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Establishing and Keeping a Blog as Part of Your Business

August 8th, 2008 by askweb20

Gone are the days when bloggers would talk about what they had for dinner or what color they like best. Those slum book blogs are still around but they have been superseded by business blogs.If you’re planning to get a blog, don’t just rush in and do things. You need to keep in mind that a blog is part of your overall business plan and not just your creative outlet. As such, you should have a focus and a strategy in managing your blog.

If you are but starting with your business blog, then you need to keep in mind the following tips in establishing and keeping your blog as part of your business.

1. Do it often. There are more than six million blogs in the Internet today. If you do not take this job seriously, how do you expect to rise about millions of blogs? Since you are a busy person, managing the affairs of your business and looking after so many things like the latest episodes on the TV or the bills to pay, you need to designate time to really develop your blog.

2. Be organized. When you are starting out, you better make sure that you are organized. If you are not used to being organized, then you might not have the right attitude and the right set of skills to succeed in your chosen business niche. So go on, start organizing yourself so you can begin with the difficult task of blogging for your business. List down your goals and your commitment so that you can have a good indication of your progress.

3. Be committed to it. You will encounter some difficulties in blogging. But these difficulties should not stop you from trying and from being committed to your business plan. Otherwise, you will simply fold up and walk out if the going seems rough at first.

4. Make a plan. In addition to your business plan, you should also create a plan specifically for your business blog. What kinds of tools will you use? What topics will you cover? How will you promote your blog? And most importantly, how will your blog contribute to the overall business plan that you have. If you have this plan and you know exactly what it will take, then go ahead, do it!

5. Start doing things! When you have a plan, start working things out. If all you have is a plan and you don’t intend to follow through with your actions, you’re on the losing end and you won’t be able to do things according to what you planned. When you involve yourself with this process, your business will benefit from the traffic and the promotion that you will get through your business blog.

Tags: BlogrollNo Comments.

Using Google Adwords to Promote Your Website

August 6th, 2008 by askweb20

If you have been trying to attract traffic to your site but had been unsuccessful, you better try Google Adwords. It is an advertising platform in the internet that allows you to advertise via Google’s extensive ad network.Here are fives reasons why you should start using Google Adwords to promote your website.

1. Google users tend to be more sophisticated in using the Internet. As such, this means that they are not allergic to the idea of online advertising and they might even be proactive in clicking on links that are relevant to what they are searching for. Moreover, Google attracts the Internet-heavy users compared to other internet networks.

2. Google Adwords help you see the results right away. After signing up with this ad platform, you can see results within an hour! This is definitely better than Yahoo’s ad network, which can take 2-5 days turnabout time.

3. Google’s Ad network also gives you the flexibility of choosing the countries and cities where you want your ads to show. If you only want local prospects to go to your physical store, then you can specify your locality as your target.

4. If the performance of your advertisement with Google performs well, it will even get better placement in various websites. More than that, the pricing will also improve. So this means that you will pay lesser amount for every click on your ad if the click-through rate is higher. If more people clicked on your ad, the cost would be lower.

5. Another good thing about Google Adwords is that you can play it fair against your competitor. Your competitor will never know how much you bid for the keywords you selected. Moreover, your competitors will never know about your marketing strategy.

Select your keywords carefully and make sure that using Google Adwords fit into your marketing strategy. Before long, you will start reaping the traffic directed to your site.

Tags: websiteNo Comments.

Using Google Trends for Your Search Engine Optimization Efforts

July 31st, 2008 by askweb20

It pays to know what people are interested in. If you are into online networking and you offer helpful information to people, then you really need to understand what people need and the things that they are searching for. If there’s a demand, then you can provide the supply.

Use Google Trends as a part of your keyword brainstorming. Depending on the niche that your website is covering, you should have a ready list of the keywords that you want to cover. This way, you can readily compare the popularity of these keywords using Google Trends.

Once you have your keywords, just type in your keywords at the space provided. If you want to compare different keywords, then just put a comma between your keywords. When you hit “Search Trends”, Google Trends will give you a comparative graph of the keywords that you entered.

This graph is just a comparative analysis of the level of search volume. However, the actual figures of the searches are not disclosed by Google. This is probably to protect the privacy of the company and keep the integrity of its advertisement bidding framework.

After checking the comparison of the popularity of the keywords, you can start narrowing down the list of your keywords and cover these keywords on your website. With effective search engine optimization strategy, you can capitalize on these keywords to bring organic search engine traffic to your site.

If you are also feeling extra lazy or uncreative, you can check out the daily Google trends. It helps you have an idea on the most popular searches for the day.  Depending on your own website niche, you can also check any related keywords from among the list and try observing that over the next few days.

Google Trends is a helpful online tool. But it is best used with your imagination. Without an active imagination, you might not be able to use this tool effectively.

Tags: networking · technologyNo Comments.

Check Out Your Website Stats using urlmetrix

July 29th, 2008 by askweb20

You don’t have to perpetually wonder about the status of your website. There’s a free web-based service at www.urlmetrix.com that does the work for you. When you logon to the site and enter your web URL, you just click on the “Check” button and voila! You’ll see your pagerank and the different indexes of your site.

Several rankings and social media rankings can be found at urlmetrix. The interface of the site is easy to follow and navigate through. In fact, it’s just like Google’s own site-simple and minimalist.

You can get valuable information about your website through urlmetrix such as Google Pagerank, Alexa rank, Technorati, Compete and Quantcast. It also helps you know whether Google and Yahoo have indexed your site or not. More than just that, you can also learn how many indexed items your site has from Google and Yahoo. Backlinks are important, too and urlmetrix knew that so they conveniently added a feature for you to know how many backlinks there are to your site.

If somebody submitted a Delicious bookmark for your site, you can also check that out with urlmetrix.

It’s good to check the level of traffic that comes to your blog. But what you need to do is to make sure that the contents of your site are traffic-worthy. Even if you have good traffic but your contents are not worth reading, you will lose the visitors to your site.

At least, with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, you can rely on a number of web-based applications that can make your life easier.

Tags: websiteNo Comments.

Three Things to Consider in Article Marketing

July 24th, 2008 by askweb20

Article marketing is an effective and low cost means of promoting your website across the Internet. If you have money, you could probably sign up with one of the internet advertising platforms such as Google Adwords. But if you don’t have the budget, you’ll be fine with article marketing.

When you do article marketing, you should really do it and be committed to it! It can be difficult and unrewarding sometimes. But if you keep at it and don’t get discouraged, in due time, your efforts will be rewarded.

Keep it short, sweetheart! If there is a negative character in humans that the Internet help build, that is the shortening of our attention span. Given the humongous volumes of information we have to digest and read, we have resorted to shorties and simple articles. So when you’re writing, keep this in mind. People’s attention span is short! Give them a favor by writing 300-500 word articles. There may be times that you have to break this rule. But as long as your article is crisp and interesting, the attention span problem should not be a problem.

Prioritize Quantity over Quality. Sure, you want your articles to be well-researched, compelling and very interesting. But given the number of articles you have to write and the time in which you have to complete them, you simply do not have the luxury of time. What you can do is to focus on quantity over quality. After all, the more articles you have in the article directories, the more chances you have of people stumbling through those articles and into your website, which leads us to the last point.

Never ever forget to promote your website! In your excitement in writing articles, never forget that your end goal is making people go and visit your website. What you can do is to insert your website URL into your articles. Most article directories also have an author’s resource box, which allows you to say something about yourself and your website.

Make your articles interesting but short enough for a quick reading. You should produce AS MANY ARTICLES as you can! And always put your website URL in there. That would be a sure recipe of a website with delicious traffic!

Tags: Article marketingNo Comments.

Article Marketing for the Not-so-Internet-Savvy

July 22nd, 2008 by askweb20

If you have an online business, you know that your business will not be successful without people visiting your site. What you need to do then is to establish a marketing plan that is both efficient and effective.

One of the ways to promote your website is through article marketing. You write about your products, about your business and about yourself. Article marketing is nothing more than writing countless articles related to your business and making it available in the Internet for everyone to search for and for people to be directed to your website.

For the not-so-internet-savvy, article marketing can be a simple yet rewarding marketing plan. Here is what you can do.

1. Establish your time frame for article marketing. It could be a two-week period or a one-month period. As long as you identify your article marketing time frame, keep at it. It means that you shouldn’t stop and get discouraged. Just start doing it and people will start flocking to your website.

2. Decide on how many articles you can submit each week. It would be better to do a weekly goal. Can you write 25 articles per week? If you do, well and good, then do it. However, if you are still getting the hang of this strategy, once a day would be a good frequency. If you are pressed for time because of other concerns, then at least three articles a week would be a good start.

3. Before writing your articles, choose your keywords carefully. Think of the keywords that people are most likely to search about in relation to your website. There are a number of keyword tools online-some of them are paid but some are free like Google’s Keyword Tool.

4. Write like crazy! When you already have your keywords and your weekly target, it’s time for you to sit down and start writing! It would be better for you to write in blocks. Each time you write, determine to really write as quickly as you can without sacrificing the quality of your articles. Remember that in article marketing, quantity means more than quality. But this shouldn’t be your excuse for writing poor and crappy articles.

5. Submit to article directories. After you’ve written your pieces and have edited them for typos and for errors, it’s time to go to article directories like ezinearticles, amazine, and others. You can find a list of article directories at Top 50 Article Directories.

Tags: Article marketing · MarketingNo Comments.

Link, Link, Link for Better Traffic

July 18th, 2008 by askweb20

Networking is very important in almost all kinds of business. Without an effective network, less people will know about you and your business. If you have an extensive network though, people will get to know your business, you have more people working in promoting your site and before long, your site will get better traffic.

The links that point to your site are very important in getting a better Google pagerank. Ultimately, these links will mean that you are being considered as an authority that people can refer to.

There are essentially three kinds of links that you can develop in your website. These are the internal links within your website, the site maps, incoming links and the outgoing links that you give to other sites.

When you are writing articles and posts in your website, it would be wise to link to other articles relate to what you are writing about. This will lead your visitors to other helpful articles that could be of interest to them. This would also do well in promoting pages that may be difficult to find in your home page. Internal links also help search engine spiders to index your site.

Site maps on the other hand, provide an overview of the topics and pages featured in your website. This helps your visitors find the topics that they are after. Site maps also help the search engine spiders to index your pages and your topics.

Incoming links are very important in establishing your authority in your chosen niche. This means that more and more people recognize you as an authority in your niche and that is why they are linking out to you. If you have other websites, it would be wise to link these sites together.

By also linking other sites to you, your website will be better established in the Internet. Although content can invite links from other websites, you can also ask webmasters to link out to you.

Outgoing links are also important in establishing your authority in the niche you are in. Spiders will crawl your website and check whether your outgoing links are indeed related to your niche and your keywords.

Tags: websiteNo Comments.

Five Tips in Promoting Your Website

July 14th, 2008 by askweb20

Content is still king. No doubt about it. But if you rely only on your content to get noticed in the World Wide Web, then you are depriving yourself of the benefit of marketing and being known. In addition to the good products that you have, you need to have solid marketing and promotional strategy so as to generate traffic to your site. Remember, no traffic means less revenue for your website or blog.Here are five tips in promoting your website.

1. Write a lot of articles and submit them to article directories. Quantity more than quality is the driving force of article marketing. By submitting as many articles as you can to popular article directories, more people will come across your articles and they will be directed to your website.

2. Make use of free advertising sites. If you are but starting out in your online business, you probably don’t have enough experience and resources to use advertising programs such as Google Adwords. What you can do is to scout for free advertising sites. If you have a blog, sign up at www.entrecard.com, it has a huge network of bloggers and your blog can easily get noticed.

3. Submit your website to web directories. There are a number of web directories that you can use. Best if you start with Yahoo and Google. You can submit your website to them for easy search and indexing. When people access these directories, they can also learn about your website.

4. Make use of RSS or Atom Feeds. RSS stands for Rich Site Summary. Some people may consider it as Really Simple Syndication. Whatever term you might use, RSS or Atom Feeds are a great way to get people to subscribe to your site. This way, they can easily get updated with your website. You can visit http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-readers.htm for more of RSS and syndication.

5. Another strategy that you can use is to offer downloads and other freebies to your site. Whether that be a special report, a free eBook or a limited number of exposures, people are sure to want anything that’s freely offered to them. They can better appreciate your site if you do this.

These five tips in promoting your website can be best used with your existing business model. As long as it is your intention to help people and you show it, they will go back to your site.

Tags: Blogging · websiteNo Comments.

Getting Savvy with Search Engine Optimization

July 11th, 2008 by askweb20

Your website will never be successful if you are unable to drive traffic there. More and more webmasters are turning to Search Engine Optimization so that they can land at the first few pages of search engine results pages.

Put yourself in the shoes of your target consumers. More often than not, if they are searching for a keyword on the internet, they would rather click on the links on the first 2-3 pages of search engine results. If your website lands there, you might feel you got a jackpot on an Internet slot machine! Here are some tips and tools on getting savvy with Search Engine Optimization.

1. You should use free research tools online. Google’s Keyword Tool is a great resource when you are trying to find out what people are searching in the internet. This can help you understand hundreds of keywords related to the keyword you are concerned about. You can also check out Aaron Wall’s SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool. This tool also uses Yahoo! search data. If you have extra budget though and do not mind spending a bit on your online market research, try out Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery.

2. Be specific with your keywords and phrases. It would not do for you to target very general keywords such as credit cards or weight loss. What you need to do is put in geography or any other information that people would be interested to search about. Getting a thesaurus or a synonyms reference can also be very helpful.

3. Ensure that your keywords and phrases are relevant to your online business. Don’t just get keywords for the sake of getting them. Make sure that these words and phrases are related to the products or services that you are selling. This way, people won’t be disappointed if they end up viewing your site. Imagine a person seeking for weight loss pills and ended up at your site dealing with anorexia. “Bummer!” They will be annoyed and quickly leave your site.

Search engine optimization is not an easy task. It takes time and it takes skills! So if you cannot do it yourself, you better get an SEO consultant who can help do the job for you.

Tags: SEO · Web 2.0No Comments.

Making Social Networking Media Work for Your Business

July 9th, 2008 by askweb20

Social networking media is as much a part of Web 2.0 as your thumb is a part of your hand. When you are playing in the online business field, then you should never ignore the power of social media in driving the success of your business.

Here are several social networking media that you can use for your online business.

1. Facebook. College students are brilliant and bright. Depending on your market, this segment can greatly enhance your business. At the outset, it may seem that you are just connecting with online friends and strangers. But as you explore the different features of this network, you can connect with colleagues and friends from way back. If your blog or website has RSS feed, you can import them and show them on the network.

2. Helium. Helium is one of the sites that allows you to write content and publish it online. Think of it as something similar to about.com. But the difference is that in this site, you can be paid. More than that, you can establish your authority on the subject matter related to your online business.

3. Yahoo Answers. People are asking all sorts of questions online. Forums, as a rule, are still popular in the internet. But more and more people are finding Yahoo Answers as a great means to post their questions and receive quick response. This is also a great way for you to understand what people in your field of business are concerned about. Write answers about the query of people and soon, you can establish connections with them.

4. Use the Marketing Feature of MySpace. MySpace is arguably, still the most popular social networking site in the Internet today. It has very huge membership and traffic over the Internet. When you create your profile, you can create backlinks and market your website.

Other social networking sites are coming out in the Internet. You might say that it is very difficult to maintain usernames and passwords in hundreds of sites where you are a member. But think of the marketing potentials of these sites! You never know which of these sites may easily become the next MySpace or Facebook!

Tags: MySpace · social networkingNo Comments.