Friday, February 27, 2009
You need to know that at this time (Feb. 2009) getting links back to your website is still a very important factor in your website's success especially for search engine placement.
But, if you ever attempted a link campaign you know that obtaining good inbound links can be extremely time consuming (expensive). One way to accomplish inbound links is to obtain links from website directories.
However, you need to understand that most website directories will not, by themselves, bring you much traffic. But some can get you noticed and indexed by the search engines and do list your site in an acceptable length of time. This makes them worth your effort.
Not all directories are worth your effort to get listed in. Some are a total waste of time.
Google does trust some directories. Most of these have human editors. They also charge a fee to get your listing and they are somewhat restrictive as to what listings they will accept.
Here are some trusted directories I recommend:
The Open Directory Project used to be the best place to have a link placed in. But there are issues with ODP now. Mainly, getting listed can take a long time, a year or more. I suggest that you submit and forget about ODP. Here is the link: http://dmoz.org/add.html Make sure you read and follow the ODP guidelines carefully. A while back DMOZ had serious issues with Google and lost its page rank.
The Yahoo! Directory is still effective though it costs $299 to be included even if they reject you. http://search.yahoo.com/dir One problem is that Yahoo! uses your title and description tag on your main page to describe your website. This may not be optimal. However, there may be some changes in this method in the future.
Business.com - $99.00 annual fee
Best of the Web - List your website at $99.95 per year or pay the one-time review fee of $249.95
Go Guides - starting at $19.95 a membership will allow you to list five websites per month
Joe Ant - You must be an editor to suggest a site. They now take paid submissions to be reviewed.
BUBL - focuses on academic subject areas
R-TT Directory - recommended and free but needs a reciprocal link
My friend, Martin Preece, operates a directory review site. When you study Martin's very thorough reviews, it looks like the pickings for good free directories are slim.
Martin was asked from which he does get a little traffic: He reported just these two:
http://all-linksite.com/ and http://www.directoryworld.net/ . Martin also said that he would not spend much time looking for directories simply to attract direct traffic to your website. Martin also said that he only gets a trickle even from DMOZ and the other major directories mentioned above.
Wikidweb.com - Martin said he submits to this wiki style site to get "spider food." The listing is quickly picked up by the search engines.
The main reason people list in these directories is for the links.
You hear from some people that free directories can help you. Well, that used to be the case about four years ago. Times have changed. The main problem is that the free directories may not list your site and they do not tell you that fact. So, you need to keep going back to see if it is listed. Major pain.
Here are two more directory review sites that are worth investigating:
Vile Silencer (don't let the name throw you off, it's a very good site) They have a Top 100 list that is maintained regularly.
SEO Company - The linked page has a long list of free directories. But here is their list of trusted directories.
(note to self and you too!) When researching this article I came across this interesting site:
101 SEO Resources
Deep Linking - It is believed by some SEO people that getting good links to interior pages on your website (not the home page) improves your chances to be found on the search engines. This may be true, but I do not think that this technique will improve your page rank overall. My experience is that Google used to put more page rank throughout your site if you had a very good rank for the home page. I'm not sure that is still true. Once again, there are no LAWS in SEO, only opinions based on experience.
SEO friendly websites have static links. If a directory uses a redirect script it is not good for you. On some website directories, ranked pages the site will have it blocked to search engine bots. The reason they do this is hazy at best.
My personal experience is that your well designed (for SEO) website will be indexed by the search engines in time, sometimes quickly, even without inbound links. Thus, I wonder if the importance of inbound links is over rated.
So, we get back to the trust factor of Google. Perhaps having decent inbound links improves your page rank. This is the prevailing opinion of experienced SEO people.
My conclusion: I would spend more time getting inbound links from a few directories and from other good sources like comments on blogs and from other sites well trusted by the search engines.
Do you agree?
The Mighty Mo Website Design and Promotion
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
If you've ever used Google Adwords to sell your products using Pay Per Click you've probably seen a section on their site called "negative keywords." Do you know what "negative keywords" are? Let me explain.
Just like you’re concerned about getting the right kind of traffic, you should be just as concerned about getting the wrong kind of traffic. You, of course, want to avoid paying for ads that don't convert. That’s why you should make use of the negative keyword tools in your PPC engine. When you enter these, your ad will not show when your negative terms are searched for.
For instance, let's say that you are selling a topical acne treatment (a cream).
You might then choose to use "supplement," "pill," and related keywords as negative keywords so that your ad does not appear during searches that are done by people looking for an acne pill treatment (capsule).
This will save you a lot of money, which will allow you to focus on the words you really care about.
Knowledge is power! He or she who knows the rules, wins.
Photo credit: Mark Z
Until recently I only thought of SEO as a way to get your website noticed by the search engines. In the business this is known as SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
I now see SEO more as a process that makes people aware of your webdite rather than a set of technical rules to put your website high up in the search engine ranks.
For example, if you post an answer on Yahoo Answers, people do click on the link you provide as the source of your knowledge. Well, why can't the source be your own website? How about article marketing? Is this part of the new SEO?
I think it is. When you submit an article to a great article sites such as EznieArticles.com and GoArticles.com a link back to your site should be provided in your author bio. (If it is not, then you are a very generous person indeed)
That link will enable people to find your website directly from the article directory. If people like what you write, then they may want to read more of your stuff.
I am told that Ask.com does not have a "no follow" policy for links posted in answers. True, the search volume of Ask.com is far less than Google, but we need to take advantage of any avenues to increase our website exposure.
Remember, the "no follow" tag used by Google does not mean people cannot cross over using the link posted anywhere else. It means that the site linked to will not get "Google juice" or higher Google Page Rank or respect from Google.
Here are some SEO techniques to get targeted traffic:
1. there are some (but not too many) good website directories to join. (if you want a list of my favorites, send me a message)
2. Participate in forum and blog discussions. This is a proven method (by me) to get a fair amount of traffic to your website.
3. Press releases: well written press releases can deliver decent traffic.
4. Link exchanges with other websites can send minimal traffic. But a good inbound link has other value, perhaps more Google juice.
5. I have good results from Yahoo Answers.
6. I have good results from Ryze.com
The point I am trying to make is that I strongly recommend to my clients that they help themselves by using these diffent SEO techniques. The new SEO requires more effort on the part of my clients or they can hire me to do some of that work.
So, you will get traffic using other techniques and that to me is the main goal of SEO, is it not?
What do you think?
Greg Cryns The Mighty Mo Website Design and SEO service
Free Freelancing Report
Saturday, February 21, 2009
For most Blogs, daily updates are probably best, but weekly or even monthly updates might work just as well, depending on your topic and subject matter.
In either case, stick to a schedule. If you usually post daily but sometimes let weeks go by without posting any new content, you'll lose many of your readers.
Remember SEO principles apply to Blogging too plus you have the added advantage of regular robot visits if you stick to your schedule consistently.
~John Alexander Search Engine Workshops
Free Freelance Profits report
I am a long time member of the Ryze.com community. Lots of people know me or know of me there since I have a bulletin board network with about 5,000 members. I also made a ton of posts there over the years.
I received a private message from someone I don't know. Yes, I may have chatted with this person online once, but I'm not even sure of that.
Below is the message he sent. What is interesting about the note is that he writes as though we've been friends all along.
Know what? This is a good idea! You can bet I will remember his name the next time I see it, or I may get a fuzzy feeling when I do see the name.
Is this good networking? I think it could open doors. What do you think?
Here is the message:
It's been awhile since I dropped you a line. Sorry, life get's in the way sometimes I am sad to say. I need to prioritize better. Having fun takes up a lot of time.
Anyway, hope all is well over there and not too cold!
Jen & I had a great day yesterday, (Saturday) diving off the Sunshine Coast, a one hour drive north of Brisbane.
We had three dives at Caves Reef, about 20 minutes off the coast. On dive 1 we saw a massive Crayfish, just sitting at the bottom of the anchor chain. On dive 2 we caught up with a turtle. It was about 3 feet long and just resting in a hideaway watching as swim by. Very cute. Then on dive 3 for the day, a giant school of colourful fish, don't ask me what type as I still have to do that part of the course.
Needless to say we slept well last night.
They have sunk a Navy ship, the HMAS Brisbane not that much further north and we plan on diving that in a couple of weeks. Oh, just incase you were wandering, the water temp was 26 C, think thats high 70's F. Are you guy's C or F?
Today is going to be a nice relaxing day of recovery. Sunday breakfast with some friends, then catch up with one of my daughters, Seth's mum. He's 4mths old now and all smiles.
What other networking techniques have you tried? Please post them in comments.
Free Freelance Report
Work At Home Profiles
SEO Changes - Are Your Sales Dropping as Your SEO Rankings "Soar high?"Some claim that SEO is dead. John Alexander, the founder of Search Engine Workshops, disagrees and so do I. Rather than dying, Search Engine Optimization needs to rethink and rework. We should not be surprised since the Internet changes daily.
The warning goes like this: your search engine placement is still high but your sales are declining. What happened? Did your webmaster fail you?
Read more: http://www.searchengineworkshops.com/articles/seo-changes.html
Search Engine Optimization has many more factors to consider. Recently Google introduced SearchWiki which has the potential to turn the SEO world on its head by personal search results based on your personal search habits.
Check out this illuminating article: Personalization of Search and its implications for SEO
Advanced competitive intelligence is something you need to learn now before the search world passes you by.
The Mighty Mo! website design and SEO promotion
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Understand please that I have no problem with selling information of any kind on the Internet. However, I do dislike some of the techniques used both on and off the web to separate people from their money.
One online marketing method I dislike very much is call "forced continuity."
The problem is that some very well recognized internet marketing people use this method, especially to increase the number of subscribers to their monthly training and information sales ventures. I think this has the potential to create an overload of mistrust and doubt by the same people who create good incomes for the internet marketers.
People, just because some "gurus" use this forced continuation does not mean they are to be respected for it.
I saw an offer to join a "program" a couple of days ago. The price is clearly announced as "$1.00 for the first 30 days." Fair enough. The announcement is not hidden in small print. The option to discontinue the program is also clearly stated.
But most successful internet marketers are not new kids on the block. They have studied techniques by the money makers. In fact, these techniques to get you to send them money are now getting seasoned and now have a cookie-cut look and feel. Except for a small minority of marketers, if you see one, you've seen them all.
It is laid in stone, I think, that if you can bring in someone for a $1.00 trial, the odds are that this person will not notify you to cancel the program either because he is embarrassed to do so or he just forgot to do it.
But I did something that many people do not do. I read the very long text ad carefully. Yes, the $1 peek charge was true. The continuation charge was $97 per month. Excuse me? Did I read that right?
Here is how it works. If you do not cancel out the program your credit card will be charged $97 on the 31st day. (or is it the 30th day?) Doesn't matter. If you have not cancelled you will owe the $97 IF you notice the charge on your card.
Well, I guess some things are worth $97 per month but not too many, in my opinion. If there was an iron clad guarantee that if you followed their methods you would achieve a certain monthly income in return, then fine, I would not object.
In fact, that may be another way to market. Make a guarantee like that for the first year. If you product is that good then I predict that the people who are genuinely successful will not ask for their money back. My experience on the Internet is that a very high percentage of people are extremely honest. I first learned that marketing products on eBay.
To be fair, most Internet marketers are very clear when they talk about the actual monthly cost. They don't hide the fact, but frankly, I don't think they stress it enough.
I wrote the owner of this product a short email asking if they would accept Pay Pal since I could not see that possibility when I clicked to the payment area. She said, "Sorry, no Pay Pal."
Hmmmm, that is strange? Or is it?
See, IM people are very aware that it is very easy to cancel recurring payments in Pay Pal. They also know it is not so easy to do the same through any other credit carrier. They know that you may be embarrassed about cancelling but more likely, they know you will forget to contact them before the 30th day.
There was a very long thread over at Warrior Forum about this subject. Many pros and cons were posted.
Here are a very few links I found for you to investigate.
Be sure to read this forum exchange: http://ablakeforum.com/index.php/topic,585.0.html
Carolyn Middlebrook wrote this fine article about Forced Continuity.
Michael Fortin wrote an article about forced continuity. He is more forgiving than I am.
The US Government has a page on forced continuity. Mainly it says BE CAREFUL. It also gives phone numbers you can call to complain. Use them.
The topic is about offline business as well:
Check this out: Forced Continuity - The good, the bad, the questionable
Search "forced continuity" and you will find a lot of references.
My opinion is that this is a practice that needs to be ended for the good of the IM industry if not for the good of any individual.
Frankly, most of the time if they won't take Pay Pal, I won't buy it at any price.
That is my opinion. This topic has been raised many times. I don't think the concept has saturated the marketplace buyers yet by a long shot. I am passionate about persuading people not to use this technique.
Many guru types do not agree with me. I hope they feel free to post their reasons here. Let them know about this article.
What is yours? Please comment.
Photo credit: shari c
All About Paso Robles, California
I contacted Lending Tree to obtain quotes for my mortgage refinance about six months ago. Supposedly I would get three quotes.
After 15 phone calls from mortgage brokers from across the country I realized this company pulled a fast one on both me and the mortgage brokers who use their service. I wasted my time with the brokers. They wasted their time with me. Lending Tree wasted not time collecting their fees, I am sure.
I received another call from a broker last week. Frankly, I felt sorry for the fellow who probably paid Lending Tree a hefty fee to get my lead. He did not know, of course, that I had already refinanced a while back.
Today I read an interesting post at BuzzBlog by Paul McNamara. He reported that you cannot close your Lending Tree account even when you ask them politely. When told it was a matter of law (?) he asked if they would simply close the doors so people could not crack into their system and steal his personal information. Lending Tree closed the door on him. They did not budge.
Moral of the story? If you are looking for a mortgage loan, do not call Lending Tree for assistance. You will be spammed mercilessly for a long time. But more importantly, this is a lesson about giving your information to anyone for anything on the Internet.
Be alert and be cautious out there, friends.
Photo credit: David Trattnig
The Mighty Mo Website Design and SEO Promotion
All About Paso Robles
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Not everyone is aware of what Internet Marketers know. You can make a nice living creating and distributing your own information product. Here is a look behind the curtain that may give you some ideas. Guest post by my Marcia Yudkin.
Information Products: Fifteen Factors That Boost Their Perceived Value
by Marcia Yudkin
Although the going rate partially depends on the target
market, ebooks currently tend to sell for $29.95 to $49.95.
Single audio recordings fall in the same range. Length
isn’t necessarily a multiplier. For instance, if you
produce an ebook that is three times the typical length,
you can’t necessarily charge $89.95 to $149.95. People
would be suspicious that the additional content was
redundant, or that you’d increased the length through large
type, a lot of white space or wordy writing.
So what kind of magic wand transforms a $29.95 product into
one that people happily pay hundreds or even thousands of
dollars for? It’s not magic. Simply add as many of the
following factors as you can to your offering, and watch
people readily fork over big money.
Fifteen Factors That Boost The Perceived Value of
1. Practical focus. People pay more when a product teaches
them something or gives them whatever they need to
accomplish a task. Someone who shares stories about their
summer vacation in France would find it difficult to charge
more than $19.95 for their product, but if the product
enables buyers to speak real estate French in two weeks or
to buy vacation property in France at bargain prices (or
both!), that could easily be worth more than a hundred
dollars to purchasers.
2. Specific outcome. Participants will pay much more for a
product that promises to deliver a result or outcome rather
than merely offering education, insight or support.
Compare “Complete Your Business Plan in 30 Days” or “Get
Booked in Soap Opera Roles,” which clearly aim at a
specific result, with “Managing Difficult Customers,” which
is bound to be helpful but does not target an outcome.
3. Focused guarantee. People expect a money-back guarantee
of some sort, but when you highlight the expected result in
the wording of your guarantee, customers better understand
the value of what they’re getting and become more willing
to pay for it. For example: “If you don’t get booked on a
single daytime soap within six months of buying the course
– or are unhappy with it for any other reason – simply
return it for a 100% refund.” When you analyze this
guarantee logically, it’s not that different from a blanket
money-back guarantee, but emotionally its confidence is far
4. Testimony of results. No one wants to be suckered, and
testimonials reassure the shopper that someone has
purchased and felt good about spending the money. Don’t
even bother with unsigned or partly anonymous testimonials,
which are not believable. Enthusiastic, raving praise
can’t hold a candle to customers signing their name to
specific results they achieved from your product. Indeed,
when I receive a strong testimonial saying exactly what the
customer was able to do or how much more they made after
consuming my product, I have been known to instantly raise
the product price.
5. Hard-to-find information. When a product includes
information someone can’t otherwise buy or that they can’t
normally even find, the price can go sky-high. Smart
information marketers create or acquire a bonus item in
this category, which not only lets them charge more but
also induces more lookers to decide they just have to have
the item. Prior to the Internet, speakers bureau owner
Dottie Walters, for example, offered a directory of bureaus
around the world as a bonus for a two-year subscription to
her magazine. It persuaded people who didn’t necessarily
even want the magazine to keep renewing to get the
6. Timeliness. Information that is hot off the press and
tied to new developments fetches a premium price. For
instance, when the stock market has just tanked, investors
can be desperate to spend money on a product like
“Investment Strategies for a Down, Down, Down Economy.”
Combine such timeliness with elements #5 and #7, and you
should be able to make a killing.
7. Reputation. If the author or presenter is well-known,
impressively credentialed or highly respected by the target
audience, the package can cost much more than for a no-name
unknown. Add a factor of exclusivity to increase the
premium value even further – for example, the product is
available to newsletter subscribers only.
8. Tangible materials. When an information product
includes printed materials and CDs or DVDs that come in the
mail rather than just downloadable stuff, the perceived
value rises greatly. Buyers appreciate having a physical
copy of what they’ve bought, not simply a bunch of files on
their computer. This doesn’t mean the materials have to be
glossy or expensively packaged. Indeed, a very simple yet
professional design emphasizes the specialized, exclusive
nature of the information.
9. Access to the guru or expert. You can easily raise the
price of an information package $300 or more if it includes
the right to ask questions or interact with someone who is
looked up to and not generally accessible. The access can
come in the form of a buyers-only forum, consulting time, a
telephone conference call, a critique coupon or buyers-only
call-in hours. And guess what? Most people who pay extra
for this sort of option do not actually use the access, yet
they consider it worth having spent more money on.
10. Consulting, coaching or mentoring component. Here
there’s a more formalized kind of one-on-one help or advice
included with the product, prompting a steep rise in
perceived value, even if, as with #9, few participants take
advantage of the opportunity. Since they figure that’s
their own fault, they’re still willing to pay the premium
fee for something that makes coaching, advice or feedback
11. Community or support. Customers may feel isolated and
unsure how to find others who share a particular challenge
or achievement. If so, providing access to a group of
people who, let’s say, are running a third-generation
family business or recovering from a rare kind of abuse has
extra value for people.
12. Additional services. My $795 home-study course on
presenting profitable teleseminars includes having me
distribute a press release for them at no charge – a $149
value. Here you’re not simply piling on downloadable
bonuses, which everyone knows cost next to nothing to
deliver, but bundling in an extra service that would
normally cost extra, such as free proofreading or a free
reality check for the participant in “Complete Your
Business Plan in 30 Days.”
13. Tools. Include software, spreadsheets, calculators,
checklists, scripts, templates, samples, workbooks and so
on as another way of increasing perceived value. These
items aren’t informative so much as useful in accomplishing
tasks. To the extent that the average buyer hasn’t
encountered the tools elsewhere, perceived value rises.
14. Certification. Participants adore it when satisfactory
completion of your program entitles them to call themselves
a certified something or other. Because this beefs up
their credentials, they’re happy to pay more for a program
that includes certification.
15. Continuing education credit. Some professionals have
to earn a certain number of education credits each year to
keep a license current. If that applies to your content
area, investigate which organizations hand out the credits,
then apply for inclusion in their program. The very same
content is worth more to participants who can satisfy
continuing education requirements by buying your
Along with increasing the perceived value of information
products, these fifteen factors strongly reduce refund
requests, too. Now go back through the list and think
about which elements you can incorporate to boost your
The author of 11 books and five multimedia home-study
courses, Marcia Yudkin has been selling information in one
form or another since 1981. Download a free recording of
her answers to the most commonly asked questions about
information marketing by entering your information into the
privacy-assured request box at
The Mighty Mo Website Design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I talk to people every day who paid me to help them make some changes on their website and advise them about how they can help themselves (without handing me their checkbook).
These folks mean well. Many of them start out doing what they need to do. Others never really get started. Something puts them off. I don't think it is laziness. I think it has something to do with inertia. We simply don't want to change our habits. It is too painful to carry out projects that are unproven but which could change our lives. Here is a nice article about how to improve your advertising. Will you take action?
7 Common Business Advertising Mistakes
by Kevin Sinclair
You've probably heard the famous saying "I know that half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted: if only I could figure out which half it is!” Well, now you can. By eliminating the common mistakes many businesses make with their advertising programs, it's easy.
Here's a checklist of mistakes many companies make with their advertising:
1) Not focusing enough time and effort on their advertising
Most business owners spend far more time and effort on mundane things that don't really affect their bottom line than on advertising. This is the first huge mistake. Without effective advertising, almost all businesses will fail.
If you feel you don't have the time or desire to handle the advertising for your business, consider hiring a consultant or agency - but with caution. It's almost more difficult to find an ad agency that knows what is effective than it is to study it yourself. Many agencies are far more focused on winning awards than creating profits for their clients.
If you do feel you need to hire an agency, find one that will work on a results compensation basis vs. a straight commission for all the media they buy. This gives them an incentive to provide results and not pad the budget to justify a larger commission for the agency.
2) Relying on advice from friends and relatives
If business owners do handle their own advertising, many times they let their friends/wives/husbands or other various employees who have no idea whether or not advertising is effective make the decisions about their advertising plan.
Would you ask your dentist for advice about fixing your car engine? Of course not - that's not their expertise. So why in the world would you base something as important as decisions about your advertising on a relative who has no idea what he's talking about?
3) Being led by pushy or aggressive media sales people
The reason media companies pay their sales people big bucks is because they can influence you to buy space, air or time (in the newspaper, radio or television) and give you no guarantees if it doesn't work. Sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it? Your customers probably wouldn't buy from you and not expect the product or service to perform the way it should. But ad sales reps do it all the time.
Now sometimes they really mean well, and they have lots of experience and some fluke event or problem comes up. But for the most part, ad sales reps will do virtually anything they can do to get the sale.
If you feel like you're being bullied by an ad sales rep or that they really aren't looking out for your best interest, but really feel you want to work with that station/newspaper, etc., then ask for a new rep. They want your business and you're the one calling the shots, so if they want your business, they need to find someone you're comfortable working with.
4) Allowing your creative delivery to be ineffective
You can buy the best media schedule in the world that reaches 100% of your market 100 times, but if your message is not well created, it won't bring you the results you want. Most companies rely on either their ad agency or the media company themselves create the ads for them. This is a very difficult thing because most companies acting on your behalf don't take the time to learn about your business, your customers and what makes you different in your market.
To be effective, your commercial or ad must give the potential customer a compelling reason to buy your product or service. That means you have to come up with a better slogan than "we have the best service and we've been in business for 112 years."
No one really cares....well they do, but they don't believe you. If that's what you want to convey to your market, then give them a story that tells them that you have the best service. Make your company stand out.
You also have to include some sort of call to action. If you have a wonderful warm and fuzzy commercial that makes people 1) notice the ad, 2) actually read or watch it without being distracted by one of a million other things going on in their lives, and 3) become compelled and engaged by the message to have a positive feeling about your company and don't ask them to do something as a result of that - you're wasting your time and money. This is something that many ad agency creative types don't get.
If you don't ask them to do something specific within a certain time period, there's no way to measure the response. You may say that you can compare last year's sales for the same time period with this year's, etc., but that doesn't take into account a myriad of other possible reasons that your sales went up or down.
By giving your ad viewers/listeners/readers a specific action to take, you know that the reason they did that is because they were motivated to do so by your ad.
5) Always doing the same old thing because that's what you've always done.
If you're not growing, you're dying - and the same goes for your business. If you're happy with the same old returns on your advertising (assuming that you're measuring it in some way), then continue to do the same thing. Most business owners aren't though, so it's important to try new things.
The way society changes the way it uses media and as quickly as those changes happen, you need to keep up or lose out. Many business owners are afraid to try something new because it takes them out of their comfort zone - especially if no one in their industry has ever tried the new idea. This is a huge mistake and robs them of potentially huge profits.
6) Falling into the price trap.
This is another huge one! Unless you're Wal-Mart and can guarantee that no other business can sell for a lower price, don't use that as your main selling point. Once you start down that path, it's virtually impossible to stop.
If you can't come up with another reason for your potential customers to choose you instead of your competitor, you really need to find one (or more)!
7) Not using publicity or events in their advertising plan
It's amazing how few businesses even try to use publicity or special events in their advertising. It's often the best advertising you can get - not only because it's free, but because it cuts through the clutter. If the newspaper runs a story or a TV station is covering something during their newscast, it has automatic credibility that you just can't buy.
Of course you can't control the message 100%, but if you learn solid techniques of creating your publicity or press event, you can have a great deal of influence about how a story is covered.
If you can eliminate only 1 or 2 of these mistakes (assuming you're making them all), you'll wonder why you didn't do so earlier! In business, if there are enough of the right customers buying your products and services, many of your problems seem to disappear.
Kevin is the publisher and editor of besuccessfulnews.com, a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
1. I have 16 years of Catholic school education. That was enough to push me into Agnosticism. I can still remember many of the Latin responses as an altar boy. I wanted to go into the Catholic prep seminary, Quigley H.S. in Chicago, but my wise mother blocked that.
2. I gravitated to individual style sports in high school: golf, swimming, bowling. I was pretty good at all of those but that may account for the fact that I've never worked in a team environment. I've been self employed most of my life selling insurance and Little Debbie snack cakes and loving the Internet since 1998. My wife is jealous of the Internet. ;)
3. I owned a McDonald's restaurant a long time ago. I also drove a Checker Cab in Chicago, waited tables and went to DePaul Law school but dropped out after a couple of months. I realized I didn't want to study books any more. I wanted to write one. I knew a very successful woman who said to me "Why do you want to be a lawyer? We hire lawyers!"
4. Six of my seven children were born at home. I have nine brothers and sisters. My mother had 10 cesarian sections. I was the first. We were all bottle-fed. So much for natural parenting from my own parents.
5. I met my wife on a blind date. We went to see the horses at a harness race track near Chicago. She laughed when I spilled mustard from a hot dog on my crotch.
6. I once solved the Jumble newspaper word game from start to finish in 22 seconds. I did not use a pencil but did it in my head. Too bad I can't get paid for that talent.
7. I ran for public office and held the position as a library board member for 10 years. No one ran against me the first time I ran. Later I had opposition but I kicked butt at vote time. That's the power of incumbency.
8. If given the chance to go back in time and relive my life, I would take it! It's not that I regret what I've done. Not at all. I picture myself as successful. Some would disagree. I don't believe in the idea "He who dies with the most toys wins". That is hogwash.
I was very pleased to attend SMX West in Santa Clara, CA. This was my first SEO conference. It was well worth the visit.
I met quite a few of the movers and shakers in the SEO business. The vendors at the show were a bit out of my league, though. They wanted to meet people with big scale customers, the ones with 50,000 - 3,000,000 on their subscriber lists. Alas, my customers are in the 100-1,000 range.
Even so, I soaked in their conversations and some of their presentations.
The main conference talks were good but more targeted to the beginner SEO crowd, I felt. That's ok, too. You always pick up on new ways and ideas listening to people who are in the trenches day in and day out.
It was fun to hear the Google guys talking about SearchWiki with Danny Sullivan moderating. I did not know about SearchWiki before that. I suggest you take a look for your own edification and business survival.
SearchWiki summary: using this new tool you can customize your Google search results. You can add, remove and rearrange results and comment on them. You need to be logged into your Google account to use this. Your personal changes will not affect how others see their search result (SERPs).
In my opinion, this product will affect SEO in the future, but not in the near future. To gain a foothold the product must become popular and that can be a long stretch or even failure. But SearchWiki is something you need to be aware of.
Here is the Google page on SearchWiki: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/10/google-searchwiki.html
Here is a video tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-c7vQrOV0I&feature=related
With my always handy FlipVideo I created some videos. Here you can get a feel for what a large conference like SMX and others looks and feels.
The Google booth in the vendor area:
A free presentation by a vendor:
20000 Credit Card Debt
Friday, February 13, 2009
This is a guest post from a fellow whose philosophy appears to mirror mine about SEO. Enjoy!
Different Companies Offer Different SEO Services
by Andy Calloway
Search engine optimisation is still a pretty misunderstood service and it's small wonder - people are bombarded with information about it all the time and yet much of this information is extremely confusing and hard for the layman to understand.
SEO services are usually offered in segments with the most obvious one being 'search engine submission' which everybody seems to think is the answer to all their problems. Very often people expect that when they've submitted their site to Google it will be available within a few days - I feel a little sad for them when I explain that it will take six to eight months for them to see any real results!
You see, 'site submission', although it is one of the most common SEO services offered by consultants and 'all things to all buyers' websites is probably a massive distraction. I've seen adverts from companies offering to submit your site to thousands of search engines for very little outlay and many people believe this will get them a boat load of traffic.
Unfortunately, it won't.
Your site will not be ranked highly by Google based on you telling it you exist. It will only rank highly if you tell it that your site is relevant and interesting, and you can't do that by submitting it to all and sundry.
SEO services that are worthwhile
When you engage an SEO services company then you need to be looking for one that understands the need for quality content publication and effective off-site link building. But not just building any old links - they need to be quality links from good websites with high regard at Google and these just can't be bought in bulk.
I have seen adverts for sites offering thousands of back-links for little cash and they really only help if your product or service is in an area that has very little competition. If you have any competition that has done even a little bit of decent SEO, they will beat you. Five good quality links will beat a thousands poor quality links easily.
So, ensure your SEO company is offering a service where they will promote your company through articles, participating in forums and general off-site content building. But you should also be looking at what your site says to your customer. A good site will make it easier for the visitor to buy from you, period. If your site is easy to buy from and your visitors can understand it then it will also be easy for Google to understand.
And this leads on to something I have mentioned in many of my articles - don't ever optimise for Google. Optimise for your customers, they're the ones that buy from you and they're the ones that will eventually make your fortunes.
Andy Calloway is the director of SEO Services at Calloway Green Ltd, a web development and SEO consultancy in the West Midlands, UK. We provide a wide range of SEO services and search engine optimisation to businesses of all sizes. For free SEO information, download our e-book DIY SEO now!
What do you think about companies that provide SEO service?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
You may know that you can get the latest news headline links using Google alerts. Simply go to http://www.news.google.com and put in a search for something you want to know more about.
For instance, I may want to get updates on news about "search engine marketing". After you get the results on that page, drag down to the bottom. In the middle you will see New! Get the latest news on search engine marketing with Google Alerts. Click the link to got to the Alerts page.
On the Alerts page you can tell Google how often you want to receive the alerts (I always choose "once a day" and to which email account you want to receive the alerts (some people have many email accounts to choose from). Then hit the "Create Alert" button and you will start receiving the alerts for the term you searched. Easy enough unless you are lazy like me. See, I never thought to investigate the "Type" of search result I was looking for so I was getting just news. I could also have been getting blog, web, video and groups alerts, You also have the option to receive "Comprehensive" alerts. Now I select that option. You can subscribe to alerts in multiple languages.
You can receive up to 1,000 alerts. Woot!
Here are some ideas about how you can use Google Alerts.
1. monitor your competitors - new products, ideas, financial changes - competitive intelligence
2. monitor your customers and prospects - It would be nice to send them a card when they do something newsworthy
3. track your name and your business name - put quotes around the phrases like "Joe Jones" or "Pete's Pies" - what are people saying about you or your company in the blogs?
4. in the "Advanced Search" page you can narrow you search by geographical location, date and other parameters.
5. Track news about new software releases or version upgrades
6. local news - track the subject and the newspaper
7. Want to know when someone links to your website or blog? Search link:myblogname.com
8. authors - get ideas for a new article
9. niches - more ideas and what is happening in your niche
10. job seekers - think of the many ways to use this to learn more about the job market
11. when is a new page from you blog included in Google? type in a unique line from your article
12. cache- what a page looked like earlier cache:compleatmother.com
13. site: get results from just one website
14. related: what does Google think is related to the site - related:www.wahmsearchengine.com
15. inurl: search for the page URLs - inurl:seo Leave your good Google alert tips in the comments.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Here are some ad subject lines that went directly to my Yahoo trash bin. The headlines shown below were not SPAM as I did opt-in. But the message contained content that Yahoo felt was spam.
By the way, I am a sucker for local ads because they usually offer discounts. Love that!
What can we learn from them, if anything? Are they creative? Do they demand action?
How big is your list? - has some pull power
This site could be banned at any moment - moderate pull
The Habits Of Successful Home Party Business Owners! - strong pull for me
Caroline Middlebrook - this is Caroline's subject line. I open everything from her. I can say that for only a treasured few. Name branding works if you have IT.
[chrisbrogan.com] - the same for Chris Brogan, I open it all - see how he continues to brand his name?
Your Weekly Showtimes from Park Cinema 9 - I like this one because it comes from our local movie house and I want to see what they have to offer
Walmart.com Free Shipping and Rollback Specials! - like a magnet for frugal Greg
Only 2 Objectives For You Online Business - this is an example of a newsletter with really good stuff but really crappy headlines, in my opinion
Small Business Trends - another name branding effort - has good content!
Say Hi On The Inner Circle Forum - Willie Crawford will not be happy that I did not whitelist his newsletter, but I just don't do that? I do often check my SPAM file. But this pulls me in because Willie earned my trust.
like Larry and Sergey from Google called.. - this one had two things going for it -1) I respect the author, Jim Morris, of NicheBot.com; 2) I love to hear about Larry and Sergey and any Google news.
What do you think about email headlines?
The Mighty Mo Website Design and Marketing
All About Paso Robles
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Is branding important? Do you know what it is? Don't feel strange if you don't know. Many new business people have very little understanding of branding their business.
By definition, a brand is a "a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service "
You know what the Nike logo looks like. And you know when you see a Coca-Cola or a McDonald's restaurant. Those entities are branded into our minds. We can't shake loose from them.
If you have a product that is widely known you have brand recognition.
Obviously, not everyone can be a superstar. The Toyota symbol is also a brand but you may not know what it looks like until you actually buy a Toyota car.
Do you know what the Wells Fargo bank logo looks like? I do because we have an account there, but, again, you probably would not recognize it if you don't do business with Wells Fargo.
Many people on the Internet try to brand themselves with a picture, an avatar, or something I see more of every day, a caracature of themselves. Some will combine a logo or caracature with a nick name, like Alice Seba does. Alice is known as the Internet Marketing Sweetie. Her Twitter name is @imsweetie.
Zna, a fitness guru, brands herself with the spelling of her name and also with the name of her corporation, SmartBodies, Inc. and her domain name, FastestFatBurn.com. Zna's Twitter name is @ZnaTrainer. Obviously Zna appreciates the value of branding.
So, you can successfully brand yourself alone, especially on the Internet. But if you are going to brand yourself with your name alone, as many do - myself included, you better be sure you don't want to sell your branded website in the future.
A careful management of a brand can create value. Businesses can brand themselves locally by advertising with their company logo in the newspaper, on the TV and many other places in the local area.
I think the time you spend finding a good brand for your business is time very well spent. You will profit greatly if you succeed and the brand itself may help you succeed.
Photo credit: John McDermott
Work At Home Profiles
Wahm Town (domain and site are for sale, make an offer)
Wahm Online (for sale)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Forums are great places to visit if you have the time. I've moved my efforts over to blog comments but that is much like a traditional website forum. You may consider learning about many things including search engine optimization (SEO) by finding and visiting good forums.
Learn to Become a Search Engine Expert Using Forums
As a website owner, getting your site listed and
placing well in the search engines can turn into
a full time job. Search engine optimization is
the process of altering your site so it appears
in the top listings of the major search engines.
You can hire someone to do it for you and pay out
thousands of dollars, or you can be "web savvy"
and learn how to do it yourself.
True search engine optimization does not involve
tricks or search engine spam, but techniques that
help websites become more search engine friendly
and therefore rank better.
So how does a novice learn what search engines find
important, let alone which search engines to optimize
for? The answers to these questions and much more
can be found online in discussion forums. Discussion
forums are a valuable resource and a fertile learning
ground for anyone with the motivation to learn. Hang
out a while and read the posts and you'll soon absorb
so much new information that you may become an expert
So where do you find these forums? If you want to
learn from the best, you've got to know where the
best hang out. I'm going to save you the research
time by introducing you to the "cream of the crop."
1) HighRankings Forum:
This discussion board, run by the acclaimed search
engine expert Jill Whalen, is priceless. The forum
is broken down into categories ranging from
optimization tips and techniques to link building
and copywriting techniques. You'll need to choose
a user name and password and confirm your new account
by email before using the board. Jill really knows
her stuff, and I highly recommend her free newsletter
2) Best Practices S.E. Forum:
You'll find this forum to be a very busy place. Nice
variety of topics broken down by individual search
engines so you can pick the exact engine you want
to study. You'll also find information on pay per
click search engines, link popularity and much more.
Again, you'll need to register before using the board.
3) SiteOwners/ Webmasters Forums
Not specifically a search engine board. Topics are
for website owners, but if you look closely you'll
see a category titled "search engine optimization,"
with a lot of activity. You'll find a range of topics
and general questions on how to achieve a better
ranking. As with the others, you'll need to register
first before posting.
4) Search Engine Marketing Forums:
Offered by JimWorld.com, this forum is a great example
of everything an informative board should be. You'll
find a real sense of community here. Topics are broken
down by categories like "search engine optimization,"
organic and pay per click search engines, Net marketing
strategies and more. At the time of my visit, there
were over 5,000 topics posted in the optimization
category alone. JimWorld offers many excellent resources
like free website templates, tutorials, helpful tools
and again, a great ezine.
5) Cre8asite Forums:
Covering topics like usability, web design and search
engine optimization. You'll need to drill down to find
the category you need. Some of the categories had well
over 4,000 posts when I visited, so there are a lot
of goodies to be found here.
Who said there's no such thing as "a free lunch?"
Search engine forums are literally a goldmine of
information, and they won't cost you a dime. By
spending some quality time in these forums, you'll
find your knowledge base increasing daily until you
become one of the "experts" yourself. When that
happens, you can start posting responses and helping
other newbies yourself.
Forums are a community of people, so if you benefit
from them it's always a good idea to give something
back by reaching out to other participants. Remember,
everything you need to improve your search engine
rankings is out there; it's your job to go and get
it. See you at the "top."
Merle has been "working" the Net for over 8 years and has a Special Gift just for you. Download my FREE E-book "50 Easy Ways to Promote Your Website". Get your copy now at http://www.WebSiteTrafficPlan.com
Photo credit: martin.canchola
Greg Cryns The Mighty Mo - Exquisite Website Design and Promotion
Get your FREE report Find out if FREELANCING is for you!
Top Picture: blow-up of the left side of the Firefox toolbar. "Most Visited" is the first on the left.
Side Picture: the "Most Visited" drop down box
It's amazing to me how blind I can be to valuable tools smack dab in the middle of my monitor every day.
Since I search and use websites all day long, I am very interested in learning better ways to locate these websites as fast as possible. Normal bookmarking wastes too much time.
This morning I discovered the Firefox "Most Visited" button. While it does not show all of the sites you visit over a day or week, it does serve very well for the sites you visit most often.
Try it out. I think you will find yourself using it regularly.
Mighty Mo Website Design and Promotion
Thursday, February 5, 2009
This is a guest post by Sherice Jacob, a good friend and excellent resource who I met on Twitter. People ask why I twitter. This is one good reason. To meet interesting and helpful people. How often have you arrived at a website and wondered "What the heck do they sell here?" What is its main gig? It is very frustrating to scratch your head and wonder what the purpose of the website is - or is not.
3 Proven ways to create a clear purpose for your website
by Shrice Jacob
As I browse the web, get quote requests and work alongside fellow business owners to help them create or improve their websites, I’m seeing a disturbing trend - a lack of clarity on websites. Mine is just as guilty (”do you design websites or is it just a blog? Actually - it’s both!”), so as I work toward restructuring my own site, I thought it would be a good idea to cover some ways that you can carve out a clear purpose and focus for your own site.
This is by far the number one reason people get visitors to their site, but few orders. Your site may be attractive, but if your customer can’t figure out what you’re selling, they may just give up and go elsewhere. Here are a few steps you can take to write with clarity, purpose and persuasion.
1. More isn’t necessarily better - Make it painlessly simple for people to learn what your offer is. Can you describe your business in one sentence? Can you describe why people should do business with you in one sentence? Good - now, put those together and you’ll have a powerful USP (universal selling proposition) that tells in just a few words how doing business with you is worth their while.
2. Be clear on what your product IS - not just what it DOES. If you’re having trouble separating the DOES from the IS, keep asking yourself, “and what does that do for people?” For example, “iElectrify is a web design company that creates high-converting websites by combining the best practices of design and copywriting”
And what does that do for people? It helps businesses reach more customers, build trust and make more money. And what does that do for people? It helps them enjoy a fuller quality of life and enjoy running their business instead of letting it run them!
3. Write for Your Audience - This is perhaps the most important of all. If people don’t understand what you’re saying, they won’t try to make sense of it. To see how easy it is for your website to be read, click here and paste in a sample of your text, perhaps from your home page. The Writing Tool will grade how easy (or difficult) it is to read and understand. Obviously you should consider your target audience when doing this - someone selling financial services or practice-building methods for doctors would want their content to attract that particular group.
Finally, have others read your content too - especially someone who isn’t familiar with your website. Good places to get website reviews include www.sitepointforums.com and www.warriorforum.com - though on Sitepoint, you’ll need to review 3 other websites first before you submit yours for feedback. Good luck!P.S. If you enjoyed reading this article, you can find even more web design tips at http://www.iElectrify.com Written by Sherice Jacob at iElectrify.com. iElectrify specializes in creating professional, affordable and creative websites that get results. With a strong background in internet marketing, copywriting and niche marketing, iElectrify.com works with small to medium-sized businesses to help them easily create and manage their own websites.
Photo credit: nonsensicalism
Greg Cryns The Mighty Mo - Exquisite Website Design and Promotion
Get your FREE report Find out if FREELANCING is for you!
Exposure and buzz - post interesting stories, links, annecdotes
Branding - reinforce credibility, boost customer loyalty, boost your brand
Reputation management - work directly with customers, smoothe ruffled feathersS ales and new business - promote new products, current specials, free offers
Potential negative results - may look like SPAM if not careful
* Google's new Ajax-powered search results breaks search keyword tracking
* Adding Google News to Your Site
* True Live Blogging at SMX West 09 I think this could be interesting. Barry Schwartz, the editor of the Search Engine Roundtable and Keri Morget of Morgret Designs with be providing live coverage.
* http://www.yudkin.com/teleteach.htm . Teleseminar smarts hosted by Marcia Yudkin
* http://www.iElectrify.com - Sherice Jacobs has a very informative web design site
The Mighty Mo web design and promotion
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This service will check if your site is optimized for Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Local and in the Best of the Web Local Directory.
For good Local visibility your profile should be consistent throughout the web. In other words, keep your location to one place with one phone number and with the same business name. If the search engines get confused they will use sources that may not be to your liking or benefit.
This one is a winner for Local Business search: http://www.getlisted.org
Get your FREE report Is Freelancing Right For You?
As a publisher of ezines and newsletters, you know that customers
always want more from your services. One way to provide customers
a good service while increasing your search engine rankings is to
place your ezine archives online. By placing these online, you
are giving your readers a value-added service that will set you
apart from other ezines and newsletters. Not only will this
provide value to your customers, but also by placing your
archives online, the search engine spiders are able to "see"
your unique combination of content. Ultimately, having your ezine
archives online will give you higher search rankings and
additional keyword phrase variations that everyone so desperately
There are some things to consider when making the decision to put
your newsletter archives online.
The first consideration is whether or not your ezine model is a
paid subscription or a free subscription. If your ezine is a pay
subscription, you probably do not want to place all of your
archives online where someone can access them for free. If you
were to do this there would be no need for readers to actually
pay for a subscription. However, you may want to consider placing
a couple of archived issues on a website, so that potential
customers and advertisers can see what it is your publication has
to offer them. Then, you can keep your remaining archives in a
member's only website that is only accessible to your paying
If you offer a free ezine or newsletter, there is little reason
not to offer all of your archives for free online. The reason
that people will want to go ahead and subscribe to your ezine or
newsletter is that they can get the issue as soon as it comes
out. You may want to consider only offering archives online that
are at least a few months old. In other words, do not offer this
month's issue in the archive for a few more months, so that
people will still want to subscribe to your publication to see it
when it is first made available.
Search engine spiders love content on websites. Not only do
spiders like the generic content, but they really like valuable
content such as articles. Quality content is one of the primary
things that search engines look for when providing rankings and
the level of importance of a website. The articles that are
included in your archive will boost your search engine ranking.
Having a higher search engine ranking means that potential
subscribers are able to find you much easier. Being easy to find
and offering a service such as free ezine with archives gives
potential subscribers many reasons to choose your ezine or
newsletter to land in their email box over your competitors.
Having your publications placed in an online archive will
automatically provide you with a good amount of keyword
optimization. For example, if you are publishing an ezine that
mainly talks about home improvement, there is a high likelihood
that many of the articles in your publication will contain the
words "home improvement". Now when a potential subscriber
searches on the Internet for "home improvement," they are much
more likely to be directed to your website and learn that you
provide a valuable subscription on this very topic. If you do not
have your archives online, chances of picking up these new
visitors and subscribers are greatly diminished.
Simply put, having your newsletter archives online is probably
the easiest way to increase your exposure in the search engines
and the easiest way to increase your ezine's subscriber base for
free. It is very inexpensive to provide your archives online, and
it can improve your subscriber's experience, letting him or her
feel good about the service that you are providing to them.
People may have a desire to read your publication, but your ezine
can easily get overlooked due to the excessive number of
publications currently arriving in the subscriber's email box. A
day will come when an individual feels overwhelmed by the number
of publications arriving in their mailbox each day or week. When
this starts to happen, they start canceling subscriptions because
it is simply too much hassle to go through and delete these
newsletters and ezines every week or every month. I have found
myself in that position, so I eliminated the ones that bored me
and only kept one or two subscriptions that really seemed to
offer me the quality content that I wanted in an easy-to-read
format. It was getting to be annoying to go through my email on a
regular basis to filter out the excess ezines and newsletters
that I did not read anyway.
So if you want to set yourself apart from your competitors and
offer this value-added service to your customers, you seriously
need to consider placing your archives online. It is likely that
you will be surprised at the change in your search engine
rankings as well. Again, if you provide a pay subscription do
consider offering a few issues in a free archive, so that you can
at least show potential subscribers and advertisers the quality
of the product you provide.
Follow my advice, and down the road, you will be able to generate
more income from your newsletter, because you will have a much
larger list of subscribers to count as your own.
Trey Pennewell is a writer, who writes about online marketing.
Learn more about our Pay For Results SEO services at:
Trey also manages article approvals at the free article
directory located at: http://www.techcentralpublishing.com
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