Tag Archives: Internet Marketing

Top 5 Qualities of Your Ideal SEO Consultant

You’ve done your research and you can’t wait to get your Internet marketing campaign rolling. At this time, you already have clear goals of what you’d like your online campaign to achieve for your business. You’re in the market for a brilliant SEO consultant who can execute your plans, help you achieve your objective, and give you ROI.

With enough initial information, you’ll be able to tell the scam-SEO services from the legitimate SEO consultancy firms. Choosing the best firm for you is the critical step.

All good SEO companies offer the same basic services. It’s the quality of relationship they build with you and your business that adds value to their technical know-how. Below are the 5 most important qualities that your chosen SEO consultant must have before you sign up.

1.    Must be willing to learn about your business

After a short introduction of your business, it is always a good sign that the SEO consultant immediately asks a series of questions about your market and shows a keen interest on your business and marketing objectives.

A brilliant SEO consultant knows that his optimization efforts begin and end with your consumer. The more he gets to know your niche market, the better the solutions he can offer your business.

2.    Must know the value of market research and data analysis

Your SEO consultant should be able to appreciate the value of market research and to translate consumer insights into optimization tools.

Successful keywords and high-value traffic depends on how well you sift through research information and how well your SEO consultant can apply your data to actual optimization.

3.    Must put content quality before website aesthetics

You SEO consultant may not be a very good writer, and this is fine as long as he can tell whether or not a piece of article is written for optimization or not. For him, the most important elements of your content should be:
·    Natural integration of keywords
·    Keyword density
·    Absence of duplicate content elsewhere in the web
·    Relevance
·    Tone, choice of words, and writing style

4.    Must know the rules, terms, and agreements of the top search engines

A good consultant must always have your website’s best interest as his top priority. Make sure that he does not even think of suggesting black hat SEO or other unethical methods.

He must be aware and updated of the top search engines’ rules and terms of agreements. He must make sure that you won’t accidentally do something that would result to having your website banned and blacklisted.

This requirement should extend to his knowledge of social bookmarking websites, PR sites, top blogs, and forums. Make sure that he does not risk your credibility in any way.

5.    Must be able to give you regular reports and suggest fresh ideas

Optimizing for the Internet is a continuous process. The only way to know what to do next and what else you can do is to study reports. Be sensitive to statistics and all the factors that cause fluctuations—don’t be misled by either positive or negative spikes.

Creativity is very welcome in the SEO arena. Encourage your SEO consultant to put fresh ideas on the table. An important mark of a great SEO consultant is if he can handle constructive criticism and take on the challenge of giving better options.


Internet Marketing: 5 SEO Success Tips

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of your Internet marketing campaign. The right set of keywords is integral to the success of your SEO efforts. However, your closest competitors could be optimizing for the same keywords as you are.

Below are 5 tips to give your niche keywords a big edge against your competition. You must also remember to stay focused on your market and stay on top of changing market trends.

1.    Make sure no internal links are broken
A fantastic looking website won’t go far without legs. Internal links are definitely a valuable element of successful websites. A good internal links system carries each visitor throughout your entire website.

The better you maintain your zero-broken link count, the better your visitors will feel about your website and the longer they’ll stay and browse. Moreover, a functioning internal links system makes it easier for your market to quickly get to what they need and share the information with their friends and peers.

2.    Combine links with the correct landing pages
Working links take your visitors around, but it’s up to you to make sure that visitors are taken to the right pages. Tagging each article will help a lot. However, linking your anchor texts to the right pages can be more challenging.

If you take the anchor texts at face value, there would definitely be a lot of articles that you can choose to link. Mastery of your content is important. Take the context of your article into consideration when you do your links. Linked pages should provide a continuous flow of relevant information to your visitors.

3.    Update your content

You cannot, must not, run out of pages to link. Don’t let your audience go around in circles. If you stop giving them the information they need, they stop coming back. Your well of content shouldn’t run dry.

Set a schedule for yourself or for your writer. The ideal gap between updates is a week. However, if the industry you belong to (like technology and gadgets) requires more frequent updates, by all means, feed your public.

4.    Take care of your external links network

A strong external links network effectively grabs the attention of your desired market. Word-of-mouth advertising on blogs and social networking sites all contribute to a more credible review of your website.

Maintaining forum accounts that host topics relevant to your website is also a good idea. After a while of actively and relevantly sharing your ideas with the forum crowd, you can begin leaving links to specific pages of your website—making internal and external links equally important.

5.    Stay in touch with your niche

Staying in constant communication with your niche doesn’t mean pestering them with spam. Making your website content open to public comments is an easy way to get started.

Moreover, exploring social bookmarking websites and commenting on related blogs also works wonders for your online presence. Checking in regularly with your audience allows you to keep abreast with market changes, and you can tweak your campaigns accordingly.

How Writing for SEO Can Help Your Online Business

1.    Writing for SEO naturally creates niche keyword presence in your site
Writing with an SEO objective in mind gives structure to your many brilliant Internet marketing ideas. Your desire to improve your website’s ranking naturally drives you to get to know your niche like the back of your hand.

You will be presented with a list of keywords. Remember that it is your niche market that chooses which ones you should optimize for, not you. If you listen to your market better, you will also optimize for keywords better. Going for niche keywords automatically filters the visitors of your website and leaves you with good prospects and real customers.

2.    Writing for SEO makes your website carry ONLY relevant content
Search engines rank websites according to content quality and relevance. Although search engine spiders are primarily attracted to keywords, they also check whether or not your website is informative—meaning, your website must have the correct keywords and carry good content for it to qualify for ranking.

Your content is heavily dependent on your niche. Find out what they want and need to read from your website. Regularly updating your content gives your market a reason to come back and to recommend you to their peers. Interacting with your readers keeps your content in check, making sure that every word adds value to your website.

3.    Good writing with naturally integrated keywords will earn the respect of your niche
Information and keywords must be put together in a logical manner. You have to make sense to your niche. The primary goal of creating content should be to inform. If you keep this in mind, you will naturally integrate your niche keywords into your article. This is important so that your content won’t sound like an annoying sales pitch.

Aim to communicate with your market. This is why it is very important to understand them before you start writing. Learn how they speak and how they use words to refer to certain things. The tone of your content should reflect this understanding so as not to alienate your market.

Attention to spelling and grammar will earn you points for credibility and more importantly, the respect of readers and industry critics.

4.    Good content plus SEO makes it easier for your niche to come back
Good content and SEO know-how make a very powerful website. The SEO aspect makes your website easier to find while good content makes your niche stay and come back for more.

Always exceed what is expected from you. Your visitors should always get more than what they came for, so that you rise above your competition. Your brilliant content could be replicated tomorrow. However, the added value that you give to your market would be very hard to come by.

Make your website open to market interaction. Allow people to comment on your articles and allow them to post links. Hear them out and reply when necessary to let them know that you’re taking them seriously.


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.

5 Things to Do While Waiting to Rank in Google

1. Rank in MSN
It requires the same optimization basics to optimize for the 3 biggest search engines. Maximize the SEO that you’ve already done with your website for Google.

While everybody—including your competition—is waiting for his website to rank in Google, it is a good idea to submit your website to MSN. The MSN marketplace isn’t as crowded as Google’s so it takes less than half the time to rank high. Although the bulk of your market remains loyal to Google, you shouldn’t alienate the handful who exclusively use MSN or those who use MSN with Google.

2. Visit top-ranking forums
Use this time to immerse yourself with your niche. Forums that host topics relevant to your website content can give you a lot of information—consumer insight, market trends, and even new niche vocabulary.

Participating in forums is an accurate way of gauging market behavior so that you can immediately tweak your website content to help speed things up with Google and for you to maintain your top position with MSN.

Moreover, being genuinely helpful and interested in what others have to say will surely up your credibility. Eventually, when you include specific links with your forum posts, people will feel better about taking a peek and giving the rest of your website a chance.

3. Visit credible blogs
Apart from forums, top-ranking blogs are also a rich source of market information. These blogs rank high due to the credibility that they already posses. If you can leave appropriate comments, do so. This shows how much interest you have for the topic, and like in the forums, you can eventually leave links when you’ve established your credibility.

The goal is to have these blogs link to your site, and you can do them a favor and have your site link to these blogs.

4. Start your own social bookmarking account
Social bookmarking has proven itself to be an important component of successful Internet marketing. Social bookmarking websites allow the public to share websites that they think are relevant or fun.

More than bookmarking your own websites, having your own social bookmarking account gives you control over which sites to share. When you’ve built a solid network, you can then start introducing your website gradually, until others bookmark them. This way, you won’t break any rules that could result to your account and your website being banned from the bookmarks.

5. Continue updating your content
Updated content is just as important as optimized content. You have to be consistently relevant and fresh to attract more search hits. Not only does this speed things up between you and Google, it also shows your niche how dedicated you are to helping them out and giving them information.

Being updated also helps you maintain a good relationship with your link network that includes blogs and other websites. Fresh content also ensures visibility in social bookmarking websites. Make sure you check for spelling and grammar errors before you publish any of your content

5 Most Important Things Your Blog Marketing Plan Must Have

There is a sea of blogs that blanket the Internet, but only a handful of these make profit. While a lot of blogs are really not meant for business, the ones that have commercial objectives find it difficult to succeed in the blog sphere.

The ones that are popular and high-ranking share the same success quality—these blogs have a marketing plan that charters their course towards the top of the biggest search engines: Google, MSN, and Yahoo.

Just like traditional businesses, marketing plans for e-commerce also vary according to objectives. However, there are 5 basic must-haves regardless of brand or company.

1. Your target audience, defined
It is important to put your desired market on paper. This way, you’re able to check if you’re still on the right track, every step of the way. It also helps everyone working on your website to keep everything aligned to the brand so that your market gets the same message even with different Internet marketing efforts.

You can go the extra mile and include a detailed profile of your target market. Based on insights and behavioral information that you have collected, you can paint a better picture of your niche for your team.

2. Your category
Being able to define the category you belong to is just as important as being able to define your target market. When you figure out the market battleground you belong to, it becomes easier to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats.

Being part of a definite category also makes work easier for everyone. You’d be able to know what is expected of you and how far should you go to deliver something better for your market.

3. The type of content you want to put
When you already have your market and your category on paper, it becomes easy to come up with rules and standards for your blog content. At first, this sounds limiting. But after a few posts, it becomes natural for you to know how to give a little extra to keep things interesting.

Remember that your marketing plan serves as a guide. It’s not made to limit creativity and ingenuity. Rather, it seeks to challenge your team to come up with fresh ideas while maintaining the essence of your communications and marketing objectives.

4. The keywords you want to optimize for
While most sections of your marketing plan stay as they are, the keywords section should undergo constant updates. The base personality of your market remains consistent. However, market details (where media and culture are huge factors) are bound for changes—like vocabulary and the things that they spend time on in the web.

Stay on top of your keyword list so that your content is always optimized for the right keywords.

5. The link associations you want to make
Your blog marketing plan should define the type of associations you want to allow for your brand. Although you cannot guarantee zero negative publicity, having a guide will make everyone extra-conscious of to which sites they link your blog, and in which forums they participate on your behalf.

5 Blogging Tips: Turning Occasional Readers into Loyal Readers

If you’re blogging for profit or if your blog is part of an Internet marketing campaign, then your primary goal is to get the attention of your desired market and maintain your hold on this base.

The Internet is a highly pervasive medium that demands users to divide their attention. Websites and blogs all want a slice of the pie, making it a challenging landscape. Here are 5 tips to help get you a foot in the door, and to follow through with a maintenance strategy once you’re in.

1. Regularly update your blog content
Regular content updates show dedication and knowledge in your field. People have no need for obsolete information, this is why updates are important—they give people reason to check out your blog regularly.

Regular updates also keep you on top of the latest niche keywords. Your updates are useless if you don’t optimize for the right keywords, because you’ll hardly turn up in search engines.

2. Give readers something to look forward to
On top of your regular content updates, you can conduct special promos that your readers can look forward to. You can have simple Q&A contests or offer small prizes for your readers to contribute content.

Once a month is ideal. However it still boils down to how much you can spend on prizes and what type of games and contests your readers respond the best to. Make sure that whatever you come up with still ties in with your blog’s focus. Keep in mind that you can use your readers’ entries as a source of fresh insights and ideas.

3. Keep in touch with all your readers
This shouldn’t be hard to do if you make it a point to respond to every comment made. Of course, you can choose to respond collectively, but be careful to acknowledge everyone—or no one at all.

Replying to your readers’ comments makes them feel like there’s an actual person behind the blog (well, you’re REALLY a person anyway), and that they’re being listened to. Thank them for their comments whether positive or otherwise. Take criticism constructively and promise that you’re making continuous improvements.

4. Feed the growing community in your blog
Keeping in touch with your readers can be made easier if you use your blog as a community that houses them. You can even create a mailing list exclusive for your blog’s readers. This encourages them to discuss your blog posts and other related topics.

As your community grows, you can think of hosting get-togethers for your readers maybe once or twice a year. This way, people can put faces to online names. You can enlist the help of social networking sites like Facebook. These sites can help you manage communities by creating group and fan pages, making event and content update announcements easier.

5. Listen to your readers
When readers leave comments that applaud or complain about something, it is a good idea to acknowledge them and reply appropriately. You can thank them for complements, and you can apologize for mistakes or promise to consider suggestions.

You don’t have to apply each suggestion made. However, it is wise to consider them because your readers are life of your blog.

Top 5 SEO Myths

Misinformed Internet marketing practitioners are quickly attracted to online services that promise fast SEO solutions. They get excited about the different “time-saving” and “low-cost” packages offered to them. They jump the gun guided by SEO myths that will make their online business go horribly wrong.

Questionable companies that offer SEO solutions tell you that they can make you rank number 1 as soon as you sign up. However, they don’t talk about sustainability and the quality of links and visitors they feed your website.

Below are the 5 most common SEO misconceptions that fraudulent companies continue to exploit to make their packages attractive. Understanding the ill effects of each myth will help you make informed decisions.

Myth 1: A month without results is a failed SEO campaign
Successful search engine optimization is something that is sustained. Successful SEO campaigns took months and years to make certain websites stick to number 1. Although sometimes they drop a spot or two in the rankings, their websites never leave the top 5, let alone the first page. This is what you want to achieve, and not a one-day-at-number-1 phenomenon.

Myth 2: You need online companies to submit your website to search engines for you
Ask yourself how many search engines you actually use. What about your friends? When you realize that only the top 3 search engines matter, ask yourself again why you need to spend for your website’s presence in hundreds of search engines and directories that no one uses?

Spreading yourself all over the Internet is good, but you have to think about what your objectives are and how you’ll accomplish them. Getting yourself listed in random search engines and directories will not do anything to boost your rankings in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Channel your efforts to the ones that matter.

Myth 3: The more visitors, the better!
A million hits a day won’t matter unless those 1 million visitors end up in your product page and actually make purchases.

Rule number 1 of marketing tells us to always go back to your consumer. Get to know your market so that you know which Internet marketing route to take and which keywords you should optimize for. Remember that 20% of your customers will give you 80% of your revenue, if you understand them well.

Myth 4: The more links, the better!
A powerful link network is important. However, getting someone else to do it without properly understanding your business objectives could ruin your image instead of making you more famous.

Allowing your website to be linked to “every popular website and blog there is” could get you associated with names, brands, and organizations that don’t share your brand values. This could negatively impact your business and distort the way your niche market understands you.

Myth 5: A good-looking site will do it
Some questionable companies who claim to provide SEO services go as far as dropping the entire concept of optimization and just let you pay for web design. Although a good-looking website won’t hurt you, it doesn’t automatically mean that people will find you and search engines will put you on top.

Remember that search engine spiders only crawl through text content. You might want to allocate more of your resources to creating powerful content rather than investing on bells and whistles.

PPC vs PPC. The Difference Between Click and Call

The better known between the two PPCs, pay per click is an online advertising tool geared towards increasing website visitors.

Advertisers are charged an agreed rate for every user click.

Pay per click ads appear next to search results. The ads are matched to results based on your chosen keywords. The ad contains your company or brand name, a short description, and a link that directs interested users to your website.

The good pay per click service providers usually offer advertisers a periodic report that informs you of click through rates (CTR) and keyword trending analyses. All these are based on online activity in relation to your ad. You just have to decide whether or not you’ll take the service’s word for it. Otherwise, you can do your own tracking and analyses.

Note that pay per click ads do not make the sale for you. These ads, if well written and well placed, attract the correct type of people to visit your website. It is all up to your website content and product offerings to make a successful sale.

Pay per call shares the same business model with pay per click advertising. The only difference is that instead of paying for clicks, you pay for calls received.

Pay per call is also a web-based advertising technique. While pay per click ads are clickable and designed to direct interested people to your website, pay per call contains a toll-free number that allows interested people to call your company and speak with a company’s representative.

The edge of pay per call over pay per click is that advertisers like you are given more targeting options besides choosing to appear next to niche keyword search results. You can also limit ad appearance to certain category searches and narrow it further to specific geographic areas where you’d like your pay per call ad to appear.

Generally, pay per call ads appear with your company name, your address, a short description (that must be well written), and the toll-free number that redirects to an assigned telephone in your office.

The effectiveness of pay per call advertising may be easily gauged based on the number of received calls. Of course, the pay per call ads have the same goal as pay per click ads: to get the right people to become interested in you.

In this case however, closing a sale depends on an actual person answering the phone call, and not a website. A good marketer will find no problems engaging the caller and eventually, he or she can direct the caller to an actual store or a website. In any case, the interested caller already has initial contact with your brand through another human being. Brand affinity can be achieved at a better rate through human interaction.

Your Marketing Goals
Making the choice between pay per click and pay per call depends on your marketing goals and other campaigns that make up your overall marketing strategy.

The best way to determine the most suitable online marketing tool is to know your target market well and assess your company’s strengths. If you know for a fact that your website is a strong selling tool, then by all means, go for pay per click ads.

On the other hand, if you find your front line employees as your biggest asset, then pay per call could do you a lot of good.

Increase Your Sales by Building a Solid Mailing List

Your company’s Internet marketing campaign depends heavily on a solid and extensive mailing list.

Without it, it will be harder to inform your customers regarding your products and services.

Thus, building a mailing list is one of the main tasks of an Internet marketer.

It takes a lot of work to accumulate a large number of email addresses of people who might be interested enough in your products to buy them in the future.

This is why a squeeze page is important—it should be effective enough to convince people to sign up to your mailing list.

This is where creativity finds a role in your marketing tactics. You need to be able to find creative means in holding the attention of potential customers and convincing them to sign up for updates and newsletters from your website.
“Baiting” potential customers is one good way to entice them to join your mailing list. You can present them with free gifts or important updates that are relevant to the item that you are marketing. Everybody loves attractive freebies, after all.

Your potential customer will think: what’s signing up with minimal effort in exchange for good stuff?

Make sure that your opt-in form’s headline sends a strong message to potential customers. It must say that customers can trust your website to keep their email addresses private.

Building a mailing list allows a company to approach potential customers directly at only a fraction of the cost. However, instead of building a natural mailing list, some opt to buy a previously generated mailing list. You should bear in mind that buying a mailing list does not automatically mean that your sales will increase.
You might have a considerable number of email addresses in your list, but how many of those people belong to groups that are interested in your products and will actually buy them? It is the proverbial battle of quality against quantity. In this case, make sure that your mailing list includes people who belong to your target market.

It is easier to sell to people who are already predisposed to buying your products.

This is the reason squeeze pages are important to your marketing campaign. A squeeze page will give you the right information about potential buyers (like their age, civil status, location, and buying habits among others) aside from getting their email addresses.

A top-quality squeeze page is directly related to the success of using a mailing list, so make sure to spend a lot of time and attention in making it. Think about the information you want to gain about your target market and develop your squeeze page around that idea.

How do you know if your mailing list is successful? You’ll easily find out when people who are members of your list start buying from you. You can do this by tracking your site’s traffic and requesting feedback from actual customers. An increase in traffic and feedback means that you have succeeded.

When this happens, you’ll realize that buying a mailing list is money well spent in effectively marketing your products online.