need to invest enough time to get the desired success. Compared to other forms online marketing, SEO offers higher return on investment (ROI). With the growing number of users relying on search engines to find their pages, it has become essential to optimize websites and make them search engine friendly. Here are few steps you need to follow for the search engine spiders to crawl and index your site.

Theme:
It is important to choose a theme for the pages of your website. Each page should be able to convey a message or fulfill a purpose.

Keywords Selection:
Choosing the right keywords is an important and crucial step of search engine optimization. You need to list the relevant and searched keywords and key phrases for each of the pages. Choosing the most competitive keywords can get really frustrating hence as a beginner you can focus on less competitive, yet searched words. You can make a list of relevant keywords and use tools like wordtracker and overture keyword analysis tool to know the search frequency.

Know your Competitors:
It is important to keep an eye on your competitors. You can study what keywords they are emphasizing on, know what websites are linking to them and where they rank. The less competition you have the better it is.

SEOOptimize your Page Content with Phrases:
When you select the relevant keywords for your web page, you can rank them according to their importance. You can revise the existing pages and optimize your page content starting with your top key phrases. Optimizing your site includes alteration of the meta tags i.e. title, description, keywords, headings, image alt, link and the content of the site. You can also have robot.txt file to help the spiders to crawl the pages you want them to.

Linking Strategies:
As mentioned earlier link building is one of the important part of SEO. There are two linking strategies:
Internal Linking: In your page content you can refer to other important pages of your website. You can make use of the keywords of the landing page for your hyperlink text. You can even use keywords in navigation structure.
External Linking: You can build external links by various means. You can start your own blog or write articles so that other websites interested will link to you. You can ask other webpages to place your link on their websites for placing their link on your site. This is known as reciprocal linking. You can advertise your sites on directories like dmoz, yahoo directories etc. Getting backlinks from these popular sites will help you get better ranking. There are various other ways to increase your inbound links.

Traffic and Revenue Tracking:
After your website is optimized you need to track the sales and the traffic it is receiving. You need to focus more on traffic and revenue than the page ranking. There are many software which gives you the report on your revenues by keywords, search engine, advertising campaigns etc.

Analysis:
You need to analyze your website and make necessary changes. Search engines keep changing their algorithm, hence it is important you be updated and try the new marketing strategies. You also need to keep track of your rankings and reoptimize the pages if you need to. You can then wait for the results.

Search engine optimization could be a tiring task but with time it sure helps you get better traffic.

JUNE 06, 2008 ISSUE #13

Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising is a type of marketing where an automated system generates advertisement on a website based on the content. The competitive business market demand advertisements to be more precise. The businesses want their advertisement to reach the right customers at the right time. Contextual advertisements are getting popular cause of their relevance to the content of the site. When relevant ads are displayed there are higher chances of visitors clicking on the advertisement. The more ads are clicked the more traffic is generated and higher chances of the product being sold to the right customers. For example if your website is about kids wear you would want your advertisement to be placed on similar themed sites. When your ads appear on such sites there are higher chances of your ads being viewed. Contextual advertising was introduced by Google in the form of Google Adsense advetising program. he contextual advertisement is where Google’s maximum revenue is generated. They place these ads on millions of websites worldwide.

Advantage of Contextual Advertising:
Earlier people had to bear horde of unrelated advertisements. They were annoying and instead of getting more traffic, it proved to be useless. Contextual advertising has solved this problem. There are various software that track the web surfing habits of a user. With the help of this information one can predict what that person is looking for and show related advertisements on the website currently being visited by her. The person then can purchase the product she is in search of without even leaving the site.

Companies benefit from contextual marketing since it helps them to address target audience specifically. It is more cost effective and time saving than other marketing strategies, and also helps the companies to retain their customers.

Is contextual advertising right for you?
Contextual marketing is gaining popularity due to its efficiency. Anyone could use this form of advertisment to promote their product. Contextual advertising is small text ads shown on webpages relevant to the website content. Since there are many programs to track consumer behavior, contextual advertising is not difficult to follow. If you are a publisher contextual advertising could be one of the sources of revenue. You can place related advertisements on your site and make enough money to cover your website expenses. If you are an advertiser you can place advertisements by pay per click scheme and drive more traffic to your site. Make sure your advertisements have minimum keywords that focuses on your product. You can get creative with your advertisements. You can produce more ads and check which ones work better. The ones with higher number of clicks are those that attract visitors. You can remove the ones that don’t work well and work towards getting better results.

JULY 10, 2008 ISSUE #18

Relationship Marketing

 In the competitive market customers usually have many options for the same product or service to choose from. In such case where the customer is entitled to make a selective decision, businesses try to maintain their clients by providing comparatively better products and service which is known as relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is the strategy of improving the relation with the existing or key customers than trying to find new customers (direct marketing). Relationship marketing uses various techniques like sales, marketing, customer care, communication etc to study the need of the customer and how it can change under various circumstances. It is all about maintaining and building trust with the customers. Once customers trust on your product or service, their chances on switching to other company is relatively less. According to a research the cost of retaining an old customer is much less than the cost of getting a new customer which is the key focus of relationship marketing.

Relationship marketing should be:

  • Personalized: The messages you send to your customers via direct mail, phone call or email should be meaningful and connect in order to maintain a good relationship.
  • Targeted and Relevant: You should market according to the target like whether they are prospects or clients.
  • Interactive: Interaction with your customers is important. You hear their feedback, analyze and work accordingly. If your customers or prospects respond to a request, you offer them discounts or other facilities to make them feel valued.

Relationship marketing is one of the best forms of marketing. It benefits you and your prospects. It saves on cost. The cost of maintaining an old customer is 10% of that of marketing for new customers. When you maintain a trust within your customers, there are chances of them recommending it to others also known as Viral Marketing. With relationship marketing there are higher conversion rates (the rate of changing a prospect into client).

There are various stages involved in the process of relationship marketing:

Interaction »» Communication »» Valuation »» Termination

Awareness »» Comparison »» Transaction »» Reinforcement »» Advocacy

You can use relationship marketing approach to customize programs for individual customers. For an example: You have a regular visitor/customer on your site, at some point she stops. There’s a point to ponder why this certain customer has stopped visiting your website, is it your content or has she found an alternative source or is she just not interested anymore. You should check on this or may be interact with the customer and get her feedback. If making some changes or improving some aspects of your site will bring this customer back then your goal’s been achieved, if not you continue working towards it. When this customer actually purchases something, then you can take this as a very significant change in behavior. You have achieved a better relationship now. When this happens you can thank the customer for the trust she has displayed and perhaps provide a second purchase discount or other benefits so that this customer sticks on. If you can track customer behavior or predict them you can start a better marketing campaign accordingly. The cost of this process is less compared to other marketing methods and the money you spend is more effective as well. You can divide the type of customers into different groups like prospects, customer, client, supporter, advocate and partner which is known as “The relationship ladder of customer loyalty”.

There are various software developed to facilitate customer relationship management (CRM). You can make use of CRM software to track their tastes, activities, preferences, complaints etc.

Relationship marketing is all about building and maintaining relationship with the committed customers and clients. Once you have turned a prospect into a customer, you should be able to make the relation better. The benefit of this is it is much cheaper than to seek new customers. You can build better relation with your customers by focusing on their needs with the help of relationship marketing.

MAY 22, 2008 ISSUE #11

Behavioral Marketing – Behavioral Targeting

In the competitive business world it is very important to understand customer behavior in order to predict their desire and requirements. Behavioral marketing is the term used to describe the marketing strategy adopted by advertisers to make their campaigns more effective. Behavioral marketing lets you get in front of your target audience when they are most likely to purchase your product or service. In behavioral marketing, the information is collected based on individual’s web browsing behavior such as the searches they have made or the pages they have visited. This information is then used to decide which advertisement to be displayed to this individual. The advantage of behavioral marketing is that it delivers the advertisement to the users who are most likely to be influenced by them. The targeted audience could be based on factors like geography, demographics, the surrounding content etc. Behavioral marketing are also used on ecommerce or retail sites as a method to offer the relevant products and promotions on a visitor by visitor basis. Behavioral marketing focuses on mainly four types of customers:

  • Economic Shoppers: These are the shoppers who are interested in product quality, prices, value and other economic factors.
  • Ethical Shoppers: These are the shoppers who avoid websites which are unethical.
  • Personalizing Shoppers: These shoppers like to interact with the customer service staff.
  • Apathetic Shoppers: These shoppers avoid shopping and only shop when they must.

There are mainly three kinds of Behavioral marketing:

Based on Webpage Visited:
In this type of behavioral marketing, the behavioral segments are developed by accumulating the information on the type of website the user frequently visits. For example: if a users frequently visits Guess.com or Chanel.com then the user is most likely to be a target for branded or fashion related sites when they are found on other general content type sites.

Based on Keyword Search Or Content Read:
In this type of behavioral marketing, the behavioral segments are developed by finding users who have made a search on specific keywords or read content with those keywords on it. These keywords will be the targeted keywords for your site as well. Based on that information you can run your advertisement campaigns to these users. For example: if a user reads an article about health issues, you can use behavioral marketing technique to target top ten keywords that occupy the concept of the page.

Based on Past Visitors:
In this type of behavioral marketing, the behavioral segments are developed by referring to users who have visited your website. You can keep the record of your visitors by placing simple codes on your website. You can place multiple codes on different pages and create segments for the individual pages like “home page viewers” etc. You can keep in track which page gets more visitors and which don’t, where you lose most of the visitors etc. Using this information you can improve your site quality.

There are mainly two benefits of behavioral marketing: You can enrich the relationship with your existing customers and you can acquire new customer relation too. Behavioral marketing is about providing your services or products to the users who have the desire for it, making it one of the best forms of marketing.

MAY 16, 2008 ISSUE #10

Facebook Marketing | Facebook Advertisements

Facebook started as a social networking site for college and university students in 2004. With more than 60 million active users, an average of 250,000 new registrations per day, an average of 3% weekly growth since Jan. 2007 and active users doubling every 6 months, Facebook is the 7th most visited site in the U.S.A. With growing number of  visitors and users, Facebook is not only favored by the students but by adults, professionals and people from around the world making it one of the best places for online marketing. The various features like applications, groups, events etc are the ways to spread the word out and bring the people in. The best way to learn more about Facebook is by having an account there and trying out various features. Here are the features that you can utilize to promote your products on Facebook.

Profile Page:
You can start off with a profile page on Facebook. Your profile page is the platform where you can express your passion about a brand, a company or a product you want to promote. You can make use of various applications, post photos, provide work info, personal info and provide appropriate description about your product. Facebook is a place where people stalk profiles of others to know more about the person. If you have your profile page made to impress others there are higher chances of getting more traffic from there.

Facebook Groups:
Facebook group is the feature where you can join groups or start your own group. It is one of the simplest ways of viral marketing. You can invite your friends to join your group. In this group page you can post information, photos, events, news, comments, videos, discussion board, a wall for remarks etc. As the members increase on your group you can notify them with the latest news, events etc. However, there are few drawbacks of using this feature. When your group is popular there are higher chances of spamming. It’ll be difficult to keep it clean and people might lose interest in your group.

Facebook Pages:
Facebook pages was introduced especially for the businesses to establish their brand presence. This feature is similar to Groups with few differences: Pages are more customizable than “Groups”, you can add Facebook applications, HTML or Flash making it more interesting than groups. Pages have no restriction on the number of fans unlike groups. Pages do not have the option to invite friends by fans. The only way one can inform other members is by “Share” the page with their friends. Pages are another best way of viral marketing.

Facebook Events:
Facebook events is an application where businesses or companies can promote their marketing events, campaigns, product launches etc. Facebook event has a similar page like that of a group where you can have discussion board, wall, photos links etc.

Facebook Messages:
Facebook messages is the place where you can send messages to people who aren’t in your profile. Facebook has this feature where you cannot view other people’s profile unless you are friends. You can however send messages to the people you are not familiar with. So you can use this feature to promote or inform about your business. You need to be careful about spamming. Spamming could lead to deleting your profile. It is better to read the terms and conditions.

Facebook Market Place:
Facebook Marketplace is an online classified service. Not many people are familiar with this feature. In Marketplace you can advertise about your product and services and people who are interested in it will contact you. When you receive a response to your advertisement, the particular person could view you profile even though he/she is not on your friends list. Spamming should be avoided here as well.

Facebook Networks:
Facebook network is a group which has been categorized according to geography, education, work or other network means. No member can have control over the network but like groups they can post comments, participate in discussion forums, walls, discover events, marketplace listings etc.

Social Ads:
Facebook offers advertisers to pay on CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Mile or Cost Per Thousand) depending upon the preference for social ads. Social ads have very powerful targeting capabilities. You can create your ad and limit it to certain group of people like certain age, sex, location, education, workplaces, keywords, political views, relationship status etc. You can get creative in placing these ads.

Invitations:
Sending out invitations to add application is one of the strongest viral marketing scheme used by Facebook. When you like certain application you can send invitations to your friends. If your friends find it useful they’ll add it too and it goes on spreading in the similar manner. This means the application should be appealing enough to recommend others and to let others recommend it further.

Sponsored Facebook Groups:
Sponsored pages are Facebook Groups where we can customize the HTML of certain regions of the page. The cost to rent this is very high. It may cost up to US $100,000 per month making it one of the places with small number of advertisements.