Alexa and Google PR ranks are a quick measure how strong a site is in traffic and from the search engine perspective. They measure very different things but are both important.
An Alexa rank is a calculated measure of unique visitors and pageviews on a given web site. This may be counter intuitive but the lower your Alex rank the better. Now you will find all sorts of debate online on how accurate the rank is, but everyone agrees it is useful as a rough measure of a website’s traffic. And if you are in the top 100,000, congratulations! If you haven’t already you should compare your Alexa rank to your competitor’s website. Is yours higher? Then you have some work to do.
A google PR (page rank) is a little harder to explain as very few people know exactly it is calculated, but it is a measure of how popular and how much of an authority it is. Google PRs range from 1-10, with 10 being the most coveted.
There are also a number of plugins you can install directly into your Firefox browser (if you needed a reason to switch from using Internet Explorer, these tools might just convince you). If you like simple and unobtrusive check out searchstatus. For a more full featured tool you’ll want to download the SEO toolbar from seobook.com.
Like many of you, I belong to a few business networking and education groups. They are a valuable source of potential leads, joint venture partnerships and even great ideas. So imagine my disappointment when one of the group’s members started spamming us with emails that was marketing speakers and websites with obvious affiliate links.
His facebook friend request? That got the “ignore” click. His emails? The delete button. His potential to provide a service to me? Nonexistent.
As a marketer he should really know better. With just a little education and use of the right tools, you can avoid following in his footsteps. As soon as you start using email to talk about your business and your services and products you need to avoid the “spammer” trap.
CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
In 2003, President Bush signed into law the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. I think it is helpful to know what CAN-SPAM stands for: “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing”. The key is “Non-Solicited”. Just like you may not like uninvited salesman at your front door selling you vacuum cleaners, un-solicited marketing by email has the same taint to it …. and it’s illegal to boot.
While covering the CAN-SPAM Act in it’s entirety is beyond the scope of this article, here are the two things you need to know.
Many privacy activists felt the CAN-SPAM Act was ineffectual and didn’t go far enough. Some went so far to call it the “I can spam Act”. For these reasons the ESPs (more on what that is in a moment) that legitimate businesses use set a higher standard. The removals happen quickly, usually within 24 hours. And many businesses take advantage of the “double opt-in” feature and send invitations for you join their list before even one marketing email is sent. That perfect client you met at last week’s business event may need a reminder to remember you, and an invitation to continue the conversation by joining your list is a graceful way to keep you in the forefront of their mind.
What are ESPs?
ESPs are email service providers. There are a number of excellent ones on the market, and for a monthly fee they will store your contact list, send the emails for you, help you build in your opt-in box or link, and handle all the details of email marketing, such as complying with the CAN-SPAM Act by: 1) automatically generating the unsubscribe link in each email you send through their tools and then 2) doing the right thing when someone clicks on it.
Some of the ESPs even enforce the “double opt-in” feature, where any existing list of contacts you upload into their system will be sent an email asking permission to be placed in their system. While it can be painful to lose those contacts that don’t respond, your resulting list will be of higher quality.
If you remember one thing from this article, it is that you want to do Permission based email marketing. You always want to have a user’s permission before sending them an email.
If that business network member had gone through a few extra steps to have an unsubscribe link in his email, I would have thought so much higher of him. And maybe I would have even clicked on one of his links, earning him a commission.
Interesting thing about observing trends, you can watch move them through groups as a wave. Let’s take twitter for example, it first became popular with the tech hip as a cool way to share just about anything, in 140 characters or less. I loved twitter at events such as the Web2.0 expo, following the instantaneous commentary on the speakers, and of course knowing where the cool party was.
In the last six months, it’s become the latest must have tool for entrepreneurial marketing. Talks about using social media for marketing your business have become a staple at business networking events. And with good reason, MarketOutLoud filled seats for it’s marketing events with it’s facebook connections. Some became social media divas. For the savvy it’s been a great lead generation tool.
But twitter has recently become less fun to use, at least for me. It seems like every day I get a follow request from someone that has less than 40 updates (boring!), or even worse, zero. And people that I chose to follow, immediately DM’ed me with a tweet with a link to their product. These get unfollowed really quickly.
On the other hand, facebook which I initially didn’t like much has become a better place to hang out, I have enough friends who post interesting things to catch my interest. The walled garden aspect of facebook, derided with frustration by some, seems to keep the riffraff out, the quality connections in.
And surprisingly, teenagers, a group you would have thought been the early adopters, don’t use twitter either. As my son’s sniffs “my Dad uses twitter”.
So if you have never used twitter, is it safe to ignore it now? Absolutely, not. Twitter is still a major force to be reckoned with. As evidenced by the recent Iranian election unrest, twitter is where the news breaks first. Fast breaking events that grab broad interest is where twitter shines, and it can be an excellent way to search for news. And there are influencers in the twittersphere that can direct significant traffic, if you want to play in the twitterspace for business reasons, at the very least find the ones in your industry to keep a pulse on your market.
And if you didn’t know what a DM was, it’s high time you figured it out.
The Story of Suzie is a fable, written for Internet Marketers and anyone else who wishes to succeed with a project, business, or endeavor of any kind.
Every morning she had cold-cuts for breakfast. When when guests came to her home, she served them only croissants and jam, because she had never heard of cooking.
One day her friend Mary called her, in great excitement. Mary told Suzie that she had just discovered a something new and wonderful, and that it was called cooking. Mary hastily explained that she had come across an advertisement on the Internet, which explained what cooking was.
After hearing a few sentences of explanation from Mary, Suzie got very excited herself. Amazing! One could actually put food into pots and pans, heat it up, do different things with it, and then one would not have to live off of croissants and cold-cuts.
But it got better. Mary went on to explain that cooking wasn’t only for experts, but that that anyone – even someone like she or Suzy, could learn to cook. And that in fact, they could do it right from the comfort of their own homes.
“Wow!” Suzy said. “How do I learn this?” Then, a little timidly, she asked, “Do I have to go to expensive night school? Because I don’t have ….”
“Oh no!” Mary said. “You don’t have to go to night school. I found a wonderful website online, and there is a very nice girl there, who will teach you how to cook. All you have to do is buy her eBook for $37.00. You can download it any time (even if it is 2 am!) and start cooking right away!”
Suzy ran to her kitchen computer and logged on. She quickly bought the eBook entitled “Cook at Home.”
The next day, Suzy was so excited, she even skipped her cold cuts. She grabbed a glass of milk (she had never heard of coffee yet, because that would have involved cooking) and opened up her eBook. She began to read it avidly.
On page 3 of the eBook, the author recommended a free software program which would help Suzie measure her flour and sugar, in case she needed to double or triple a recipe. So Suzy downloaded the software. (Of course, she had to enter her email address first, but that was okay, because it was free. Besides, they offered to send her a very helpful free newsletter!)
On page 10 of the eBook on cooking, Suzie arrived to her first recipe. It taught her how to make scrambled eggs. Suzy went to the kitchen, and got out an old frying pan that had belonged to her great-grandmother. “Ah, so that’s what this thing is for!” she said. She had butter, but no eggs. So she went to the store.
Suzy got caught in traffic and by the time she came back from the store, it was two hours later and she was very tired. She logged on to check her email. She was pleasantly surprised to see that already had the first issue of her newsletter!
The newsletter explained to her that, while most people tell you to cook with a frying pan, that’s really old-fashioned and slow. And that the best way to really cook was to get a special pan called the Super-Sonic-Fryer – which would “fry her eggs in less time than it takes a sun beam to get to the other end of the milky way”! That sounded exciting, so Suzy went to buy that Super Sonic Frying Pan.
The next day before Suzy started on her cooking exercises, she decided to search around Google a bit to see if anyone else had tried the super sonic frying pan. She got a bit distracted through, but that was okay. Because she came across something very exciting. A bread cookbook!
The advertisement explained that there are lots of things to cook, but nothing as powerful and effective as bread. And that, if she really wanted to succeed as a cook, she had to bake bread.
So Suzie of course downloaded that eBook and began to make bread.
Half-way through the recipe she realized she needed to buy yeast, so she went out and bought some.
When she returned, another newsletter had arrived. And this was exciting! It said, “Forget scrambled eggs, forget bread, that stuff is for the birds. What you really should make, is Italian pasta!!” Not only that , but if she signed up now, she would be eligible for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (which could expire at any moment). She could sign up for a free online course, and for only $29 per month, she could learn how to make all kinds of Italian Pasta – everything from tortellini, to ravioli, to spaghetti, and more.
So of course, Suzy forgot about her eggs and her bread, and she hastily purchased this new Italian Cooking eCourse. Her incomplete scrambled eggs project was no longer useful, so she threw it away. She had some bread dough rising, but while she was studying her new Italian Cooking eCourse, she forgot all about it – and it eventually fell flat and had to be thrown away as well.
A week later Suzy was depressed. She had bought all these eBooks and materials on how to Cook at Home, and had been working furiously at it, but she had yet to make a single dish!
All was not lost, however. She saw an ad for a new cookbook, which was said to be quite excellent. According to the testimonials on the sales page, many people had been trying for years to learn to cook at home, but only had success after they read that cookbook.
So, with a sigh, she bought it. Maybe this one would have the answer she was looking for.
Two months later, Suzie had accumulated an entire bookshelf full of cookbooks. Her refrigerator was full of leftovers of incomplete dishes she had begun to prepare. But she had not yet completed a single dish. Not even a piece of toast!
Suzie sat back in her big chair and let out a long, sad sigh.
“Well, she said. I guess those people who tried to warn me were right. I’ll never Cook at Home. Cooking is a scam!”
The above is a true story. But its not about Suzie, and its not about cooking.
Its about Internet Marketers like you and me.
Some people succeed at Internet Marketing, and others don’t. Why? Well, there could be many reasons.
But first and foremost – do you finish what you start?
Or do you hop and jump from one idea to the next, in search of the next great recipe?
Do you start to generate income with a certain method, only to receive an email which tells you how “that method is really slow and if you really want to make money online, now, fast, then what you should actually do is …..”
Do you have so many good ideas that you start on all of them, so that none of them can get the amount of attention they truly need, in order to succeed? Well, if you do, don’t be surprised at what you probably wind up with – a bunch of incomplete projects that haven’t yet begun to generate substantial income.
You’ve heard people say “take action,” and that’s true. You’ll never get any eggs scrambled if you sit around reading cookbooks all day, and you’ll never make any money online if all you do is read eBooks.
But there is a little more to it. Suzie took action, but she never followed through. She took on more cooking projects than she had time for, and none were completed.
As an Internet Marketer, you are most likely trying to build up streams of income. It might be a website which generates regular sales or ad revenue. Or it might be another successful campaign. So, in a sense, those projects are never really “done” (unless you drop them).
But there is a phase when you are still establishing and building up that income stream, and there is a phase when that income stream is actually creating regular revenue (which can ideally be maintained without a lot of work).
If you don’t carry your projects through past that first phase, you will wind up with a bunch of projects that are still in the “establishment” stages, but not generating substantial income.
It takes self-discipline and control to stick to a project and carry through with it until it is successful. It can be very easy to be led off in many different directions in search of greener fields.
Its a continuous pull. Call it what you like – diversion, distraction, persuasion, or “the call of the inbox …” It will always be there, perched on the side of the highway, ready to pull you off the road at any moment, like a vulture waiting for vulnerable prey to pass.
Be alert to it, and continue to push forward with your current project.
Anna Williams article, “The Story of Suzie” was originally posted on Holly Mann’s Blog
Anna has written a basic and succinct post following this story, which contains some simple rules you can remember, to keep you on track and progressing. To read this post please visit If You Want a Project to Succeed at Anna’s blog.
If want want some help to speed up your keyword research, guest author John Alexander is going to give you a few free tips.
While this article is primarily geared towards Wordtracker users, everyone will find these tips useful.
It’s true that you are going to discover important keyword phrases in the end result, but don’t start by going in exploring for specific keywords that are already pre-programmed into your mind because you *THINK* they are most important or you may just spend your time seeing only what everyone else sees. When you are exploring or when you’re in “exploration mode” you want to discover the big windows of opportunity that most people hardly EVER see. Stop guessing and look at more than the first bit of data that makes the most sense.
When exploring Wordtracker’s keyword and phrase research data, you need to stop putting your research up against the clock and stop feeling like you need to be extremely logical. Release yourself from stress and treat it more like a mission of exploration. If you remove the pressure it will often make room for you to think much more creatively.
Allowing ourselves to be creative when exploring human behavior can open up huge rifts that might otherwise and often go completely undiscovered. Hang on to your hat, because as you allow yourself the liberty to be creative and reduce all of the usual stresses of a client’s expectation of high performance, there is new liberty to observe things that you might have ordinarily missed.
If you don’t see what I mean, I’ll say it plain and simple. Many times people say they do keyword and phrase research but what they are actually doing is entering very specfic terms that make the most sense and in doing so, they can miss lots of other opportunities because they don’t understand how to expore all of the data.
Allow yourself to focus on “how people dialog with you.” Think back to any conversations you’ve had recently with a customer. Can you recall that conversation? What did they say to you and how did they say it? What did they ask you and how did they ask it. Let these ideas begin to come into your mind through a natural creative progression from one thought to the next.
Think about this next time you are doing keyword and phrase research …
We are often not logical when we are in a creative state. Exploring true keyword and phrase research data is one action in life where it actually pays off NOT to be so logical. It takes practice, but once you are on a roll you won’t need me or anyone else to tell you that you’re finding especially and useful results. Some of the most boring “everyday words” can open huge windows, if you explore them.
Why is that, you wonder? It’s simple, nobody ever thinks to explore common terms.
Is it always logical? No.
If our minds worked logically, we would exhaust every category and list hundreds of types of wheels before we moved on to clocks, and then list dozens of clocks. But instead, notice that our minds bound forward. In some small way this illustrates the leaps which have measured our progress. But recognizing that this is naturally the way the mind works, I encourage you to give yourself permission to explore Wordtracker in the same fashion.
Let your mind be free to observe landmarks along the way and then dig into those landmarks to reveal several levels of search behavior beyond what others are seeing.
You might ask yourself, but why are others not seeing what you will see? The answer is very simple. Their minds are pre-loaded, pre-programmed, and totally fixed on a “keyword hunt” for the keywords they are convinced are important. They do not understand the value of exploring what an audience of searchers truly want. I call this limitation the “keyword hunt” mindset.
Don’t go into doing Wordtracker keyword and phrase research with a pre-established list of keywords that are subconsciously stored in your mind, but instead, go into Wordtracker with a clean slate. Learn how to let the tool sort all of the best data and then reveal the best windows of opportunity based on searches within the last 90 days.
John Alexander conducts seo training at Search Engine Workshops offering live SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John’s articles can be read in publications like Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News and many others.
One of the more widely understood ways of getting the search engines’ attention is quality content, but then the next issue is seriously considering how you’re going to keep everyone coming back for more! For both needs, one-of-a-kind, informative, top quality articles are an absolute necessity.
This will generate debate and drive in feedback from among readers and cause quite a bit of buzz around your article. Word travels fast on the Internet and Twitter, so your article will be getting lots of exposure while creating healthy dialogue at the same time.
There are several ways to encourage reader response to an article. In the past, most writers usually supplied their email at the close of the article. However, as no one reading the article can actually see anyone else’s comments, this is a passive response. A more active approach is to place a comments section at the bottom of your article where readers can give their opinions on what they’ve just read. But sometimes, the comments left can take attention away from the actual article or get off track from the original topic.
A better way to attract valuable feedback is to link the article to an online survey. This type of reader response also helps the writer or publisher obtain measurable comments. By implementing an online survey, you can discern whether readers enjoyed the article, if they had the same viewpoint as what was said, if they disagreed entirely, or if they had any other extra information to share.
There are websites available that assist with creating the online questionnaire and in providing information on how to link the survey to the article. Useful tools which track and measure feedback are also available. Some online survey providers also offer the option of sharing real time survey results with readers and provide incentive ideas to encourage readers to participate in the questionnaire.
Linking an online survey to an article is an ideal means of communication that motivates intense discussion about a specific topic. It’s an inexpensive investment that has great benefits in enabling you to get the most measurable response from an article.
Adam Toren, Co-Founder of Young Entrepreneur, specializes in developing the profitability of struggling businesses with a specialised and ‘bottom line’ approach. Adam, along with his brother, have created, purchased and sold a variety of companies over the years. At the moment, they own and manage a highly successful publishing company and several dedicated online enterprises.
Videos are on thousands of websites. There are unusual videos, advertising videos, and many other types of videos. Videos can make your website and your products come alive so you may want to seriously consider using them in your marketing efforts.
Numerous sites use how to videos to confirm their products or how to do something in their enclosure. Craft sites, cooking sites, instructional sites, the list is endless for the kinds of sites that use video. Short how to videos are a hit with customers because they now believe that they, too, can perform the action seen on the video. How to videos answer questions your customers may not have realized they had. Demonstrating how your product works is a powerful Internet marketing strategy to use to draw in customers.
Even if you don’t need to demonstrate how to use your product, showing it being used brings it to life and makes it more exciting. Consumers have responded to television commercials for decades now because they are moved by seeing products being enjoyed by people just like them. Videos are powerful advertising media and have become popular Internet marketing strategies.
Video testimonials have become a popular way that savvy Internet marketers use to show possible customers how satisfied their present customers are. Many people actually like to give video testimonials because they are usually allowed to have a link to their own website attached to the video so their testimonial also provides free advertising for them. Customers see real people enjoying your product instead of “Bob from Ohio” that we’ve seen in incalculable direct mail catalogues over the years. Nobody ever knew who Bob from Ohio was but when customers see a user from www.theirsite.com enjoying your product, it lends real credibility to the testimonial.
Take a look at some of the videos on the websites you visit and attending how they move you. Are you entertained, bored, or did you just learn something? Experiment with video strategies on your websites and notice any traffic patterns that may change as a result. You might also make a place for visitors to comment on your videos as any feedback you can get from site visitors could be very useful to your Internet marketing campaigns.
Unless you can put a tick by most of the elements in our list then your web site is NOT very search engine friendly.
If a search engine is to regard your web site as truly search engine friendly it must be able to tick a lot more of the items in our list than was ever previously the case.
If you can not in all honesty tick enough elements on the list below, then you have some catching up to do, especially when this is not a complete list.
You might also like to try our optimization tutorial quiz to see how search engine friendly your website is compared to our full list of fifty factors.
There are ten questions in our online search engine optimization tutorial quiz that cover all the essential aspects for a search engine friendly website and cover the essential elements of optimization that you should have on your own web site.
An optimization tutorial following the quiz explains why all of the elements are important in making your site well optimized and search engine friendly.
To determine how well your site is optimized take our search engine optimization tutorial and see what you could do to improve it.
You will not be asked to sign-up for anything, or provide any personal details.
About the Author:
Andy Theekson has 8 years of experience in web site design and search engine optimization and offers free advice and a wide range of website optimization services.
4 Ways To Get Your Opt In Subscribers To Trust You Quickly
While the rest of the world have developed many barriers and protections to keep their e-mail accounts spam-free, there are also those that subscribe to mails that promotes their products, services and their site. email marketing software, This is mainly because these subscribes wants to know more about what these sites are offering and can be beneficial for them. They expect to get be kept posted on what they are interested in and what are new in the market or field they have chosen.
Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers; the basic element needed to get these types of people is trust. When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty. Many internet users have gone to great lengths in protecting their email accounts from spam mail. Some free-mail internet providers and internet service providers offer spam protection while there are also some internet based companies that screen your mails for you.
With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketingintegrated marketing, media will go through. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information. To be able to be allowed to do so, you will need permission from your recipient, to get this permission; you need to be able to get their trust. With the great lack of disregard for privacy in the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.
To build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get spelling more profits. Its easy math if you thin about it. Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?
– Getting the trust of your clientele shouldn’t be so hard especially if you do have a legitimate business. Getting your customers trust should be based upon your expertise. People rely on other people who know what they are talking about. Garner all the knowledge and information about your business. Ell, frankly if you decide to go into a business most probably you have an interest in it. Like how many basketball payers become coaches, you don’t really venture into something you don’t have any interest in..
– Show your clients that you know what you are talking about. Provide them with helpful hints and guidelines that pertain to what you are selling. Talk about how to install a roof if you’re into hardware products or provide articles on insurance settlements if you’re a settlement lawyer. You don’t have to be a big corporation to make use of an opt-in list. If your customers see you as someone who knows what he is doing and saying, they will trust you quickly.
– Be true to your customers, if you want to hype up your products and services, provide guarantees. The more satisfied customers you get, the bigger probability there is that they will recommend you. Generally, people will trust someone they know, when that someone recommends you then you’re a shoo-in. They will go to your site and check it for themselves and be given a chance to experience what the other shave experienced from you, so make sure to be consistent in the service you provide.
– Another tip in getting a customer to trust you quickly is to provide them an escape hatch. Show them that you are not there to trap them. Keep a clean list that would enable them to unsubscribe anytime they want. Elaborate your web form by providing informationemail marketing, on how to unsubscribe from the list. Guarantee them that they can let go of the service when ever they want to. Many are wary that they may be stuck for life and would have to abandon their email accounts when they get pestered with spam.
Remember that when you get the trust of your clients don’t lose that trust. Because if you do anything with their email addresses like sell them or give them out, you will lose many members of your list as ell as potential members. The true quickest way to gain the trust of your subscribers is when you are recommended by someone they trust.
When you have your website uploaded and running, you might be thinking your job is over. In fact the big task is going to start now, promoting your online business and generating traffic. If no one comes to your site, how will your business make any money?
There are many ways to generate website traffic. It can be paid traffic method or free method. PPC campaign is one of the main paid website promotion. But for a new internet marketer with limited financial resorces often paid method is simply not possible. So we should think about getting free website traffic.
Think about the keywords first. Make sure you use; low competitive, moderate demand keywords. If you go for competitive keywords it will be very difficult to win against high page rank sites. Also, find some ‘more targeted’ keywords. They will be less competitive, but you will get targeted visitors.
You can submit your website to directories. Yahoo, MSN like big directories are paid directories. You can look for directories in your niche as well. Make sure you submit your site in the correct section of your niche.
Write articles and submit to blogs as a guest author or to article directories with your site link in resource box.
Try getting back links from authority sites in your niche. One way links means vote of acceptance. When some authority site accepts you, you got high rankings in search engine eyes. Reciprocal link exchange also gives some benefit, though not as good as one way links.
If possible add a blog to your site. Search engines like more and more fresh content. Also there are many ways to promote your blog posts and this will give more back links to your site. Social book marking is an example of blog promotion.
Visit forums in your niches and make some valuable comments and use your website link as your signature line. Before doing this make sure you read their rules. Otherwise you will be booted out. Another advantage of visiting these forums is that you will know the pulse of the market. You will know what is hot selling right now? Also try noticing what people are asking more and more in forums. Try making a product in that field to solve their problem.
Make some free eBook or small report in your niche and submit in free eBook directories with a opt in form. You can try free advertising blog, free classifieds sites and give away event sites with these offers. If you can make some audio or video product, it will be more effective. Consider creating software and submitting it to download directories.