Monthly Archives: April 2012

Top 10 budget friendly DIY SEO tips..And Why They Are Important

DIY SEO tips

Of late, you can see search engine optimization (SEO) playing a key role in generating traffic flow, brand awareness and online advertising for different business owners. Small and big businesses using different SEO techniques are now seen at the forefront. Thus the search engine optimization has become an important tool in promoting your online business. You have the option of either hiring any SEO consultant for this job or simply try doing it on your own. However, the option of DIY has a couple of advantages which includes saving good amount of money you pay to any company for this work. All you need to do is to keep yourself updated on various SEO tips and tricks and try them on a regular basis. The following are the top ten budget friendly DIY SEO tips which can guide you a lot.

1). Carry out a proper keyword research

You need to carry a proper keyword research while optimizing your website. There are number of keywords research tool including Google Adwords, Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker, Word Stream and Rank Tracker which can help you in finding proper keywords for your niche area. Once you jot down all these keywords and key phrases, start using them in your website content, Meta tags, titles etc. The keywords are supposed to be used in a consistent fashion rather than overdoing things. This will avert the risk of getting spam over the search engines.

2). Secure quality links

Rendering your website with a number of quality links is highly recommended in any effective SEO strategy. The incoming links must be secured and relevant to your site’s goal, industry and services along with your websites and keyword rich anchor texts. You need to try and get yourself listed over the reputed and legitimate web directories. The keywords and phrases should be the part of your links instead of simply trying phrases like ‘click here’. There are number of reliable places where quality links can be obtained, these include articles, directories, social media, forum comments and blogs.

3). Select proper domain name

The domain name for your website should come after a proper brain storming. A good domain name will always give an idea about your business you deal with. It is always a good idea to incorporate relevant keywords or phrases in your website domain. This can help your target group to remember your website with quite ease and comfort. There are number of tools available over the web which can help you in coming out with an effective kind of domain name.

4). Create sitemaps

A sitemap is all together a separate HTML page which acts like a directory listing for all the other web pages which can be accessed over your site. A sitemap helps you to use keywords properly in any content and link in a right fashion. You can create lists in different formats including numbered or bulleted points for simple and easy reference. This can therefore help any visitor while going through any information over your website along with making things simple for the spiders during the crawl process. The spiders find such sites user friendly where sitemap are created as discussed above.

5). Use keywords in file names and folders

The files which you need to post over any website can be named with smart keyword options which come out from a thorough research work. Again, you need to use the keywords relevant to your niche area and somewhere similar to the online users which they type over the popular search engines. While naming files, using hyphens or underscores are a better option rather than using some black space in between the keywords.

6) Avoid flash movies

You can see people using lots of flash movies and animated stuff over their websites. They may look cool and pretty, however, cannot become search engine friendly. The search engines simply prefer plain text as they are not able to read flash. So, it is recommended to avoid hiding your web page behind such animated flash movies as they can prevent your website to index over search engines.

7). Menus in text

Likewise, your navigational menu links are not supposed to be hiding in pictures or images. Your navigational menu is important element for the search engine spiders as they can understand the hierarchy of your site effectively. Also, the keywords in the menu links help the search engine to note down important things over every webpage.

8). Keywords in image Alt and Title Tags

The Alt tags and title tags which are associated with different images found over your website are great places to incorporate relevant keywords. This means you need to rename the image file names. For instance, if you have a picture of a cat which is saved as c4123b.jpg, it has to be renamed as cat.jpg. This will therefore help your images to rank better in various search engine results.

9). Use keywords in folders and file names

Whenever you have to save any file to be posted over your site, it is always a good idea to use your keywords in these file names. For instance, hand-painted-ny.html is perfect name for any business which sells hand painted stuffs in New York. Leaving any blank space should be avoided, it is always better to use hyphen and underscore.

10). Use keywords in Meta description

Any compelling description will always use proper and relevant keywords. The description tag is seen within the HTML code of your web page. Using proper keywords in Meta description can help online users to click your website when they see these used in the description content during their search engine results.

In order to get your desired result for your website, you need competent SEO strategies. You cannot expect the desired result in one or two days, it takes time to make your website visible over search engines. With the above budget friendly DIY SEO tips you can certainly expect your desired result.

About The Author: Kate is a blogger by profession. She is fond of reading, writing and travelling. Recently she read an article on cheap bedroom decorating ideas to renovate her own bathroom. These days she is busy doing a research on Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8 for her next piece.

 

10 Steps to Having a Killer Social Media Presence

social media

Like it or not, the fact of the matter is that social media is here to stay. It’s a fact of life on the Internet and those who understand how to use social media to their advantage are the most likely to make some real money online.

The problem is, most of us haven’t got a clue what it takes to make a killer social media presence and so we end up doing it wrong, which in turn leads us to decide that social media is a waste of time. Here are ten tips to help you get over that hump and make your social media presence truly rock.

1. Remember — It’s Social

The single biggest mistake that I see people making over and over again is thinking that social media can be automated. By its very definition, social media is not something that can be automated. Yes, you can automatically post your content to various social media sites and that can be very helpful.

However, if you don’t go and interact with the people who read your content, then you will never be able to actually make your social media presence into a killer presence. Bottom line — go and talk to your customers. They’re real people, not bots and they want to hear what you have to say. When you do that, you’ll find that they’re much more likely to buy from you.

2. Don’t Stick to Your Own Yard

Another massive mistake that most people make with social media is that they try and stick exclusively to their own walled garden. Heaven forbid that they should actually go out there and find other people’s blogs, other people’s Facebook pages or other people’s tweets to comment on. But that’s really what being on social media is all about — it’s about being social, like I said above.

So seek out lots of other tweeters and Facebookers and Pinterest users who are interested in what you are interested and talk to them. Comment on their tweets, check out their pictures and actually make them aware that you exist. Believe it or not, they are real people too.

3. Don’t Use Spam Bots

I honestly can say that I do not understand what people think they’re accomplishing by using bots to follow and unfollow people on Twitter and then auto spam their affiliate links. Ultimately, what you end up with in these cases is a situation where bots are spamming other bots with affiliate links and nobody is making an sales, but they have 25,658 bots following them so they think they’re successful.

Trust me — anyone who will actually make a purchase from you on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media sites is highly unlikely to follow you or even pay attention to you when all you ever do is post affiliate links for whatever product you want to shovel at them. Even Pinterest users are beginning to ignore the bots and Pinterest is itself beginning to crack down on them. So don’t waste anyone’s time because ultimately, you’ll get no sales and a lot of useless followers.

4. Be Funny

There are two things that make things go viral online. Either people are shocked and moved to share some piece of information with their friends or they are amused and moved to share some piece of information with their friends.

Now I’m going to assume that you don’t have the ability to come up with some shocking, jaw dropping news that people would want to share with their friends by retweeting it constantly (how many times is President Obama likely to have an open mic goof like he did a few weeks ago?). So your next best bet is to try to be really funny.

The problem is that lots of people are trying to be funny and get people’s attention, so you need to ensure that you do what you can to make sure that what you do really is funny and unexpected.

5. Consider Working with a Pro

I know — nobody wants to spend any money. I keep seeing that from people who think they ought to be able to buy themselves a whole custom written eBook for fifty bucks. The thing is, those who understand what it takes to make money also know that you need to spend money to make money.

Look for a professional copywriter and you could easily spend $10,000 or more for a single sales letter. Why? Because these people know how to bring the bucks in and they know to ensure that their stuff will make many times that amount of money. People who buy articles for $100 or more do so because they know the article will be worth many times that amount of money to them when they use it correctly.

The same thing is true in social media — the top pros know how to ensure that people click your links and buy your products. So you can either pay peanuts to some third world outsourcer, or you can bite the bullet and pay real money to someone who really knows what they’re doing.

If you are serious about creating a killer social media presence, either take the time to learn what the pros already know, or pay the price they ask for — you’ll ultimately make more than you spend by doing so.

6. Don’t Ignore the Visuals

I’m currently working with a friend to craft a video for my new website building business and he keeps reminding me that my script needs to take into account the visuals. It’s not enough for me to simply speak to the camera. If I want my video to go viral, then I need the extra little props which keep people interested and excited.

The same thing is true about your social media presence. While Twitter is strictly a text service, Facebook lets you post photos and videos as does Pinterest and most other social media sites. So why on earth are you only adding text to your social media presence? Remember the visuals! Let people see all kinds of things which keep them interested and they’ll keep coming back to you.

7. Rinse, Repeatrinse repeat

One of the hardest things that most people find when they try to create a social media presence is that they need to constantly keep adding stuff to their various social media accounts. Unfortunately, that’s the name of the game. You can’t seriously expect to put it up once and forget it. This isn’t 1995 and websites don’t remain static and get lots of visitors so why would you think your social media presence could remain static?

Go out there and make sure that your social media is constantly updated with new and rich content which gets people excited about whatever it is that you want to offer for sale. Offer them something useful, or funny or interesting and they’ll keep coming back. If you can’t do it yourself, consider hiring an outsourcer and giving very specific instructions to help them do the job. Don’t just assume they’ll know what to do.

8. Include Games and Apps

These days, when every guy and his brother has a Facebook page, the name of the game is offering something truly unique. So consider including things like games and apps in your website and offering them as additional features which will keep people coming back to your site.

Don’t know how to make ‘em? No problem — you can hire professionals at places like Elance or oDesk and they’ll do the job for you for a fairly minimal amount of money. Or you can try one of the many tools which are available to help you build games and apps on your own.

9. Have a Unique Personality

Back to my friend working with me on my video. He told me that the best way to make my video a success was to have a specific personality which is recognizable. It doesn’t have to be who you really are, but it should be something memorable. For example, when I say Tracy Jordan, you know who I’m talking about because the character on 30 Rock has a very distinct personality as portrayed by Tracy Morgan.

Your personality doesn’t have to be quite that over-the-top, but it should be uniquely you. If you are simply going to blend into the scenery, you’ll never get noticed and you’ll never be able to create that killer media presence that you wanted to create.

10. Remember that You are a Person, Not a Corporation

Finally, remember that people buy from other people, especially on social media sites. They’re not interested in being sold to by some guy who is obviously interested only in how much money they can make from them. They want to know that you’ll be there personally to stand behind your product and help them to deal with any problems they have. So be a real person and be helpful and you’ll find that people will also want to buy from you.

Can You Really Make a Sale No Matter Who Your Customer is?

selling to all kinds of buyersThere are five basic stages of decision making when people go onto the web looking for information about a product. In each of these cases, the potential customer has a different level of awareness about your products and will require a different kind of sale. Here’s how to sell to each level of decision making as well as how to make sure that your squeeze page will resonate with all kinds of clients:

The One Who Doesn’t Know He Needs Your Product

These are the hardest to sell because they probably just stumbled over your website completely by accident and have no idea what your product is or why they should buy the thing. For these kinds of people, a soft sell is often the best approach since you want to sell them first on the problem and then sell them on the solution to the problem.

This is kind of like the iPad when it first came out. Many people assumed it would be a flop simply because it was a solution in search of a problem. However, Apple did a smart thing — they demonstrated the problems that could be solved with their new tablet computer and lo and behold, millions of people started to buy it. Now it helps that they already had the Apple cache, however, even if they didn’t have it, they could have done this by simply demonstrating the problem they solve.

How to Sell to Them

Very simple really — show them that they have a problem. If for example your product was a robot vacuum cleaner, then you need to show them how much time and effort is wasted on using a manual vacuum to do the chore. Make the problem into their problem and they’ll be looking for a solution.

The One Who Knows He Needs a Solution

The second kind of customer has already identified a problem but has not necessarily figured out that there is a solution to the problem. So, using our robot vacuum cleaner example, they may be aware that they need a better way to clean their carpets but not that there is a solution which doesn’t involve hiring a maid.

How to Sell to Them

You need to demonstrate your solution and show that it can take care of everything they need. This may mean for example anticipating their questions and answering them before they have a chance to ask them (i.e. will the robot vacuum cleaner be able to go up and down stairs?).

The One Who Knows He Needs a Product (But Not Necessarily Yours)

The third kind of customer knows there are solutions to the problem they need to solve and they know that there are products out there which can solve the problem. However, they don’t necessarily know that your product can solve the problem for them.

So, using our example of the robot vacuum cleaner, they already know that they need to find a better way of getting the chore of cleaning the house done. Perhaps they are too busy to do the job themselves or they have a bad back. They’re not sure however what the best method is to solve the problem.

In this case, you need to show them that your product is the one they have been searching for to solve the problem they are facing. You should show them that your product has all the features they’ll need in order to solve the problem that they want to solve. Give them the confidence that you have the right solution to their problems.

How to Sell to Them

Here, your goal is to show your potential customers exactly why your product does solve the problem that they have. If they want for example to find a way to get their carpeting cleaned up every day, then you need to show them that your product can accomplish exactly that for them and do it with ease. Show them the features and how it can solve the problem and they’ll be ready to buy from you.

The One Who Is Weighing His Options

Weighing options

The next kind of prospect is generally the sort of person who is weighing his options. He know what you have to offer but isn’t 100% sold on whatever it is that you have for sale. For this kind of prospect, a different approach entirely is required. You need to show them not only that your product does the job but also why it does the job better than anyone else’s product does the job.

In this case, features become very important because you need to be able to show people how to compare between your product and leading competing products. So for example, if your robot vacuum cleaner is capable of going down stairs then you need to highlight that fact as compared with your competitor’s product which merely uses an electronic wall to prevent the thing from falling down the stairs.

How to Sell to Them

In this case, it really comes down to doing a better job of making your case than your competitor. Your copy needs to be personable and it needs to really show your potential clients why they really will benefit by using your product as opposed to someone else’s product. The example I like to give is that of the iPod — it was not the first MP3 player on the market by any stretch of the imagination. However, Apple was able to capture the market because they offered customers a reason to choose their product over that of a rival.

The Customer Who Has Made a Decision

This is likely the easiest customer of all to sell a product to. This kind of customer already knows they want a specific product and a specific model of a specific product. They aren’t looking for you to sell them on why your product is the best. They only want to know where they can get the best overall deal on the product that they plan on purchasing.

Now, if you happen to be an exclusive direct seller of a particular product, then that’s perfectly fine — you will then be offering the best deal possible on your particular product. However, if you are an affiliate or a reseller, then you need to show the customer why your deal is better than someone else’s deal on the same product.

How to Sell to Them

In essence, here it comes down to price and deals. So for example, you may offer extra bonuses to customers who make a purchase through your web link for an affiliate product. Or you may offer free shipping on a physical product. You could also offer free tech support or a liberal returns policy. The key here is to find something which makes you unique and gives your potential customer a reason to make a purchase from you as opposed to your competitors who sell the same product.

Selling to All of Them

Okay, so now that we know what the five basic kinds of customers are, we have a brand new problem. We need to know how to sell to each of these kinds of customers. There are two ways to accomplish this; one of them a bit slicker than the other though neither one is 100% foolproof.

The Problem

The problem here is that different customers will need different pieces of information and different kinds of pitches to make them interested in purchasing whatever product you happen to be selling to them. There are fortunately two basic ways to handle this problem. Neither one is 100% fool proof, but both should work adequately well to provide you with some good ideas:

The Technology Solution

I call this the technology solution because it uses more of a high tech way of doing things. In essence, the idea is to display different kinds of content to different visitors depending on how they arrive at your website.

So for example, someone who arrives with an incoming keyword of say “daily vacuuming” might get the first kind of pitch since they may not even know that there is a problem for them to have solved. Someone who shows up with a slightly more specific keyword (robot vacuum cleaner) could be shown a pitch which tells them about the benefits of your specific product.

Finally, those showing up with very specific keyword searches or who show up from a direct input of your keyword could be offered a pitch where you make your case for why you have the best deal going.

Your webmaster should be able to set up each of these kinds of squeeze pages for you based on a variety of different criteria. The trouble is of course that it’s not fool proof since you can’t possibly know with 100% certainty what kind of a customer showed up based on which keyword.

However, you can generally make a decent guess and this is often enough to route most customers to the right page. You can also include a “need more information?” button which will redirect those who do need more information than appears on the page they arrived at.

The Low Tech Method

The low tech method basically suggests creating a rather long squeeze page which runs through the progression of different types of clients and allows them to skim through it to find what they need to know.

This is based on the theory that those who want more detail will start at the top and work their way down while those who are ready to buy will likely scroll to the bottom to see the price and benefits you offer. It is of course not ideal since some customers may be confused or turned off when they see a long sales page, however, most people do know to keep scrolling to find what they want to know.

Bottom Line

You need to be prepared to sell to all kinds of customers. Then and only then will you be able to finally get the maximum number of sales possible. So go and try these ideas and see what works for you. Then, come back and tell us about your experiences. We’d love to hear about them.

by EricHammer, on       Comments are off for this post