Tag: website

 
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Taming Technology: How to Easily Manage Your Coaching Business

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Social Bookmark Traffic – Is It Useful?

In the very recent past, a friend of mine [Kate] was lucky enough to get her website listed (bookmarked) on Digg, a very popular social bookmark site. With her permission, I was given an excellent chance to overlook and analyze the traffic generated from these types of sites. Read on to discover the pro’s and con’s of social media site traffic, and how it could be utilised in your own website or online marketing efforts.

Firstly, it should be said that any sort of internet traffic, should not be considered useless. Visitors to your site should all be welcomed, as any visitor is a good thing. In saying that, however, it should be noted that traffic in all its greatness, is not created equally. Great differences become apparent when you start to analyze its source. The purpose of this article, is to take a much closer look at the traffic generated from social bookmarking, from the perspective of internet marketing.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 years, you’d notice a very big trend on the web–social bookmark and media websites have become “all that” on the web. Slashdot, Stumbleupon, Digg; any of these popular sites sound familiar?

This is where a lot of social bookmark traffic will originate from. In essence, these sites are driven and “controlled” by the users. Users or members choose which content they want to bookmark, and this will lead into viewing and discussing of said bookmarked content. Sites such as these are immensely popular, and flow traffic that the average website owner can only ever imagine having. Thats a lot of traffic, isn’t it? But is it really useful?

All this traffic and hype must be a good thing, right? But is it really worth your time? Should you integrate active promotion to these types of social media websites? What about concentrating all your online marketing strategies on these types of sites? The question more at point is, what are the real pro’s and con’s of getting your website listed on the front page of sites like Stumbleupon or Digg?

As a website owner myself, I wanted answers, and I wanted them quickly. In addition, I wondered if utilising these sites could benefit me; i.e, could they help me generate more income online?

Recently, my friends listing on Digg enabled me to have a upclose look at these sites, and the effects they brought to a website owner. This was a chance for a first-hand, upclose study; I was not about to pass this up.

However, this didn’t happen by chance. Kate took the action of placing the free “Addthis.com” bookmark to all her pages. You can also do this quite easily. Using this simple bookmark “button”, you can start to attract these sites. However, be warned; a site featured on the front page of social media sites can almost instantly generate 100,000’s of visitors to your website; this in essence is enough traffic that it may overload your server. Not good!

So be careful; active promotion to these social bookmark sites should only be taken upon if your servers or web hosting company can withstand the sudden influx of traffic.

With Kate’s permission, I utilised Google Analytics and started to analyze these types of visitors and social bookmark traffic generated. Interestingly enough, some very important factors were realised. The Majority of this traffic will:

– Simply bounce back.
– Very few visitors will stay on your site; even for a short period of time.
– Very few visitors will actually go into the depths of your site.
– If you have a newsletter or similar, you’ll notice that very few sign-up for these.
– If you utilise any type of marketing follow-ups, etc, very few will enter.

(In saying this, an unknown variable is the content of your site. Is it well written? Does it perform well? Is it useful or attractive to the visitor?)

Traffic from these sites does pose a very common problem, however; its temporary traffic, to say the least. The mass amount of traffic generated will usually only last a few days at most, that is, until your listing or bookmark is removed from the front page. Most of these visitors will rarely remain on your website for long, and the majority leave within seconds. In saying that, you may have a few sign-up’s to your newsletter or Ezine, or visitors that explore your site. But keep in mind, this number will not be very high.

Social media site traffic can be likened to customers in the drive-thru sections of fast food restaurants; they come and go as quick as they came. The visitors will basically view your content, and before you know it, have already left, surfing back to the main site to venture onto the next item or listing. Social bookmark traffic will always behave differently, to a large extent, when compared to organic search engine traffic, or your newsletter traffic, for instance. Very differently.

Visitors from Kate’s article posts will generally add up to 50 to a 100 new sign-ups a day; much different when compared to social bookmark traffic. In addition, readers and visitors to her articles are actually interested in her content, and therefore have been previously exposed to similiar content upon reaching her website. So in this case, there was no comparison.

The choice of traffic will always lay in the visitors generated from search engines, atleast when comparing to the traffic from social bookmarking sites. A question still remains, however– is social bookmark traffic really all that useless?

Firstly, as previously mentioned, you need to remember that no traffic should be considered useless. Any type of visitor to your website should be counted as a good thing. Any website owner should realise that getting traffic and visitors to your website is a must; otherwise its game over.

When someone searches for a particular term in a search engine, and they end up at your website, this means that your visitor is there because you have what they’re looking for. This type of traffic is essential to your website. Visitors like these are considered to be “targeted traffic”; that is, they’re more likely to read your pitch-page, overlook your information, sign-up to a newsletter, or even buy a product. Additionally, they may also become repeat visitors. Traffic like this is ideal. These are the types of visitors you really want.

However, its not all bad news. Social media or bookmark sites do have a bright side.

How would you like the possibility of your website gaining exposure to millions of people? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Even though you may not get sales, for instance, this traffic can assist in getting your websites name out there; branding it, creating a buzz.

If your website appeals to a more mass market, then you are even more in luck. Social bookmark traffic in this case can be an excellent source of traffic and visitors.

Social sites such as these also have another added bonus; gaining a link on high PR7 and PR8 websites, with high traffic flow, can’t hurt your search engine rankings. After your website is featured on a social media site such as Digg, your link can also appear on a large number of secondary websites on the web, as much as 1000 or more. Much of this traffic will also be using the Firefox web browser, which is embedded with the Alexa toolbar– what does this do for you? Your Alexa traffic rank will be improved. As much as 50% of the visitors hitting Kate’s website we’re running the Firefox browser.

Something worth pointing out, is that the traffic generated from Stumbleupon was much different. Longer stay durations were the common thing in this traffic, that is, this traffic behaved more like organic traffic. This could possibly be attributed to the fact that Stumbleupon is a higher quality site, and this was reflected from the higher quality of the visitors originating from there. This also made me come to the realisation that not all social media/bookmark traffic can be measured with the same stick. This experience also pointed me out to something important; the content featured on Kate’s website is geared towards targeted visitors from search engines and articles, and is generally not suited to the mainstream net-surfer.

An idea to better take advantage of this type of traffic, is to gear your website and its content to more mainstream internet users. Whether or not this enables you to achieve a greater level of success, is largely dependant on what you offer and how it is offered. Another unknown variable, unfortunately.

In the near future, I hope to gain the chance to further study social bookmark traffic, and its long-term effects on websites. In specific, the effect it would have on keyword rankings and link popularity rankings in search engines; only then can I come to any type of real judgements. However, for now, my mind is being kept open, and the idea is being tossed up as to whether social media and bookmark traffic is actually worth the time or the effort. Is the time taken away from your usual day-to-day marketing efforts worth it?

Guess there is only one way to find out, really.

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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Best Six Ways to Explode Your Online Business Writing Articles

In today’s highly competitive internet market, the importance of attracting targeted traffic to your website cannot be overemphasized. Fortunately, there is plethora of website promotion strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. Routing internet traffic to your website can be your number one means of survival, especially in the world of ecommerce. Getting a high search engine ranking can be very hard.

There is a wide variety of strategies you can adapt, from paid advertising to affiliate marketing. However, most of these techniques require payment. Nevertheless, there are ways to promote your website and increase your web traffic without spending anything. Writing articles is one of the best web site promotion strategies you can use, and they can be very effective. How, you may ask, can writing articles help improve your web traffic? Here are the top seven ways in which it can help explode your business.

1.Reach more people

When you write good articles, it would be a shame not to share them with other people. You can post your articles in your website or you can submit them to other sites such as e-zines and online publishers. By submitting your articles to these sites, you give exposure not only to your ideas but also to your website. Simply include a link back to your site or include your information in the resource box. With this, you get exposure and free advertising as well. Submit your articles to popular e-zines and take advantage of their popularity. Other sites who find your article relevant may also link back to you. Thus, you increase your link popularity, which is one of the most important strategies in the internet world. Remember that most people are looking for information online and by filling this need with your quality article; you may reap the benefit of more exposure and higher web traffic.

2.Gain High Search Engine Ranking

Create a new web page for your article in your website. Optimize your article to make it search-engine friendly. Use top-ranked keywords and Meta tags that can give your website a high search engine ranking. As soon as you upload your new webpage to your server, search engines will spider through it and you can gain an increase in search engine ranking. Remember that search engine optimized content is a very effective strategy to gain a high ranking in search results.

3.Optimizes your site for improved search engine ranking

By making your site keyword rich, you can greatly improve the search engine ranking of your site. Remember that keyword density is one of the most important factors that search engines use when determining the search engine ranking of site. However, you should always provide relevant, useful and pertinent information. Avoid the temptation of overusing keywords just to gain a high ranking as this may turn off most web surfers. Relevance and quality is still the most important things to consider when writing articles and it will be doubly useful to your site if you make these articles search-engine optimized.

4.Increases Link Popularity

Instead of looking for other sites who would want to establish reciprocal links with your site, you can simply submit an article to other sites. Just do not forget to include a link to your site in your resource box. When these websites pick up and publishes your article, you automatically get a link partner. Try to get as many link partners as you can. Link popularity is one of the factors used by search engines in determining search engine rankings. Make your article especially useful and appealing, so that more websites will be encouraged to publish it.

5.Free Advertising

Submitting your articles to other websites presents an opportunity to advertise your website without paying exorbitant fees. Although you should avoid marketing language in your articles and make it informative and useful to your readers, you can always include your site’s link in the resource box. In addition, by making your article relevant and helpful to your readers, you are making a good impression for your website, which could ultimately lead to a visit and hopefully a purchase. Good quality content in an article is far better and more effective than a few lines of ad space. You have a very special opportunity to presell your product or service to your prospective customer.

6.Establishes a Good Impression and Reputation

By writing excellent, original and relevant articles, you not only give your site exposure, you are also creating a good impression on your prospects. Encourage more people to visit your site and do business with you by establishing an impressive reputation through your articles. Be seen as an expert in the field and your will ultimately gain more customers eager to do business with you.

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7 Steps to Help Increase your Google Page Rank:

Google Page rank is based on back links. Back links are Links pointing to your website from another website. The more back links you have the higher your PR will be.

1. Join forums, forums are a great way to achieve links to your website. In most forums you are allowed to have a signature and in your signature you can put a link to your website. But another important note to look on is making sure the forum is somewhat related to your website. You will still get credit if it’s not, but if it’s related to your website than you will be accomplishing two tasks at once.

You will be advertising for your website (bringing in targeted traffic) You will also be building your websites presence.

Your websites presence is very important to your survival. The more people see, or hear about your website the more credibility you will have and this increases your chances of having these visitors come back and possibly become leads.

2. Submit to search engine directories. Search engine directories are a good way to get a free link to your website. They also increase your chances at being listed higher on popular search engines like Google, and overture.

Most search engine directories allow you to submit to their website for free. This will allow you to increase your web presence by being listed on another search engine, and it will also be a free link.

Remember the more links you have the higher your PR will be

3. Using ezine ads (or newsletters). Creating an ezine will probably be the most beneficial step you can take to increasing your web presence. When you create an ezine you will be able to keep visitors coming back to your website for more by using signatures and giving special deals.

Ezine’s will also allow you to increase your back links. By creating an ezine you can submit your information about your ezine to an ezine directory. This directory will than link to your website(thus giving you a free link).

4. Creating and publishing articles. Articles are an easy source of generating new traffic. You can include your signature in your article. This will bring in more traffic from article submission directories.

Your signature usually consists of 4 to 8 lines. Usually the first line would be the title of the website that you are trying to advertise. The last line would be the link to the website and the lines in between these would be a sales pitch to draw your viewers into your website.

5. To increase your PageRank, or more precisely the PageRank of one of your pages (the homepage or any other, think of this), the first thing to do is to get links from other sites.
Getting External Links…

Here are some councils:

* Try to obtain a great number of links to your page (read our councils on this subject)
* Choose first the pages having good PageRank (be careful to distinguish the PageRank of a site and that of its pages: the PageRank of a site is by abuse of language that of its homepage, but the link towards your page will be perhaps located on another page having very bad PageRank)
* Choose pages having the least links possible (especially if their PageRank is small)
* Check that the page which put the link is well indexed by Google, otherwise its PageRank is worth zero and that will not bring anything to you. In particular, it should not contain any directive indicating to the crawlers not to index it (file robot.txt or META tags), and it should not be orphan (otherwise Google cannot index it).
* It can be more effective to have a link from a page with PageRank 4 with only a few links that a link from a page with PageRank 6 with a great number of links.
* The two best examples of links to be obtained are those of directories DMOZ and Yahoo! who seem to play a great role in Google’s algorithm. See our special pages about these two directories!

6. Importance of your internal links

Getting links from other sites is a very good thing but it is hard to control. On the other hand the links between YOUR pages, you can and must attach importance to it.

Thus, it is crucial to organize your own site well to optimize PageRank of all your pages. Indeed starting from the study on the formula of PageRank, we can consider that each page has a reserve of “points” (its PageRank) it can make some benefit to other pages by “transmitting” them a part of it.

Let us take the example of your homepage which succeeded in having good PageRank thanks to the exchanges of links with other sites. Your other pages can profit from it if you put a link from the homepage. Attention, the same rules apply: if you do many links, the share of PageRank transmitted to each one of your other pages will be weaker.

If you try to optimize your own site, it is better thus to avoid putting outgoing links (towards other sites) on your pages which have good PageRank, because an important part of your good PageRank will be spread and not transmitted to YOUR other pages. It is thus rather traditional to make a link from your homepage to a links page which will contain outgoing links.

Conversely, you can also build your site so as to improve PageRank of some of your pages (with the detriment of others). For example it is common to seek to have best possible PageRank for your homepage. Make therefore a link to this one on each page of your site, by putting for example your logo in the top left.

7. Links from related websites. Gaining links from related websites can be one of the most frustrating tasks you can attempt.

They are very easy to find, but can be somewhat difficult to obtain links from.

To find related websites, all you have to do is go to a search engine… say Google… and type in your subject. Maybe your website is based on ford mustangs.

You go to Google and type in ford mustangs, than you look around for pages that are somewhat related to your website. After you have done this (which should be very easy) you have to contact them in some way to get your link posted on their website. This can be the most difficult task because a lot of webmasters ignore e-mail’s from people requesting links because they don’t see the importance of it at the time. Some other reasons could be that they are rarely online, or they delete spam mail and sometimes delete their important emails in the process.

Important note: When looking for link partners don’t just link with websites that have a page rank of 4 or higher. Link with anyone and everyone you get a chance to. If you link to someone that has a page rank of zero, this will not hurt your page rank. It will only increase it because you are getting a link back to your website. Google doesn’t look at your back links page ranks to determine what yours is going to be. It simply looks at how many back links you have.

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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Top 5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Custom Website

Today, in North America, almost 70% of households have access to the Internet. It has evolved to the point where the Internet has become an integral element in the way business is conducted, and is shaping the way business will be conducted in the future. Most consumers these days research a product or service on the Internet before making their purchase. So, in this day and age, it could cost you not to have a website. Listed below are 5 reasons why you should employ an experienced web designer to construct a custom website for your small business.

Credibility & Identity Building
Like it or not, your potential customers are going to judge the quality of your products and/or services based on presentation and image. Therefore, an aesthetically pleasing web site will give you and your company more credibility in the eyes of you customers or clients.

Lower Your Expenses
Why spend thousands of dollars on static traditional media such as brochures? If there was ever a change in your business, such as an expansion or additional products/services, it would require printing all new corporate brochures. A web site is dynamic and can be changed or updated in a very cost effective manner. Best of all, your clients can access this information from anywhere in the world, without the delay of snail-mail. A properly constructed web site can also reduce the time that you and your employees spend answering redundant customer questions.

Complement Your Existing Marketing Efforts
Most people think of a web site as advertising. Unfortunately, they would be wrong – A web site is a medium which complements and enhances your existing marketing efforts. Your potential customers or clients can easily gain access to information that isn’t suitable to include in other traditional advertising mediums. In less than a decade, a web site will be just as common as having a listing in the Yellow Pages. What would your potential customers or clients think of your business if you didn’t have a web site?

Customer Service
A web site allows potential customers or clients to get to know more about your company, increasing the personal side of doing business. Your business will be open 24hrs per day, 365 days per year, and if someone has a question concerning your product or service, an answer is only an e-mail away. Some people may feel uncomfortable on the phone or in your office / store, and, to these people, e-mail is their preferred method of communication.

Get a Jump on the Competition
A professionally designed web site will make your business appear larger than it actually is, and therefore challenge larger competitors. When it comes to getting listed in the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), the longer your web site has been active, the higher ranking you will receive, and therefore more traffic will be directed to your web site. It is for this reason that you can’t afford delay this important decision any longer.

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Does Your Small Business Need A Web Site?

You are a small business owner. You use the internet both in your business and personally. Obviously you know there are many, many web sites out there. More then likely, you’ve even made purchases through someone else’s web site. Perhaps it is apparent that you could be doing the same thing with your own business. Certainly, extra e-commerce sales could only help your bottom line. But does your business really need a web site?

In deciding that, consider what a web site really is to a business. A well designed site can give your business exposure to a much larger group of potential customers. That makes it a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, marketing experts tell us that having a successful marketing strategy is essential to the growth of your business. Effective use of a web site can draw in new leads and turn leads into conversions. Now these new customers (your best market) can be further wooed through follow up online newsletters, automatic appreciation e-mails (auto-responders), special offers or any number of tactics. All the while building a mailing list which is like gold to anyone’s marketing efforts. With this almost limitless and relatively inexpensive marketing tool in the form of your web site, your profits have an even greater ability to soar.

A web site does need to be well designed. Also, in addition to targeted, effective content, your site needs to be regularly maintained and updated. Using its full potential requires someone in your company continually coming up with new online marketing strategies. But these efforts, if thought of as marketing investments, can mean big rewards in the form of increased profits for your business.

In this information age, the internet is key to making innovative marketing decisions that build a successful business. Your competition knows this and he/she probably has a web site. If they are savvy enough to realize its marketing potential, then they have a competitive edge. But you can make up ground and pass them up with a well designed web site of your own.

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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