Why Internet Marketing Is Essential For A New Business Website
Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. Marketing builds awareness. Awareness lets potential customers find out about your product or service. Just as with a bricks and mortar business, marketing is essential in order to let people know your business offer exists.
Although the World Wide Web can be thought of as a media channel where prospects will see your copy day after day, the truth is that unless you attract those prospects to your website first then your efforts are in vain.
The term 'World Wide Web' should really have a fourth word, 'Wilderness', because that's where any website begins and stays if no efforts are made to attract visitors.
Any business that builds a store, for example, must make efforts to attract custom in order to succeed. The very same principle applies online and just as in the offline world, the amount of benefits reaped is proportional to the amount of effort put in.
In order to maintain any kind of competitive advantage, sustained efforts must be made with a long term plan in mind.
Compared to traditional offline methods of marketing, one of the distinct advantages of marketing online is the speed at which new marketing strategies can be put to test. For example, a pay per click campaign could be launched and the results analysed all in a single day. Such campaigns can promote the smallest businesses amongst the largest industry relevant websites viewed by thousands of qualified prospects.
One of the greatest Internet marketing fallacies is those services offering automated submission to hundreds of search engines as an effective means of search engine promotion. When 80% of all search engine usage is carried out using the three largest search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN), the only others worth being included in are those that are highly relevant and/or localised. This means that automated submission services such as these can offer limited benefit and then only to those websites that don't already appear in a search engine's listings.
The effectiveness of these types of automated and unspecific services quickly becomes diluted when they are made readily available to all.
For an effective Internet marketing that delivers significant and measurable results, there is no substitute for a well-structured, customised approach making the best possible use of the technologies available.
Building a successful Internet business starts with building a website and continues with effective marketing.
10 Tips For Web Success
The webmaster's biggest job is to get their traffic up and keep customers/visitors coming back. Building the site is one thing, but simply building and posting a website does not guarantee traffic. In fact, a website could be beautiful and an example of all the latest technology and still not attract a single visitor if not promoted correctly. Here are 10 tips to guide you to success with your website.
(1) The internet is a new medium.
At least compared to print, it is. A website is a waste if it simply re-hashes something which could easily be put into print. Don't have the site be just an online brochure. Put up features which take advantage of the internet as a medium of communication. Filter information for them. Provide search capability. Provide interactivity with features like forums, quizzes and tools. Web visitors like to interact.
(2) Treat the Customer's Time as Valuable.
When a person visits your website, you have their attention for that point in time. You either need to use it or you will lose it - fast. Most visitors have short attention spans, what you need to design your site homepage so that it grabs their attention and provides what they are looking for right away. Its like walking into a restaurant. If you walk in and just stand there and nobody comes to greet you, you might wonder what is happening. But, if the hostess comes and greets you right away and walks you to a table, then you will be there for awhile and eat. The same analogy goes for websites. Don't overcomplicate your website homepage. Best results will be obtained if you make it very clear where to click to find what they need.
(3) Design the site for customers, not the company.
Your site needs to satisfy the needs of customers, not the company. So, don't post content which is not really useful to the site's customer. And avoid over-flattering marketing hype about the company. It inflates the ego of the company more than it helps your customer.
(4) Involve the Visitor.
Keep the visitor involved and make them feel like a valuable contributor. Actively ask for the feedback and suggestions. Ask for communication from your visitors and answer that communication swiftly. When getting that communication, capture their email address. This will allow you to communicate with them long after they have moved on and forgotten about you.
(5) Keep it Current.
You need to have content on your website which is timely and relevant to the customer's life. Posting month-old news is not interesting. Posting dry product information which never changes is not interesting. Yes, you need to have product information and other information on your site that won't change much, but you can also post more timely content. You can, for example, post content about how your products can be used in certain situations in life. Provide tips and techniques - things which are immediately applicable and solve a problem.
(6) Pay Attention to Form/Design.
Some sites simply over-do it on the eye-candy. Big graphics just for the sake of graphics often impress the site's designer more than the visitor. Do not use graphics that are large and purposeless. Remember, some visitors may still be accessing your website via dial-up. Your site needs to load up quickly for all users. A slow website will cause your users to leave quickly. Also, pay attention to graphic and design size. Many web designers operate on fairly large screen resolutions and sometimes forget that even though a graphic looks great to you, it will appear enormous to somebody on a smaller resolution. On the flip side, don't go too light on graphics. A site which is poorly designed and using the default font and no color is not very aesthetically pleasing. Any web visitor, whether they admit it or not, judges your company by your website unless they have something else to go on. A well-designed site communicates professionalism. A poor design makes the site seem like an afterthought.
When a visitor communicates to you via email, it is best to use a web form. not only will this keep your email address from being picked up by spammers, it will also allow you to ask your customers for their email address and then store that address for later use. Employ the "push/pull" marketing strategy. A visitor coming to your website is the pull, but later you want to push content back to them in the form of a newsletter or other promotional material. Start a mailing list and use it. Invite visitors to sign up. Promotion makes or breaks a business, and as long as you respect the ethical considerations of your mailing list, you should use it.
(8) Don't Operate in a Cocoon.
The internet is a medium which is shared by millions. When you set up your website, don't operate as if you are a self-contained island. Get out there and keep in tune with what is happening on other websites related to your own. Participate in forums. Post links to other websites and ask for a link in return. Form partnerships with other sites if it is appropriate. When it comes to communication, people like personal contacts. Hiding behind general email address like "sales" and "info" is OK as long as there is a way to also email you directly. A company site which allows email direct to the management is good. Just remember how much you hate calling a company and getting stuck in their phone system. Sometimes you just want to talk to somebody. Give your visitors that ability.
(9) Have a Plan to Attract Repeat Traffic.
Use newsletters, out-going email, contests, forums, clubs, auctions - anything that will cause people to return to your website. When posting links to other websites, don't just send your visitors somewhere else. They may never return. Provide them an exit page. Give them a pop-up when they try to leave your site. Or at the very least make external links open in a new window.
(10) Track Your Visitors
Pay attention to your site's statistics and react accordingly. What are people reading? How are they finding you? Do they just come and leave right from your homepage? How long as they are on your website? Do they return? This data is immensely valuable in fine-tuning your website based on customer needs and wants. Remember, the biggest mistake of any webmaster is designing the site for what THEY want. A successful website is designed for the target audience, not to impress the site's owner.
Keeping Track Of You Website S Visitor Statistics
When it comes to Internet statistics the most important statistic at the end of the day is how many orders or inquiries did you get. However, your ability to improve your orders and site performance will depend on your understanding of your website's other underlying traffic statistics. Here are some things to watch out for.
First of all, forget about "hits". Whenever someone requests a file it is a hit. If you visit a web page, then you are requesting several files all at once: the file for the page and the files for all the graphics on the page. By visiting one page on a site you are registering several hits. "Hits" is a very vague term and doesn't give you a good picture of what is happening on your site.
A more precise indicator of your traffic, and thus a more useful statistic, is the amount of unique visitors you receive each day. Internet statistics are never precise, but your number of unique visitors will give you a rough idea of how many people visited your website on any given day. Compare this number to the amount of orders or inquiries you get and you can figure out your conversion rate.
Another important Internet statistic to keep you eye on are the referrers. A referrer is the website where a person was visiting prior to landing on your site. Search engines are important referrers, and sites that link to you are other referrers. Compare your referred traffic to total traffic and you will see how many people just typed in your url and how many came after seeing your link in another location.
Knowing where your visitors came from is very important, but it is even better if you can get more details about this kind of traffic. That is why you should also look for the search terms that people used when coming from a search engine. Most trackers or log analysis program will give you the search terms that were used on the referring search engines.
Take a look at these terms and see if you are really getting targeted traffic. If what you consider to be your most important keywords are not high up in the list of search terms that people are actually using to find you, then you have to adjust the content of your website accordingly.
The activity of people on your site is also important. Which pages do they use to enter your site, and from which pages do they leave the site? Which are the pages that are most frequently visited and which pages are least frequently visited? Finally, what is the pattern of the traffic on your site?
Good tracking or analysis programs will tell you the click-path that people take through your site. The click-path is the sequence of consecutive pages that people follow as they go through your site. For example, if your visitors are not ending up on your order page, but following a sequence that leads them out of the site without ordering, you can look at your site again and correct the weak spots.
You can get access to these statistics in a few ways
1. Your hosting provider may have a built in traffic analysis program, such as Awstats and Webalizer. Both programs are excellent and if they are installed on your server you should take advantage of them. Just log into your account and view your statistics online.
2. You can analyze your site's access logs using programs installed on your computer. I like the OpenWebScope program, available at www.openwebscope.com Get a trial version, analyze your site's access log and you will end up with a report of visitor activity on your website. A similar program is offered by http://www.sawmill.co.uk/
3. Paste java script tracking code to your pages. Several companies provide java script trackers. Once your tracker is installed, all you have to do is to log onto a site to see your stats. Some of the trackers are free, such as the one at http://extreme-dm.com/tracking. There are also various paid services that offer a similar method of gathering statistics.
4. Google recently bought the Urchin tracking system and now offers a statistics reporting service, free of charge, in their Google Analytics program. Unfortunately, you can only get on the waiting list as the system was heavily oversubscribed in its opening days.
Gather your website statistics using a method that is easy for you and use this data to improve the performance of your website. When you get an idea of who your visitors are, how they are finding your website and which pages they are visiting on your website, you can then make changes and upgrades that will boost your online success.
Learn About Paid Surveys For Teens Online
There are many different types of paid surveys online for teens. A paid survey is a survey that is used to determine the response and opinion about a product. The products are most likely the kind of things in the teen market today. Some of these things are like clothes, soda, candy, toys, etc. They are used to determine how company's products will fare in the market and in.
When signing up for a paid survey, complete the site's sign up process. You should get permission from your parents to submit personal information into those sites. You should ensure that the site is secure and doesn't ask for any credit card information that is required.
It may be hard to weed out the good paid survey sites from the not so good sites. If you are under 18 you should as a parent to help you with your selections. You should use a main search engine and pick some on there to compare with each other. Make sure that the site is specialized for teens and that there are no adult content or adult surveys on there.
It may take a little while for you to get a hang of the paid survey process. You should answer all questions as honestly as possible and write as much information as you can in the blank spaces that are provided. Make sure the information you right is relevant to the survey. It might be a good idea to select a survey that pays in the middle range. If you select a survey that pays a lot you may find it is too difficult for you to complete, or too long.
Overall, paid surveys for teens is a good way to make some extra money. You can buy the latest trends, or save up for something bigger, such as a car. Make sure that you have your parents permission when doing paid surveys and on how much information to give out. Also, you may find that the site you are on has special bonus' when you recommend family or friends to the site, so make sure that you let people know when you have found a good site.
Using Directory Submissions To Build Inbound Links
There are literally 100's of free directories out there that you can submit your website to, and build inbound, one way links to your website. But it really helps to follow several guidelines to get the most benefit from these free directories.
Rule #1: Read the rules
Most directories have a list of rules that your listing must comply with to be accepted. Some directories have a very particular set of specifications, and if your submitted listing does not meet them, it will be deleted without a second glance.
So it is in your best interest to read the rules. If a particular directory does not have a list of rules, you can probably use a set of rules such as:
1- Submit your homepage url only
2- No promotional language or keyword stuffing in the title & description
3- Submit to the deepest sub category possible
Rule #2: Anchor text
As with all inbound links, you want to strive to get your keywords in the anchor text of the links. With directories, you have an additional challenge, as many of them require that you use your official site name as your title. So you may have to compromise.
Rule #3: Vary your anchor text
Another general rule of link building that applies to directory submissions is to vary your anchor text a little so that the links do not look artificial to the search engines.
Rule #4: Use legitimate information
Submit your real name, email, etc when you submit your website. Your link is much more likely to be approved if you do. If possible, use an email address at the domain you are submitting. Many directories like this, as it indicates that you are the owner of the site.
Just follow these rules to build 100% free inbound links to your website with directory submissions. And of course, you can even start your own directory to build more back links, but that's another story all-together.
Coupons have always been a large part of everyday life for various individuals. Over 71 million Americans use coupons, and there is no set age or income level among these "clippers". Coupons not only help to save money, but they also help market researchers decide what items are bought more frequently, they assist in determining the needs of a demographic area, and they promote and advertise business. So what happens when the coupons are being rejected in stores?
From the first coupon in 1894 to the last one used, coupons help people save billions every year. Now, with the Internet, people don't have to sift through mounds of catalogues, magazines, and sales papers to find coupons for the items they need. They only have to find the coupons online that they wish to have, print them, and use them in stores.
But what risks are shoppers taking when they print coupons from their computer and go shopping? Surprisingly, it could land innocent shoppers a hurricane of trouble, or maybe just a downpour of disappointment. Recently, more Americans are finding that a number of grocery stores and other retailers refuse coupons printed from Internet websites.
While innocent, debutante Internet surfers print coupons hoping to save a few bucks on groceries, baby diapers, clothes, or other household items, other members of the online community are manipulating the coupons, then releasing them to the unsuspecting public. Shoppers would then attempt to use the coupons on common household brands such as Snuggle and Ball Park, only to find that their coupons were fraudulent. This could cause the shopper embarrassment at the least, and perhaps an investigation if there is reasonable suspicion about the origin of the coupons.
With the Internet being so common in this new millennium, it didn't take long for people who were experienced with graphics to figure out how to create coupon scams with computer software and imaging tools that are so readily available on the market. With some simple image altering, copying, pasting, and creative web design, one individual could put hundreds, maybe even thousands, of innocent people at risk.
When people surf the net, their computer information, such as the IP address, is submitted to the websites. Sometimes, websites can gather information from the computer with the help of invisible spyware or ad ware. If a scammer is running the website that an individual is printing coupons from, it is possible they may be attacked by these "insects" of the cyber world and their passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information can be gathered by the scammer. Identity theft, unauthorized purchases, accounts drained - it can all happen as a result.
Even though the printing of invalid online coupons is hurting shoppers, it rarely impacts the demographic marketing researchers and statistics. When a valid coupon is printed and used, it still contributes to the analysis of the area that it is redeemed in. For instance, if an individual from Houston, Texas prints a valid coupon from a provider in Kentucky, then uses it in Austin, the item represented by the coupon is considered an item sold in the demographic region of Austin.
So shoppers beware of the Internet for your coupons! You could be one of those whose coupons are rejected at the checkout!
The Magnificent Power Of The Press Release
However large your company might be and whatever services or products it provides, it must always communicate with its customers. It should gain publicity and credibility. One of the most widely used tools to achieve this is advertisement. Nevertheless, one should not forget that however effective and appealing your advertisement might be, most of people tend to regard it as oversimplified and exaggerated statement. Really, in my experience, few of potential customers take your every word for its value in the advertisement. So how can you win the credibility of your company?! The credibility can be won if your statement is appeared in trusted and trustworthy information resources. Many research show that people trust more opinions of independent mass media and their representatives such as editors, journalists and radio commentators than the statements of salesmen and advertisement specialists.
The company can communicate with press by using press release service issued to mass media representatives. Press release services are one of the most effective means to gain the attention both of the public and press. How this statement should be written?! The most important point of the press release is its newsworthiness. If you organize some events, issue new products or start providing new services -than this is a sufficient ground for the issuing of the press release. The press release should be easy-to read and informative, it should not be confused with the advertisement. The press release should not be too long, neither it should be too short. One of the most important elements of the press release is its headline. The headline should grab the attention of the reader and provides your reader with the information on the purpose of your press release. The reader must know what your press release is about right from the start, from the first seconds of reading the headline.
Try to avoid using exaggerations. It might be difficult sometimes especially if the company starts providing new services or products. Remember that your story will be read by highly skeptical and even distrustful media representatives. They can be impressed only by true, credible facts rather than by the statements that might not correspond with the reality. If you follow these simple rules, than you will be able to write press release that will impress press representatives.
How To Start An Online Business Without A Website
If you are new to Internet Marketing and finding it difficult to get started, you're not alone. You probably search the Internet for so long that you found yourself back at the same starting point, but with a lot of hype and information overload. Odds are your asking the same question, "How Do I Get Started?" Fortunately there is an easy way, and best of all you don't need a web site.
Many people think in order to start a business or sell a product they need a web site. The typical process would be:
- Find a product that can be sold or promoted. This can be anything from an affiliate program to buying resell rights or private label rights for ebooks or software.
- Build a website that requires finding a web hosting provider, design the site, and creating content.
- Promote the website and product by advertising, link exchanges and any other method that will drive traffic to your site.
If you take one part from each of the three processes above you will have: a product from joining an affiliate program, creating content for distribution, and promoting it.
The process now looks like this:
- Join a good affiliate program. This can be any kind of service or digital goods such as ebooks or software. After signing up for an affiliate program you will receive a link that will include your affiliate ID.
- Create informative quality content about the product.
- Promote the product.
The last step is the key on how to promote the product without a website. Instead of creating the content for a website, create it in the form of articles, blogs, ezines, or even an eBook. Here's how:
Articles - Write an article by creating content which is relevant to the product. The most important part of the article is the resource box at the bottom (see below), or sometimes shown as 'About the Author". This should include a short description of how to find more information for the product and include the link that points to the site selling the product or service. Once you submit the article, it will be picked up by web site owners looking for fresh content. Finding article sites are not hard since there are hundreds to choose from on the Internet.
Blogs - One of the hottest and effective method for selling. Best of all a website is not needed and it's free. Just create content similar to writing articles and naturally weave your links in the blog. Update the blog once a week and keep using your important keywords. Your blog will be distributed through feeds and will also be crawled by the search engines. If you do your homework, you may end up on the first page of Google by using good keywords!
Advertise - Many people may opt not to advertise because of the costs, but if you plan your advertising campaigns carefully, they will pay for themselves quickly. If your budget is tight, look for free classifieds ads.
Forums - Visit the online discussion forums where people in your target market like to gather. Post useful responses to people's questions, and include any links that you want to promote at the end of your post next to your name. You may be surprise at the results.
E-Mail Signatures - Create an e-mail signature with your name, link, and a short tagline describing the main benefit of your product. Set your e-mail program to automatically add your signature to every e-mail that you send.
These are just some methods you can use to market products with out a website. Start out with the examples above and learn how to create quality content and effectively distribute them around the Internet. Based on this knowledge, you can begin to build a solid foundation for your business which will help you make money instead of ending up at the beginning from where you started!
Hughesnet Used For Commutation During The San Diego Fires
The recent fire disaster at California has affected a major area of San Diego. Orange County and Malibu was also severely affected. The fire had destroyed many houses, affected the power supply and has almost destroyed the entire telecommunication services. There was no form of communication for either the business or the families. And to restore all these communication it will take numerous weeks for the service provider. But for HughesNet Satellite Internet services, the situation was not so bad.
It was a blessing in disguise for many people staying in the interiors. They were previously denied broadband service by many internet service providers. But these were all based upon dial-up, DSL and broadband technology. HughesNet on the other hand is a totally satellite based Internet service. All subscribers can have hassle free Internet connectivity if they use the HughesNet Satellite Internet connection. They could communicate with their friends and relatives with ease. The situation became more vivid when the emergency vehicles and trucks used this technology with the assistance of HughesNet. The use of this technology was also noticed during Hurricane Katrina, Wilma and Rita and also during the tragic 9/11. Whenever one needs emergency communication, HughesNet is always at service. It has proved itself a very effective communication tool in all kinds of national and international disaster management scenarios.
Another positive aspect of this service is its mobility. It is easily transportable and can be used at the remotest areas with its self-pointing antenna structure. Also, its bandwidth can be scaled as per the requirement of the job and budget. Its fast deployable technology is flexible to meet any requirement of a state, a country or the world at large. All these superior capability of HughesNet has proved very effective in fighting the disaster of the San Diego fire. The satellite solution of HughesNet is an extremely effective tool for those who desire hassle free internet service or require a back up internet support system. The service offered is also exemplary with great rates for both home and business users. The best part is of course the speed which can go up to 2.0 Mbps and this is maintained even during disasters. The service was up to the mark and never failed in providing continuous communication during the catastrophe. HughesNet has a separate service line called as Continuity of Operations Solutions (COOP) which offers specialized services during an emergency. There are many Government departments and private emergency response teams which use HughesNet solutions during an emergency. The services are supported by 24/7 online and telephone support teams. Emergency vehicles are fitted with the HughesNet mobile Satellite dishes helping to communicate effectively from the disaster sites. This helps in removing the communication barricade that is so common during an emergency.
The wide array of services has pushed up the HughesNet customer base across the globe. The number of subscribers has gone up to more than 27 million. And the lucky few were in San Diego and have enjoyed hassle free Internet Service from HughesNet.
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