Category Archives: Internet Marketing

How to Own the Right Keywords

1.    Do qualitative market researches
Qualitative market researches do a better job of engaging the respondents. As opposed to quantitative researches, the qualitative method does not present respondents with a predetermined set of answers to choose from. This allows respondents to express themselves comfortably, often sharing more than the answers you need. This gives marketers a deeper understanding of “yes” and “no” and helps them know their market beyond product usage.

Qualitative researches are gold mines for consumer insights. Marketers can use this information to make better products and to optimize communication strategies. Online marketing relies heavily on owning the right niche keywords. Qualitative answers straight from your consumers will tell you which words are relevant to their searches.

2.    Socialize with you niche online
Your need to come up with an online marketing strategy already tells you that your niche is technologically savvy. You can bet that these people also go to other websites and spend their time socializing online. Social networks and social bookmarking networks like MySpace, Facebook and Stumbleupon host numerous registered members. Create a personal account and an account in behalf of your brand.

As your network grows, you’ll be able to identify which of these people belong to your niche. Engage them in meaningful yet entertaining discussions. Find out whose blogs they read and which forums they frequent. Actively participate in the discussions by offering relevant information. Pay attention to how these people post their opinions, and take note of the potential niche keywords.

3.    Check out your competition’s web content

The fact that you still have competition simply means that they’re not doing everything wrong. It won’t hurt to visit their web pages regularly to see what kind of content they offer. Note that this is not a suggestion to replicate their content. The objective of going through competitive content is to make sure that you aren’t behind with your niche keywords.

See how your competitors organize and write their articles. Pay attention to terms and phrases set in bold. These are the words that they’re optimizing for. Compare your keyword list with theirs and think about the differences. Don’t be scared to stick with your list if you’re confident about the research that you’ve done.

4.    Pay attention to customer feedback
This is where the comments function in your web pages comes in handy. Allowing the public to leave comments about your online content gives you an opening to engage people. If they give you praises and thank you for “the very informative article,” then you know you’re on the right track.

There will be times when readers will share their opinions and leave comments that might be slightly negative. Thank them for their thoughts and say that you’ll take them into serious consideration—and do it. Constructive criticism helps you stay on top of your game. This ensures that your content stays relevant and that the words you use always add value to your overall optimization efforts.

5.    Update your customer knowledge

Niche keywords change as soon as shifts happen to your niche, and change comes often. Periodic researches assure you that your knowledge of consumer insight is updated. Regularly logging on to forums and reading up on your competition helps you update your niche keyword list.
 

How to Market Your Brand by Social Bookmarking

1.    Make relevant and consumer-focused content
Before finding ways to make your website known to the world, take a step back to really look at your web pages’ content. Check if all your articles sound like sales pitches. If they do, it would be a good idea to start revising.

Remember that you are writing for your consumers. To attract their attention, you need to be relevant. To keep them reading, your content has to sound conversational. To make them understand you and your brand, your articles must be well-written without grammar errors. To make them come back, you have to update your content.

Understanding your niche is the driving force towards publishing great content. Investing time into marketing research will give you information on your niche’s demographics, psychographics, and their behavior towards your brand and your competition. This will shed light on certain issues and needs that your brand can address. These are the things you write about to stay relevant so that they keep visiting you and they can recommend you to their social bookmarking network.

2.    Make your own account

Making your own social bookmarking account will allow you to experience social bookmarking. Your account can help you better understand how your niche uses this technology and how you can make it work towards the benefit of your web pages.

Making your own account will also update you on which websites are in and which are not. It gives you an idea on what is your industry’s benchmark and how you do against it. Grab this opportunity to compare your content with theirs. If other web pages are attracting quality traffic, then you might want to find out what they’re doing right.

3.    Make friends

You social bookmarking account allows you to create your own social network. Initially, your network may only consist of people you personally know. Eventually, when your niche catches wind of your social bookmarking existence, you’ll find yourself in their networks and vice-versa.

It is advisable to make friends and maintain social relationships. This allows you to better understand people and their needs so that you can craft better communication strategies and develop better products.

4.    Make conversation
As your network grows, you’ll get more updates on reviews and ratings that people have made on other web pages. They’ll comment and sometimes ask for their peers’ opinions. Grab this opportunity to share your thoughts, especially if the web page in question belongs to your category.

Sharing your thoughts (in a polite manner) will earn people’s trust and up your credibility. When you give helpful and informative inputs, people would be encouraged to know more about you. Always have a URL ready when you post your comments. Pick a landing page that is relevant to the topic being discussed.

5.    Make criticisms work for you

As more of your web pages make it to people’s social bookmarks, you’ll get feedback—from general things like your themes and design to the specifics of your content. Sometimes, the feedback you get may be not what you expect. However, turn these criticisms around to work in your favor. Thank the people and tell them that you’ll seriously consider their comments and that you always work hard to improve your website for all of them to enjoy.

 

How to Get Traffic from Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites allow people to share web pages with their network. Generally, each user registers, creates his profile, and builds a list of links to web pages that he thinks is entertaining, informative, or interesting in some way. The social aspect comes with the function that allows each user to invite his network to view his list of links.

In turn, the user can also take a look at what others in his network have bookmarked and he can follow the links which interest him. Usually, a user’s social network is made up of his friends or people he shares a professional or an interest group with.

Social bookmarking sites have tremendous marketing value. When one user includes a link to any of your pages in his list, then there is a possibility that his entire network will follow your link. A good way to make your links appear on users’ lists is to participate in social bookmarking yourself. Here are 4 tips to help you out and make sure that your brand gets the most out of it.

1.    Update and keep your content unique

The concept of social bookmarking is sharing something nice you’ve found online. In your case, you could have “found” your own site’s content to be interesting or useful.

It’s perfectly fine and ethical to include your web pages in your bookmarks. However, the best social bookmarking sites are strict with accepting only unique content. So, if your pages are similar to a lot of other websites in the same category, then the social bookmarking site might not allow your pages to be part of your bookmarks. This is why it’s important to focus on the needs of your niche and to maintain niche content.

2.    Make your content relevant to your niche
No matter how entertaining or how well written your content is, no one will follow you back to your pages if they don’t find your text relevant to their needs and interests.

Every brand should know its niche inside-out. Yours, although marketed online, is not exempted. Study your market and know what motivates them. Get to know their issues and needs that your brand can address. Figure out where else on the Internet they hang out. This knowledge will give credibility to your content and ultimately, your brand. More than just knowing what you’re talking about, you want to sound like you’re conversing with each visitor personally. Build relationships.

3.    Be social

It is, after all, social bookmarking. Being friendly can build you a great network filled with people who belong to your niche. Allow them to comment on the links that you post and reply to their comments when necessary. Make sure you don’t start a fight. Take this opportunity to really get to know people and use the information you gather to improve your online strategy.

4.    Make sure you’re not self-centered

You hate it when other people keep talking about themselves, and other people will dislike you for it as well. Besides your own web pages, include other relevant pages in your bookmarks. This shows that you’re genuinely interested to share interesting stuff and it also assures the social bookmarking site that you’re not a spammer or a self-promoter. Put your niche’s needs before your own, and you’ll be rewarded.

 

How to Establish an Online Presence for Your Local Business

Most local businesses like yours start with a definite target market of people within the area. As business gets better and positive word of mouth reaches farther, people from different cities and states start to make their way to your neck of the woods, just so they can try your product or service.

Now that business has started to pick up, you begin to think of actual plans for advertising and marketing. Traditional advertising—TV, radio, and print—is always an option. However, the cost to hire an agency and to produce such ads can go very high. Plus, there is no guarantee that your desired market gets to see your ad. You could end up spending too much without measurable returns.

On the other hand, Internet marketing offers to keep your marketing budget in check with solutions that make your campaigns as targeted as possible. This minimizes advertising wastage and you’re sure that you only talk to the people who matter to your bottom line: prospects and already-existing clients.

As you shop around for an online solution, here are points that you should aim for with your Internet marketing campaign.

1.    Own keywords relevant to your locale

Having your business in the same area you live in makes it convenient to know your patrons. As you chat at the counter or have parties together, you’ll know how they talk and what particular words they associate with different things.

This knowledge is important as you build your keyword list. Keywords are what people use to make searches online. You want your keywords to be exactly what your clients use, so that you have the best chance of coming up on top of similar search results.

2.    Create helpful content for both locals and tourists
Now that your business is known by people beyond your area, it is important that your website content doesn’t alienate people.

You have had loyal, local website visitors, so keep up the good job. It means that the content you publish has always been relevant to them. However, you should also start coming up with content for people who live away.

An organized way to carry both types of content is to have a separate page for locals and another page for “visiting friends.” You need to invest some time to get to know your foreign/visiting market as much as you know your local market, to provide the same level of optimization for both contents.

Remember to keep your content optimized, and don’t mix up local keywords with the “away” keywords.

3.    Be generous with information
Aside from informative and entertaining articles that you’ve optimized for, it is also important to provide additional information like downloadable and printable maps, directions, and contact information on your website.

If you have a number of products or services, you can also provide a printer-friendly menu of sorts, so that people can immediately see what you have to offer.

Offering this information in appropriate website pages not only helps clients and prospects. You also make it easier for your site to be searched as there is more text content for search engine spiders to crawl over.
 

How a Blog Can Help Your Business

Businesses are beginning to realize that a website isn’t enough to make a powerful online presence. Marketers have started to include blogging as a vital part of their online marketing mix.

There are still some businesses out there that aren’t clear on how blogs can help them. They simply came up with a blog, not knowing how to make it work to their favor. Blogs are highly versatile tools that are capable of executing the different aspects of marketing—from the basic market researches down to creative guerrilla marketing, blogs offer businesses a lot of breakthrough opportunities.

Below are 5 of the most practical ways in which a blog can help your online business.

1.    Blogs make it easier to create relationships with your market

Publishing a blog makes it easier to give your brand a personality. Your blog allows people to directly interact with your brand, and they expect some sort of reply or acknowledgement that someone in your company has received and read their messages.

Maintaining this feedback loop allows you to keep an eye on your market and gives you a better conversion rate of prospects to loyal clients.

2.    Blogs attract fresh insights and inform you of new category trends
As you keep communication lines open for your blog readers, you will inevitably collect fresh insights and interesting suggestions. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to pay anyone to talk to the consumers for you, but you still get the information straight from the primary source.

It’s now up to you how you organize the information that you’ve gathered; make them work towards your advantage. You can take it a step further and cross check your data. Visit blogs of your competition and see what their blogs’ visitors have to say in the comments section. Doing so would definitely give you a better view of your marketplace.

3.    Blogs allow you to test your market before a full launch

Before fully launching an ad or any creative promo and campaign, you can execute a mini version of your plan through your blog and see how your audience responds. Suggestions and comments will pour in, giving you ideas on how you can improve and tweak it to better suit your market.

Companies spend a lot of money conducting FGDs and researches. These end up costing as much as—sometimes more than—a full-blown campaign. While blogs cannot replicate the accuracy of professional research groups, they can work well for a lot of market-driven studies.

4.    Blogs help you spread yourself online
The blog sphere thrives on an amazing link network. Bloggers are usually fine with linking fellow bloggers that they find interesting. It pays to befriend top-ranking blogs in your category and those that belong in other related categories.

Make sure you deliver regularly updated and relevant content to keep your credibility rating high.

5.    Blogs allow you more room for creativity
Your blog can be the fun alter-ego of your corporate website. While this doesn’t mean a complete dissent from your brand’s identity, blogs allow you to close the gap between how you define your brand and how your market perceives your brand.
 

Google Sandbox: 4 Tips to Help You Avoid the Trap

 

The Google Sandbox effect is a theory that was formulated by veteran search engine marketers. Most online marketers believe that Google has an “inbox” where it stores newly registered domains. These domains are waiting for Google to check if they are legitimate and if their content is relevant to users—a measure that Google takes to make sure that they don’t include spam sites in their index.

Google Sandbox only affects new domains. This means that the other pages in your website that Google has already approved and indexed won’t be included in the waiting list, even if you add new pages to your website.

Below are 4 tips to help keep your new web pages away from Google’s Sandbox.

1.    Go for niche keywords

Optimizing your web page content for non-generic keywords could immediately help you rank high, thus encouraging more traffic. The reason behind this is that optimizing for niche keywords attracts your target market, who search with particular terms and jargon in mind. Going for niche keywords will set you apart from your competitors who are most likely using generic or category keywords.

Consistently optimizing future web page contents with niche keywords will allow you to achieve and maintain good search engine ranking.

2.    Go for a niche domain name
Choosing your pages’ domain names is as important as churning out good content. A good domain name is something that users can immediately associate with your brand or product, but take care not to use generic or category words.

Going for a niche domain name will allow Google to see the value and the uniqueness of your web pages because Google’s index won’t have 10 other pages or websites that resemble yours.

3.    Go explore other SEM techniques—don’t wait for Google
Google isn’t the only search engine around. There are 2 other search engines that make up the Big 3: Yahoo and MSN. While working (or waiting) for Google, you can simultaneously work on Yahoo and MSN to list your website.

Moreover, you can also maximize niche blogs and forums by talking about your website or just by announcing that you’re coming up with a new web page. This leads us to the next tip.

4.    Build inbound links

Participating in relevant forum discussions and commenting on blogs can help build your credibility. When you’re sure that you’ve earned enough credibility, and if the blog or forum rules allow you to do so, you can begin including links of your new web page in your discussions. Doing so encourages others to visit your website to learn more about the information you’ve just shared with them.

Closer to home, you can build your internal network of links by immediately updating your sitemap whenever you come out with a new web page. It is also recommended that you make use of your contents and create relevant text links that will lead users to your new web page.

Even if your new web page finds itself in Google Sandbox, the numerous quality links that you’ve spread all over the Internet will make Google notice. This could speed up the approval and indexing process, and get you more traffic.

 

Google AdWords: Increase Site Traffic in 4 Steps

Google AdWords

 

Google provides online advertising services to help websites promote themselves through other related sites or through the search engine results pages. Google AdWords is Google’s offering to help websites advertise through the search results pages based on carefully selected keywords.

 

When users search with your selected keyword, Google pulls up the search engine results. Your ad appears on the right side, next to the top searches. When the user sees your ad and becomes interested, he can click your Google AdWords and be directed to your website. Note however, that subscribing to Google AdWords does not affect your website’s search engine ranking in any way.

 

Below are 4 steps towards making the choice to use Google AdWords as part of your online marketing mix.

 


1.    Know your niche

 

Your target market is the end all and be all of your marketing efforts. Knowing how they talk about your product can help you craft better copy for your website content and for your Google AdWords.

 

Make sure that you also keep track of what other brands are doing in your category; train yourself to constantly be in touch with market shifts.

 


2.    Make sure your site content is relevant

 

Multiple links and Google AdWords are completely useless if your website is not able to convert visitors to customers. Like most advertising models, Google AdWords is geared towards making your niche interested in what you have to say and offer. If they go to your website and they find out that you have nothing good to tell them, you won’t get any sales.

 

When you get the right people to visit your site, make sure you can keep them interested long enough to stay and make a purchase. The ultimate goal is to keep them coming back and telling others about how useful and relevant your website is.

 

3.    Choose your Google AdWords keywords

 

This is a little tricky. Going for the generic keywords will guarantee you a lot of visitors, but it doesn’t promise that these visitors are your target market. Be reminded that you want interested and potential customers to visit your site, because they will generate profits.

 

Research on your niche, and figure out how they search for your category and other related information. Forums, blogs and group discussion pages are great places to mine for niche keywords.

 


4.    Monitor performance

 

No matter how well your efforts have already paid off, it is important to keep track of shifts in your market. Your niche keywords will change depending on how your market will talk about your brand or your category in the next few days. Stay on top of your toes.

 

Explore ways to analyze site traffic through metrics. Data will tell you how long people stay on particular pages. This will help you tweak content and tell you when your content is becoming less relevant to your market. Adjust accordingly to make sure that all your marketing efforts will result to an increase in ROI and more.

 

Google AdWords: 4 Pay-Per-Click Tips

1. DON’T put all of your related keywords in one list
Keep in mind that the goal of any search engine marketing effort is to reach the right people at the least cost. Google AdWords work with a pay-per-click business model to help your online campaign succeed. Google only charges when an interested prospect or a regular customer clicks your ad and gets redirected to your chosen landing page.

From your end, you are expected to know your market and figure out which specific keywords they use to search for your product. For example, a person looking for Nike Free running shoes will search for Nike Free and not shoes or shoes for running.

When you begin building your keyword list, remember to enlist only specific keywords. With this said, it is also recommended that you do not put all of your PPC ads in one AdGroup. Although a number of ads can run at the same time, only one ad will be shown per search; you cannot risk displaying the wrong ad. Be careful to group together ads with similar niche keywords.

2. DO include your keywords in your AdWords copy
Google AdWords automatically highlights the keywords that your ad is optimized for. It is highly recommended that you include your niche keyword in your ad’s copy so that it gets highlighted. This attracts the viewers’ attention and they can immediately decide whether this ad is something that can help them or not.

If your ad copy is vague, 2 things can happen: a) your desired target market will just ignore your ad because they don’t see anything that can help them or b) a random Internet surfer will click your ad, just to see where it leads. Either way, you lose money.

3. DO have a converting landing page
Your landing page is as important as your keywords and your AdWords copy. Search engine marketers make the usual mistake of redirecting all their ads to the company’s home page.

Take into consideration the thought process of an online market. They search for what they need using specific terms. They expect to be taken to the page that will immediately give them what they need. And then they lean towards making a purchase.

Most instances, your home page will be too vague. Redirect users to the page where the content is most relevant to the keyword that the user searched for. This will immediately tell them that you know what they’re looking for, and they’ll become more interested in what other things you have to say.

4. DO track the performance of your AdWords regularly
Online and traditional marketing campaigns work best when they are measured. Regular tracking tells you immediately whether your campaign is working or not. This way, you can constantly tweak specific elements of your campaign to match changes in the market.

Tracking protects you from realizing mistakes too late—mistakes that will cost you a lot of money. Google AdWords comes with reports that you can view regularly and an interface that is easy to navigate. It is recommended that you read more into the results as opposed to just taking the figures at face value.

Google Advertising: Maximizing by Practical Training

Simplicity and functionality
Google successfully maintains its position as one of the Big 3 search engines because it helps advertisers market their websites. Google has a host of online software, all with easy-to-learn interface and friendly reports that are easy to understand.

However easy it might be to use Google’s advertising tools separately, it is a different matter if you seriously want to maximize the roster of free advertising software. It takes more than reading online tutorials and relevant forums to figure out the perfect combination to exactly address your search engine marketing needs.

Using is simple, but maximizing takes skill
Google’s advertising tools can be used independently from each other. Each one boasts of a fantastic interface that makes it easy for anyone to use. Learning to use these tools takes between 2 to 7 days—the same for generating reports.

On the other hand, learning how to integrate one tool with another requires more skill and a deeper understanding of what each of Google’s advertising tools can do for you.

Choosing which services you really need
More than advanced technical skills, higher logic is also required if you wish to maximize Google’s advertising tools. There are a lot of services with specific goals. If you want to go for integration, it is recommended that you figure out exactly what kind of help you need and determine the corresponding Google advertising tool to address your needs.

It would also be wise to think from the perspective of your niche market. After all, it is their clicks that you’re trying to attract. It won’t hurt if you allocate more time to execute a proper market research. Get to know their browsing habits, how they perceive your brand, how you fare with your competitors, and which keywords to optimize for. In the long run, keeping on top of market changes will become a breeze for you. This will significantly reduce mistakes, shorten test periods, and save you a lot of money.

Measurements and analyses help keep your ROI in check
Setting your Google ads in place and determining all the tools you need don’t mean that the work is done. The challenge of online marketing is the need for constant monitoring so that you’re quick to adapt to the changes that happen to your niche.

Most advertising services offered by Google follow the pay-per-click business model. This is both effective and cost-efficient as long as you do it right. Meaning, you only pay for the clicks that will add to your bottom line. Most ads are keyword-dependent, an element that mirrors exactly how your market thinks and feels. Little changes that happen to the market have significant effects to your keyword list. Use the reports you get from Google for free to keep up and tweak your campaign accordingly.

Search engine rankings change in a matter of seconds without warning. You can’t afford to lose your hard-earned spot. It’s always better to maintain than to rebuild everything.

Facebook Marketing: 3 Tips to Get You on the Right Track

Facebook has gone a long way from being just an online social networking website to the multimedia-online-channel powerhouse that it is today. Although Facebook is still primarily a social networking website, online marketers are realizing the marketing potential of Facebook—from clickable ads to encouraging user-generated content.

At this point, online marketers still have so much to learn. A perfect understanding of Facebook marketing basics will allow you to eventually maximize Facebook’s capabilities and ensure that you get ROI and profit.

Throughout the 3 Facebook marketing tips below, keep in mind that your goal is not to attract everybody. The objective is to get the attention of your niche, so that your hard work will translate to purchases.

1. Make your own account
The best way to find your way around Facebook is to create an account for your brand. You can explore the interface and learn how you can customize pictures and profiles. Marketing begins with this first step. You should already have optimization in mind as you make your brand’s profile and picture captions. Grab this opportunity to increase your credibility by filling out all the fields for your public information sheet.

Dig up your marketing research analyses and determine keywords and cultural icons that your market is into. Use this information to help you fill out fields such as music, movies, and books you like.

There is a space provided for users to put links to homepages and blogs. Use this space for your website’s URL.

2. Build your network
After creating your search engine optimized profile, you can begin building your network. You can start with your personal network of family and friends. As they accept your invitation to become part of their Facebook network, each person’s network will get a notification that you have become friends. To illustrate:

You invited X to be part of your network.
X accepts your invitation.
All the people in X’s network will be informed that X and you are now friends.

Now multiply the notification to how many people are in one person’s network. Now multiply again with how many people you know who has Facebook. All of those who belong to your niche and who see the notification will take interest in your page and visit you, and eventually, follow your Facebook activities.

3. Keep track of trends
Keeping track of the market’s changing trends and preferences is easier with Facebook. There are 2 ways to do this:

a. Applications
Facebook offers a lot of applications that cater to different types of people. These applications are free to use and are made by independent developers or programmers. You can spot a hot application by checking your news feed. You get notified when people in your network add an application to their Facebook page. Check out the hot application and see if you can broker a placement deal with the creator. If not, then the option to come up with your own application is always open.

b. Fans of ____/ ____ joined the group ___
Fan pages and group pages are becoming more popular. Fan pages and groups include pop icons, social causes, politicians, candies, TV shows, movies—everything. When a lot of people become a fan of something, then you might want to consider adding this celebrity/icon to your list of likes.

Check out the fan page or group page and see what makes it work, and then come up with your own. Again, people will be notified when someone in your network becomes your fan or joins your group.