Category Archives for "Internet Marketing"

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Beyond Keywords: Research Based Strategies That Work

When it comes to market research, the first thing most people think of is finding relevant keywords. Keyword research is only the first step, however. There’s much more to setting up research based strategies for building marketing sites with longevity and profitability.

People search for keywords and/or key phrases to find things. So naturally, you’ll always want to target those keywords relevant to your site’s purpose. But keywords are merely the “vehicle” that might possibly connect you to those seeking to know the information behind them.

Notice it says, “might possibly connect you,” because there are no guarantees any given keyword will work for you, no matter how relevant it might be. Because once you research and find keywords, how do you know if they’ll give you enough “horsepower” to drive your vehicle to the connection with those searching for them?

After all, you’re not the only one racing to make the connection. You have competition, and some of those competitors drive muscle cars!

So the next logical step in your research would be to determine which keywords your competition is focusing on, how many there are, and how much “horsepower” they have.

Competition research is about weeding out all the keywords that you would have trouble connecting to because other sites listing in the top ten search results have a lot of authority, significant page age and ranking, a huge number of back links, are too optimized for you to find a crack to capitalize on, or there’s just too darn many sites competing for the same keyword.

Now for those who simply slap a bunch of reconstituted content on a site and throw it at the search engines, competition might not be as important, because they’re not going to get anywhere anyway with the new search engine algorithms.

But for the rest of us who grow our sites organically with fresh content, knowing whether or not we should write that content based on the competition levels of particular keywords can significantly save time and possibly even the value of our over all sites. You see, content that doesn’t list very well can drop the value of a site as a whole.

So it’s best to check the competition level for any keyword you’re thinking of writing content for.

While we’re on the topic of content, another of the research based strategies that will help optimize your site is to find out what the majority of the people searching for a particular keyword actually want to know about it.

Researching the buzz will not only tell you what you should write, but will also give you the opportunity to make your content interactive. And now that site activity is an important factor in good SEO, writing things to spawn comments or further questions is a smart move.

One way to do this is to go to sites like Yahoo Answers and see what questions people ask. You’ll find real people asking specific questions you can answer with your own site’s content. Raise some follow up questions, or add “next step” type remarks in your article, and you’ll have people commenting.

Now that we’re seeing some sophistication in search engine algorithms, research based strategies, that is, knowing which keywords to focus on based on their popularity, competition levels, and the buzz around them is the perfect way to optimize your sites for the best possible results. Sure, it may be more time consuming and take longer to see results, but these are strategies that work!

Popularity: 77%

Making Your Comments Reputable

In this Social Age of the web2.0 universe there are no shortages of places for people to jump into active discussions started by others. Unfortunately, too many see it as merely a means to gain back links on high Page Ranked sites, when with a little conscientious thought and consideration, you could be , and thus gain many more benefits from them.

Perhaps we’ve forgotten how annoying it was back when chat rooms were all the rage, and some punk kid kept sending the same message over and over again asking for age and sex. Or maybe we’re just so caught up in the automating capabilities of the Internet that we can’t possibly see the advantage of actually doing some things manually.

But when a blogger posts an article that screams for opinions or answers, and all he or she gets is “great post!”, or gets comments filled with product links or porn, it just doesn’t cut it.

You see, when a site provides a space for commenting, it offers some real potential for anyone thinking of filling it. Sure, if there’s a line for adding a URL, and if your comment is approved, you get a back link. But the real potential has more to do with the words you add to the comment box, because it’s those words that will increase the value of your URL and the reputation of the name you insert as the commenter.

Here’s why . . .

If your comment is to the point and adds something to the discussion, it raises the relevancy of the over all post. Your comment then can inspire others to comment as well, making the page more active. The more relevantly active a page gets, the more the search engines will take notice and add weight to it.

The more weight, the more visitors. The more visitors, the more your URL gets seen, and if that URL is attached to a brilliant comment, the greater the chance visitors will click on it to see what else you have to say.

So in essence, what might have been just a back link, now becomes an advertisement for you, and a solid reputation builder on a page getting a lot of traffic. Definitely a “two birds with one stone” situation.

And all it took was a little extra thought and a little less automation!

You see, a comment box is an opportunity for you to make a name for yourself. You get a relatively unlimited space to share your expertise by contributing to an already existing discussion. On the other hand, a comment box can also be a signal to the rest of the world that you’re just a spammer when you post generic or irrelevant statements.

The choice is yours.

But if you’re really stuck on comment automation, here’s something automatic for you . . .

By , relevant and contributing to the over all discussion, you’re nearly 100% guaranteed to get your comment approved and posted. So imagine finding yourself in a position where every comment you make assures you of getting a back link from an extremely active site. Well it just takes a little conscientious thought and some, dare we say, manual efforts to make it so.

Be Reputable!

Popularity: 90%

Creating Content For A Micro Niche

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! Working micro niches is the sensible way to bring in revenue these days, but once you find one, how do you go about when its, well, micro? How much can you write about a blue and green striped widget anyway?

This is probably the number one problem for anyone building a site around a tiny niche, and could be the reason why so many have turned to content scraping. But does have to be all that difficult?

Certainly there’s a lot less to write about when you’re working a single, minute corner of a market, but its not impossible. You just have to use your imagination a bit.

So, they say you need at least three articles on site before the search engines will take it seriously. That shouldn’t be too hard to come up with.

Most people who sell blue and green striped widgets tend to stick to the technical aspects of them. You know, they write about what they do, how big they are, the significance of the blue/green stripes, etc.. They may put up a video showing one in action too.

But then you need to maintain an influx of content to so you can hold or even increase your position.

So once all that technical stuff is explained, what else is there?

Well supposedly there’s always the comparison between your blue/green widget and the orange/yellow ones, and how blue/green is better and more efficient for whatever widgets do. But how many comparison articles can you write before your readers get sick and tired of comparisons?

Too many of those and your site can get down right boring after a while!

Ah, but perhaps we’ve forgotten what people actually look for when they visit a site? It’s marketing 101 stuff!

You know, the old standard “WIIFM,” or to lay people, “what’s it in for me?”

In the case of blue/green widgets, visitors might like to know some practical ways buying one will benefit them and enhance their lives.

So how do you go about relating that type of information?

I once did some work in a micro niche having to do with construction. It was based on a particular type of structure that was gaining in popularity. So I figured I’d give it a shot.

After searching for other sites in the same niche, I noticed all the content on every single competitor site was technical information. They’d talk about dimensions, layout, ease of construction, how they could be painted and/or modified, delivery time, and things like that.

The point that I focused on though, was how these structures could be modified above all the other information provided. Because, though they talked about modifying, not one site gave any examples of how they could be modified and for what purposes.

Well this started the old imagination going, and I came up with a whole slew of ways to modify, along with story lines to make presenting the ideas more personable. I thought of all kinds of ways one type of structure could be used for something other than it was intended to be.

Before long I had twenty or so full blown stories of how “so and so” wanted a special place for a particular purpose, and found a way of utilizing one of these structures with some modifications to get it. Dreams came true in my stories, and visitors found them to be informative and entertaining at the same time.

These stories kept the site in traffic for quite a while. The stories I wrote made up about 80% of the entire content, and I would feed the site a new story at least once a week, and promoted the product line through them.

After a while I ended up selling the site and domain for a decent amount, and the new owner seems to be doing rather well with it. Haven’t checked it lately, but hopefully the company running it got the idea and are busy producing new stories.

So can you build story lines around your micro niche? Certainly you can see how creating personable stories will illustrate to your visitors how your product can benefit them.

And no one says these stories have to be historically real either. You goal is to show your visitors how your blue/green widgets can be used imaginatively to adapt their own needs. The applications have to be real, but the characters and circumstances can totally come from your own creativity.

Now you could probably come up with other ways of , but this is one way I’ve found to be effective through my own experience. The point is, focus on the customer and how your products will help them get what’s in it for them, throw in a little imagination, and it’ll all be good to go.

Popularity: 64%

Setting Up An Article Distribution Service

One of the most sought after marketing services you could conceive of getting into is an article distribution service. Why? Because submitting articles can be a real pain in the neck. So it’s easier to hire someone to do it for you, or use an article submitting software to help you get through the process faster. But did you know there’s a way to use article submission software in and make money from it?

Considering there are literally thousands of articles being submitted on the web every day to the 800 or 900 remaining article directories, and considering how few of these authors really want to go through the hassle of submitting their articles themselves, offering a service to do it for them can be quite profitable.

And as the article directories get smarter in the way the can block auto submissions, your average “lazy” author will need some sort of assistance to submit articles manually to everywhere they want their articles to go.

So if you’re struggling to make money, and you’re looking for a business model to bring in some steady income, you might want to consider starting an article submission service, publish your announcement on forums and social networks, and watch the orders come in.

Now if you’re planning on doing all this work manually, then you won’t need anything to get started beyond a list of article directories, a browser, and a spreadsheet to keep track of your customers and their logins.

They’ll just send you their articles via email, and all you’ll have to do is check your spreadsheet to see if they’re current paying clients, open your browser and start submitting for them.

However, many of your clients may want some proof that you’ve submitted their articles and where. So you’ll also need something to keep track of the submission history that you can send them as verification. This would require an additional spreadsheet for each individual client so you could add the date, the article title, and the directory URL or name.

So far this hasn’t cost you a penny to set up, but it might be a little burdensome to keep everything in order over time. And what happens if you get 10 or 20 new clients all of a sudden who all want their articles submitted yesterday?

An alternative to using spreadsheets and hunting down article directories would be to use article submission software designed specifically for submitting articles. This would help you, not only in submitting articles for clients, but would also keep track of everything like logins, articles and bio boxes for each author, plus provide you with a history of everything you submit per author so you can verify the work you’ve done.

Now granted, there aren’t many article submitters that can keep track of anything beyond your own personal author login, but there are some slightly higher end ones that will.

Article Submitter Pro is one such program, and can handle everything you’ll need to submit articles for an unlimited number of other people. You can load in and save an unlimited number of client author profiles complete with login details, add their articles and bio boxes and have them stored specifically for that author.

You can select personal favorite sites for those of your clients that have preferences, and get a complete history of everywhere you’ve submitted for each author and when. You could even offer a special service and submit their directory accepted article URLs with summary to the social networks directly through the software.

And you can simply save each authors’ login details in the software if they’ve already registered to their favorites sites, or you can register for them to among the 800 or so directories stored and ready in the site list.

So using an article submission software like  Article Submitter Pro will have an up front investment, certainly. But it will also give you a professional service, and save you a lot of spreadsheet and browser time. And with the demand for this type of work, you’ll recoup your investment in no time.

Popularity: 7%

How To Know If A Product Is Good Before You Buy It

With all the product launches and other marketing products being sold, how do you know which ones deserve a second look, or are even worth buying? After all a lot of this stuff is just rehashed junk being peddled with a new twist. So how do you know if a product is good before you buy it?

To be honest, I seldom buy anything right away as soon as its launched. It’s not a money issue, but more of a “lets see what others do with it first” kind of thing.

Most times marketers who promote products will shortly thereafter start implementing what they got out of it in their own marketing. If at least some of them show a change in their methods relating to the product in question, and if the techniques they’re adopting seem reasonable, then maybe they’ve learned something of value from it.

This can take a little while to see how a new product is being received by people who buy it, and its probably not the best barometer in determining whether a new product is good for you or not. But I can attest to having saved a great deal of energy and brain drain by waiting.

Because you see, the worst part about all these launches is, they are normally one huge distraction!

They distract you with all the notices about it from every affiliate marketer on the planet, then they distract you with their time and supply limits, and worse, they distract you will all the freebies attached to them.

Now don’t get me wrong, some of the free stuff they hand out in pre-launch is pretty good. In fact, some of it is actually worth more than the product itself in as far as teachable information goes.

But that’s all besides the point because, the real distraction is how much time they can take away from you and what you should be doing to build your own business.

You see, here’s the thing . . .

If you’re ever going to be successful in online marketing, you’re going to need a business plan and model, and stick with it. You can’t be wandering off every time someone dangles something glittery in front of you.

And really, that’s what all these launches are designed to do. Make you chase the money, or at least the prospect of it. However, if you already have a business model that you’re working, how will allowing yourself to completely look away give you anything? And what if you get pulled into several new launches a month? How will that effect your plan?

Seriously, if you really want to know if a product is good before you buy it, hold it up to your own business model. If the product is about what you’re doing, or can add to it, then buy it if you thinks its worth it. If not, let it go as soon as you know it has nothing to add to your already established plan. You’ll save hours of distracted time and plenty of money you can be investing in yourself.

Popularity: 4%