Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Blog Optimization

Blog Optimization

Blogs = Mushrooms! Yes blogs are popping out like mushrooms these days. Many companies own blogs but they have the least idea what to do about it. If you happen to be among those who already own a blog or at least planning to get one then well you need to make sure your blog stands out in the crowd, otherwise it’ll be just another blog in the World Wide Web. The best way to let your blog be SEEN is by optimizing it.

Difference between Blog and Website:
There is a difference between optimizing a blog and a website. Following the traditional method, optimizing a website is more about getting links by all means where as a blog focuses more on grabbing attention from people and giving them something to talk about. The enhanced features of blog are what make it better or informative than static sites. The enhanced features include:

  1. RSS feed makes it easier to notify and keep the readers updated about the latest posts.
  2. Readers can comment of posts. The comments on each posts acts as a unique content giving it better page rank.
  3. Social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and digg lets the readers bookmark and rate your article by voting whether they like it or not. The more like its you get the better traffic there will be.

Why Optimize?
Optimizing your website is so much work, you must be wondering why optimize your blog. Well here are the reasons why optimizing a blog could be a better idea:

  • By optimizing your blog you can increase the search engine rankings both regular as well as blog or RSS.
  • The other reason to optimize your blog is to get more traffic from social bookmarking sites and social search.

Optimizing your Blog:

  1. Domain name, blog hosting and URL structure:
    The first thing you need to check on is the domain name of your blog. There are many services like TypePad and Blogger available that provide hosting for your blog as their subdomain. This applies on websites as well. It is not a good idea to create your site or your blog under these free services. The disadvantages include: limited features and prohibition on placing ads. So it’ll be wise to start off with your own domain name provided by reliable hosting. It is also important that the URL structure of your blog doesn’t contain numbers and extraneous characters. Try to use sensible words that are short and easy to remember.
  2. Page Title and Heading:
    You can use different page title for different post. Try to use the searchable keywords on the page title and relevant to your post. The headline of the post could be different from that of the page title but make sure they make sense. It is better not to stuff your page title and heading with keywords. Sensible, relevant page title and heading will works best for everyone.
  3. Keyword Selection:
    You can make use of the free keyword research tools like wordtracker and google adwords keyword suggestion tool to find the popular key phrases. You can include these keywords on your post few times. Make sure the content is readable by humans and sounds natural. This theory applies on website optimization as well.
    Blogs being a bit different from websites, you need to know what is in vogue. You can always keep yourself updated with the help of Technorati, Google News which provides you list of sites that can give you tons of information on the related topic. You can also make use of stumbleupon and bookmark the ones that interest you the most.
  4. Categories:
    You can make use of the keywords while creating categories for your posts. Make sure the default category title is general and is relevant to all the post on your blog. If possible choose multiple categories for one post with regards to its relevancy.
  5. Comments and Trackbacks:
    It is important that you provide a comment form at the bottom of each posts. These comments as mentioned early can help in great deal to get more traffic.

Advertising your blog:
Social bookmarking sites are the best place to advertise about your blog. You can also submit your blog on various RSS and blog directories. While reading blogs of others, you can always leave your valuable comment along with your blog address giving other users to link to you. Blogging could be a lot of fun if done in a proper manner. Happy Blogging!!

AUGUST 14, 2008 ISSUE #23

 

Click Fraud: The Dark Side of Online Advertisement

Pay per click has been one of the greatest boons in the advertising industry. PPC has been a good source of income for many sites. But there is one threat namely click fraud that has been bothering the advertisers. Click fraud is a type of internet crime that is practiced on pay per click advertisements. A person, automated script or computer program emulate as a real user of web and click on these ads to generate income for the clicker.


Signs of Click Fraud:

You need to be cautious about whether your ad campaign in under an attack of click fraud. You need to be familiar with several aspects of the campaign and its performance. Here are some behaviors that indicate click fraud:

  • Unexplained inflow of traffic for specific terms.
  • Sudden change in the click count that has sustained a certain level.
  • A better indicator is being able to identify existence of wide variations in the return on advertising spend from one day, week or month.
  • Abnormal spike in activity.
  • Significant differences in similar terms like website design and website designs.

Click Fraud Awareness and Prevention Solutions:
The best way of preventing click fraud is by being aware of the server logs to identify the CTR and conversion rate. A good conversion tracker will help you be aware of the statistics of your ad campaign. There are other ways you can reduce the chances of click fraud.

  • Ban IP addresses:
    The first method of preventing click fraud is by banning certain IP addresses From viewing your website. This is not an appropriate method as you might be losing potential customers by doing so. Therefore you need to be careful before following this step.
  • Broader distribution of keywords:
    Advertising for highly searched terms might bring good traffic but you risk of greater exposure of click fraud. Since these terms come with higher price tag, there are greater chances of click fraud. To prevent this you need to advertise the terms that have low price range and are comparatively less competitive.
  • Affordable bidding:
    You need to bid for terms suiting your budget. You need to specify how much you are willing to pay per click or per sale and the maximum amount you are ready to pay for the advertisement per day, week or month.
  • Analytics expert:
    You can take help of analytics package such as ClicksTracks or Google Analytics to prevent click fraud.

Online advertisement is a competitive industry. Keeping this in mind it is important for the advertisers to be aware of click frauds and keep in track of their ad campaigns. If you think it takes too much of your time and energy then you can always take help of experts to ensure your investment is not pilfered.

JULY 3, 2008 ISSUE #17

Press Release Part II : Press Release Optimization

press release optimizationIt has become important to get search engine exposure for not only your websites but also your articles, blogs and press releases. Press release optimization is one of the latest developments in the field of search engine exposure. Search engines are giving preference to press releases these days. They are coming under various search terms on top search engines. Hence it is necessary to optimize your press releases in order to get organic traffic.

The first step of optimizing your press release is to find the important keywords relevant to your news. These keywords are the ones used by your prospects to get to you. This step is similar to the SEO keyword research step. You can always try different keywords related to your news. You need to place the most important keywords in the title as well as at the beginning of the content. You need to make this keyword rich title interesting as well. Your content should be something different and fascinating. It is all about grabbing the readers’ attention and luring them to your website. To lead the readers to your website you need to provide the link to your website. This is another great way of getting backlink and in turn improving your search engine ranking.

You need to publish your press release on your own website as well as submit it to various online media outlets. One of the best places to submit your press release is the major news search engines. They are used by various users and hence help you get better exposure.

Press release optimization needs the combination of marketing, writing skills and webpage optimization techniques. Though you need to put a bit more effort it offers you great opportunities. Optimized press release is a good path to increase quality traffic and improving your web presence.

While optimizing your press release you need to avoid keyword stuffing. With the increase of press release spam keyword stuffed press releases are often ignored. You need to make proper use of keywords to make it sound interesting and relevant. Most of the PR distributors manually check your press release before publishing it, you need to convince them that your news is worth being published. The trick here is to incorporate keywords into a press release and make it sound natural. If you have important news it’ll be better to take help from a professional.

There are many free press release distribution sites on the internet. You need to check the pros and cons submitting in these free services. Depending upon the nature of your news and also the popularity of the distributors you need to decide which one is a better choice.

Press release optimization should be done considering factors like your targeted audience, circles of influence and the importance of the news piece. You need to make sure that your news is easy to find and approved by the search engines.

JUNE 19, 2008 ISSUE #15

Effective Press Releases

Top 5 reasons to write a Press Release:

  1. Introduction of your businessPress Release
    If you have just started your business, launched a new product or added new features to the existing one, press release is the best way to let people know about it. You can inform the public about why your product or service stands out from the crowd.
  2. Link Building
    Press release is one of the best ways of getting backlinks. Google has also started showing press releases on their search results. While writing a press release you can use your important keywords as your anchor text. You can then link it to the pages on your website. When you distribute your press release, your link is pasted on various distributors’ site, giving you better inbound links.
  3. Organic Traffic
    Optimized press releases have higher chances of getting good ranks from search engines displaying your PR on their search results. This means you can get organic traffic onto your site.
  4. Promote
    You can write press releases to promote: person, business, product, service, event, idea, contest, fundraiser and many more.
  5. Educate or Entertain your targeted audience
    You can share your knowledge about your industry. You can discuss about growth of your company, current trends, updates and other subjects that interest the audience.

Press Release Basics:
Press release is a powerful form of advertisement. A good press release can help you convey the message to your targeted audience and lets you promote any development or enhancement in your business. While writing a press release you need to focus on special features of your product or service that sets you apart from the crowd. This should include those attributes that makes you better than your competition. You need to avoid jargon-filled sales pitch in your press release and try to keep the tone natural and conversational. You need to optimize your press release before submitting it. You can include the most important keywords on the title and first paragraph. You can also make use of these keywords for anchor text.

There are many press release distributors available online. You need to submit to the ones that are popular and read by more aundience. Press release distributors might charge you according to the number of words. They might charge you extra for images, videos, documents or podcasts. There are wire distribution services which will publish it for free but will check it manually before publishing it. Wire distribution services classify a press release into:

  1. National Release: National release targets all the national media outlets.
  2. Regional Release: The wire services might distribute your press release according to regions.
  3. State and Local: In countries like U.S.A the press release could be distributed according to the state.
  4. International Release: It can be distributed based on countries and/or continents.

You need to follow the proper format of press release before submitting it. You can then specify the category under which you want it to appear. The most important thing of all is you need to create effective and compelling press releases to draw attention of readers, bloggers and journalists.

How to write an effective Press Release:
There are few simple steps you need to follow in order to write an effective press release:

  1. Headline
    You need to create catchy headline to grab the attention of the readers. Use relevant and benefits oriented headline.
  2. Contact Information
    You need to provide all the contact details to let the audience reach to you easily. You can include your postal address, phone number, fax number, email address, your webpage address and even IM services. You can also mention the hours you’ll be available on phone or IM services.
  3. Summary
    Before writing the body content it is important to write the summary of the press release. You need to make this interesting to let the readers go through the whole content.
  4. Body/Content
    This is the most important part of your press release. You need to write all the details about the news. Your targeted audience is not only the potential customers but also the journalists, editors or reporters who’d want to publish it if it appeals them. You need to make your press release benefits-oriented.
  5. Signify the End
    Let the readers know that they have reached the end of the press release by using some symbols like *** or ### .

Other Tips:
• Keep your press release short up to 1 or 2 pages. Eliminate unnecessary information.
• Do not forget to number your pages if it is more than 1 paged press release.
• Address your press release directly to the editor or the reporter.
• Stick to the facts. Do not fabricate your story just because it sounds good. You need to provide relevant information.
• You need to pick an angle. Make your story interesting and relevant to the current events and social issues. Make your story a good news hook.
• Use only enough words to write the story. Avoid unnecessary flowery sentences or adjectives.

JUNE 13, 2008 ISSUE #14

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