Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Achieving Organic Search Engine Ranking - Link Building

By now, we all know there’s a lot that goes into achieving high organic search engine rankings. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “SEO,” it refers to the art of modifying a web site’s properties in order for that site to appear in the top search engine results on Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN, for example.Think of the search engine optimization (SEO) process as a puzzle made up of three distinct types of pieces: code, content, and last but definitely not least, incoming links. You need to put all the pieces together to see results; if you focus too much on one single aspect of SEO, you’ll have a third of the visibility and you’ll still be missing the rest of the pieces.

In this article, I’m going to talk specifically about link building, and how this tactic is a critical component to successful search engine optimization. For those unfamiliar with this tactic, link building is the process by which you get incoming links to a website. Link Building is initiated to get incoming links to a website from other websites. The whole purpose behind link building is to improve the link popularity of a website, or to improve the number of incoming links to a website.

The reason link building is so important to high organic positioning is that all the major search engines use link related variables in their ranking algorithms, the complex equations that evaluate a site on a myriad of factors and then use this data to determine which sites appear where on the results pages.

So what incoming link related variables do the search engine algorithms consider?

- Number of Links- Quality/Origin of Links

- Relevance of Links

- Anchor Text Within Links

- Links Must Present Value to Users

Confused? Let me explain. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask all consider the number, quality, and relevance of incoming links to your site when determining its rank (Incoming links are those links that point to your web site). Google has a system called PageRank, and the other engines operate within similar frameworks. Google has stated, “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value.” In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily and help to make other pages ‘important.’”

Thus, the sites with the most links, or votes, must naturally be the best pages for the information being searched for. Think of it as a digital form of never-ending natural selection; the sites with the best content are linked to more often, boosting their search engine positioning, which in turn, makes them more visible to searchers who will continue linking to them more often.

So, two sites that are both about web design are differentiated by the number of incoming links they’ve obtained. If site A has 135 incoming links, and site B only has three, site A will dominate site B in the search engine results. Yet not every link helps. Go here to read about link building strategies to avoid.

As you’ve read, links are an important aspect of SEO. But not just any links. In fact, the wrong links can hurt you, badly. At this point, I’ll now turn my attention to the quality and relevance of these links, in the process explaining why not every link is a good one, and how some can do far more harm than good.

As mentioned earlier, your links need to be from quality sites that share some degree of relevancy with yours. The major engines are all conscious of the origin of these links, and lately, they’ve been known to penalize sites that build massive networks of irrelevant links. This penalization stems from something known as link farms, which were created in the late 1990s for SEO purposes. Link farms would sell links to sites, but none of these links presented any real value to users. Now the major engines evaluate a site not only on the number of links, but the quality, relevance and origin of these links. For example, a site supporting content about garages would be a great linking opportuníty for a auto parts site, while a cat food site would most likely incur a penalty.

Lastly, the anchor text of your incoming links needs to be optimized in order for the search engines to know what kind of site this link directs a user to. Anchor text is the colored or underlined text that indicates the existence of a link.

For example, if you own a Japanese sushi restaurant in Denver, you don’t want links that point to your site to say something vague like “Denver restaurant.” While this is true, it won’t help you get ranked for the keyphrase you want to be ranked for.

Instead, have your links’ anchor text say “Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Restaurant in Denver.” Not only is this more specific and better for users, it allows the search engines to better determine the relationship between the content of your site and the links that point to it. After all, the strength of this relationship is surely one of the most important factors in achieving high organic positioning. For a more detailed explanation of link building and anchor text within links, clíck here.

So now that you know what kind of links you need to acquire to achieve high organic search positioning, where do you start? Unfortunately, that’s a topic for another blog, but if you go here you can see how to acquire the links that will make a difference.

On a final note, remember to follow the philosophy of utility when conducting any link building campaign: Present users with links that connect them to useful, relevant information, and the search engines will reward you with high organic rankings.

About The Author
Nick Yorchak is an SEO expert at Fusionbox, a full-service Denver Internet marketing company. He can be reached at 303.952.7490. Click here to visit his expert SEO blog.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Latest Updates from Google AdSense - Mobile AdSense now Available!

If you currently run a website designed for mobile phones, or are planning to set one up, you can now monetize your site with Google AdSense for mobile. Similar to AdSense for content, AdSense for mobile automatically serves targeted ads to your mobile webpages, enabling you to earn money while providing useful information to your users.

If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of the program, check out the policies and requirements. Or to get started right away, simply sign in to your AdSense account, visit the AdSense Setup tab, and select AdSense for mobile as the product.

AdSense: Latest Updates from Google AdSense - Mobile AdSense now Available!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How Glossaries and FAQs Can Improve Search Engine Rankings

A large part of my time at StepForth as a search engine optimization consultant is spent conducting competitor research on behalf of our clientele. This service is focused on deconstructing the marketing campaigns of each competitor while identifying the tactics that appear to have fundamentally contributed to their search engine success. As you might imagine I come across many intriguing techniques that work and many that don't. In this article I will account for a couple of techniques that appear to be overlooked by many but have proven time and time again to work; the creation of an on-site glossary and
frequently asked questions (FAQ) section.

Create a Glossary

I imagine we have both shared one frustration with the Internet at one time or another and that is jargon... and too much of it. Acronyms, and bafflegab seem to be unintentionally utilized on websites all over the web (I am guilty too, I admit it) and I often wish there was a simple way to find a definition within a website rather than visiting an online dictionary. In some cases
I find a website where the owners have smartly linked a potentially confusing term to an off-site definition which is kind to the user but a waste of a great optimization opportunity. Whenever an occasion arises where a link to a definition would be worthwhile it makes far more sense to link to that content within your own website so that you can gain credibility in the eyes of a major search engine like Google.

You see, Google's algorithm is essentially a credibility calculator; it considers a whole host of elements on your website and pointing to your website to determine where it should be ranked. The algorithm considers countless elements including the uniqueness and relevance of each page's content to the number of links pointing to your site from other credible and relevant websites. In this case, a small boost in credibility can be gained by first having the added relevant content inherent to a glossary and second by linking a word/phrase from a page to its definition within your glossary.

For example, if your website (i.e. sold a wide variety of wood working tools and furniture building plans online it would be to your benefit to provide a fairly comprehensive glossary of woodworking terms on your website. Once the glossary is complete you can then occasionally link to the associated terms from within the written content on your

Okay, I see that the content within a glossary is relevant but I am not clear on why these links help?

A search engine algorithm tries to ascertain credibility in much the same manner humans do; we just take our innate calculations for granted. So consider how you would feel if you were on the woodworking site reading a tutorial on building a rocking chair and whenever a confusing term appeared you were provided with a link to a glossary on the site kindly defining the term. This
small convenience would probably inflate your opinion of the usefulness of the website and in-turn the credibility of the website would be less in doubt. Search engine algorithms assimilate these helpful links in much the same manner so by helping your visitors you are also helping your website.

Wait! There is another bonus to having a glossary:

As an added benefit glossary pages also have a great chance at obtaining rankings for their associated definitions precisely because they have links from relevant text pointing to them. As a result, a woodworking glossary might become an entry page for curious surfers or even a page where other woodworking sites link to for a definition.

In short, glossaries are simply a win-win tactic for nearly any website. In fact, as I write this I can't think of a single website that would not benefit from a glossary.

Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page

Now that you have read why an on-site glossary is important perhaps the concept of adding a Frequently Asked Questions section to your website is a no-brainer or perhaps not. Either way if you don't have a FAQ page then get your hide in gear and create one ASAP.

Like a glossary a Frequently Asked Questions page is a perfect place to build the credibility of your website and put to rest the fearful/concerning questions that often arise in relation to your products/services. If you need some ideas of what questions a prospective customer might ask, try calling a few clients and ask them what they looked for before ultimately choosing your
company. In addition, try placing a submission form on your contact page where prospects can ask you a question directly – just be sure to respond with haste. Then place the question and your response on the appropriate FAQ page.

Yet another bonus from having an FAQ

It is very common for the average surfer to search the web using questions. If your FAQ uses the wording that you think your prospects will use when searching, you will have a good chance at acquiring some extra high quality traffic. Do some research using a keyword analysis tool and try to find the best wording for each FAQ.

Tips for Building an Optimized Glossary or FAQ

Now I imagine that every expert in the SEO field has a different preference for designing the 'ultimate' glossary or FAQ but there are definitely some important tips to keep in mind for both:

1. Keep the pages relatively short. For example, I do not recommend having the entire glossary or FAQ on a single page unless they are relatively small. Ideally I would limit the number of questions or definitions to 10 or 15 on each page.

2. When building a FAQ try to devote each FAQ page to a singular topic. For example, on a woodworking site the FAQ for one page might be on the installation of a wood floor and another page would be devoted to questions on laminate floor installation.

3. When formatting the content for both the glossary and the FAQ try to link to related content within your website. This way if any visitors or search engines enter the site via one of these pages they can find great related reading material in a single click.

4. Make sure that a "back" button or a button that takes the user to the glossary or FAQ main navigation is available after each definition/answer. This will make it easier for visitors to navigate each resource or find their way back to their original reading material.

5. Add content to both resources whenever possible. It is often very simple to add a new definition or question and over time each resource will become more and more valuable to
your users and ultimately contribute more to your website's success.

6. Ensure that the FAQ and Glossary pages are included in your XML sitemap so that search engines can regularly index them for fresh content [see Google XML Sitemaps – The Basics
(]. That said, I advise setting the suggested re-index rate monthly unless the resources will be updated more often than that. After all, these pages are supposed to help but not take away from the core content of your website.

Your Competitors Are Doing It or They Will

If your website lacks a glossary or a FAQ I can only hope that this article convinced you to make it a priority. These tools are noted as contributing factors to the success of competitors throughout many of my analysis contracts and simply put they are too simple to add for anyone to be without them. Even if you have to hire your search engine friendly ( web designer to add these resources the ends will justify the means.

About the Author
Ross Dunn is the founder and CEO of StepForth Web Marketing Inc. ( Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. Ross is a search engine optimization and placement expert with over 9 years of marketing experience and is a Certified Internet Marketing and Business Strategist (CIMBS). Blending his experience in the art of web design and search engine optimization, Ross offers a unique and informed perspective on obtaining top search engine placements. Ross can be reached at

Monday, December 03, 2007

2 Vital Factors of e-Commerce Design

OK, so the title isn’t strictly true there is one important factor in ecommerce design and two things you have to do achieve it. The goal is to make people purchase your product.

The two things you have to do to make them buy is to help and persuade. When you design a site you need to pay serious attention to it’s usability and it’s persuasive abilities. The aim of a good e-Commerce solutions is to gently (or not so gently) persuade the sites user to purchase the product they want.

In order to make sure they find this as easy as possible, you need to make sure your website is as usable as possible. There are thousands of usability and persuasive design methodologies and we don’t intend to cover them all in this article. We have identified a couple of the most important factors in both areas and provide some tips and guidance to help you tailor your site to increase sales.

Continue to read more..SEO: The Two Most Important Factors In e-Commerce Design

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

SEO:Why Keywords Are Vital To An Seo Campaign?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the optimization of a web page in order that it ranks higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for specific keywords or keyword phrases. The pages that rank higher typically gain the greater amount of search engine traffic compared to pages ranked lower for the same keyword.

Targeting Keywords

However, a top position for any keyword won’t suffice. In order to increase your ROI, it is vital to ensure that you target the most appropriate keywords for your pages, and for your business. While generic, or very general topic keywords, may have the highest number of searches conducted in a month they are also the most competitive and typically least productive.

Competitive Keywords

The more competitive a keyword the more pages that you need to compete with in order to benefit from an SEO campaign. Many of the pages that appear at the top of the list will also be well optimized and have a powerful link profile, making it difficult to rank highly.

Improved Conversions With Targeted Keywords

General topic based keywords have also proven to have lower conversion rates compared to more specific keywords. Targeted keywords generate targeted visitors, and targeted visitors are much more likely to be active while on the pages of your website.

Continue to read more... SEO:Why Keywords Are Vital To An Seo Campaign?

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to Use SEO or Search Engine Optimization for High Google Listings By Peter Nisbet (c) 2007

If you know how to use SEO to get a high listing in search
engines, or are an expert in search engine optimization for high
Google listings, then you need read no more of this article.
Your website obviously has at least one page in the top 10 of
Google, MSN and Yahoo, and you have as much traffic as you need
for your success.

However, if not, then you need some advice. You need to
understand the basics of search engine optimization.
Incidentally, what the basics are to you may not be basics to
others. Basics to some are the correct use of LSI (latent
semantic indexing), of internal linking strategies and of other
techniques designed to lead search engine spiders by the hand
and convince them that their site is the tops. Can you do that?

If not, then here are one or two tips. Good SEO is a lot more
than just having your page title in title tags and your heading
in H1 tags. It is more that just having the correct keyword
density – do you know what that is? The vast majority of people
don't have the slightest clue about keyword density or what it
means. Formulae said to relate to keyword density and the number
of words in the key phrase as a function of the number of times
the phrase should appear in a web page are mediaeval in internet

Do you know what? Google doesn't give a toss about your
calculations. Google cares about the service you are providing
to Google customers and how relevant the content of your web
page is to their needs. To find that out, Google applies a
statistical mathematical equation based on statistical analysis
of semantics as related to the specific keyword being used by
the searcher, and the semantic content of your web page.

Google doesn't care if you have exactly 15 incidences of your
keyword every 500 words – in fact if you do, you have no chance
because that is now excessive. Keyword stuffing or keyword
spamming they call it! Yet people still write articles packed
full of keywords in the mistaken belief that it will be good for
them. Who is still telling them that?

So let's forget keyword density. It's old SEO and no longer
relates to Google's needs. Internal linking: now there's a new
thing to most people, even though it has been relevant for the
past few years. By intelligent use of internal linking you can
lead your friendly neighbourhood spider down any web you can
weave for it. And you will benefit greatly by doing so, if you
know where you should be leading it.

Internal linking strategy is a different concept entirely to an
external linking strategy involving one way or two way reciprocal
links back to your web page from that of another website. Most
people are involved in that, but also most don't know how to do
it properly, and therefore lose out. Let me give you a simple

You have a website with a page rank of 4 for your home page.
Note that it is not your whole site that gets a Google PageRank,
as it is properly written, but each individual page in your site
is individually ranked. When you come across a website with a PR
of 4 or even 8, it is the page you are looking at that has that
PageRank. That will generally be the home page, and when you
agree to a reciprocal link, guess what! Your link will be placed
on a 'links page' in that site with a PR of zero. That's right,
a Google PageRank of zilch: and that's the benefit you will get.

If you place their link on your home page, or any other page
with a PR of greater than zero, you lose out. Even if your page
has a Google PageRank of only 1, Then You Lose Out! They get a
share of your PR of 1, and you get a share of their PR of zero!

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, and then tell me I don't
know what I am talking about as many have. Some of these many
are so-called internet gurus and SEO experts that fleece you by
promising you a Google Page 1 position for your site, when they
can't even get one for themselves.

If a site offers you a top 10 position, check out their
position by using their URL. If they were so good, wouldn't they
be in the top 10 for their URL? I would have thought so! But NO.

So, do what you can to understand what Search Engine
Optimization is. What it really is – not what some would want
you to believe what it is. Check out the source code of
successful sites and compare it to the unsuccessful sites and
try to spot differences. If you cannot, then it is the linking
strategies that make the difference. Whatever strategy you use,
however, make sure that you fully understand it and that you are
using it as it should be used. There are links and links – some
better than others. Some can give you positive results, and some
of your links can be very bad for you.

Do you know how to tell the difference? Most can't, and so are
led by what they read online. The problem is that since 'most
can't', most of what is written online is garbage. It is
difficult to spot the truth from the opinion. It is truth that
gets you a good Google or Yahoo listing, not opinion. The
problem is that more people believe opinion than truth since
they don't know what truth is, and most of what they read is
false opinion.

The best advice you can have is to check out the websites that
have succeeded and copy what they do. However, that is not as
easy as you think since the off-site linking strategy that you
cannot see is as important as the on-site SEO that you can see.
If you want screenshots of a website that succeeds, the check
out Pete's site that varies from
#1 and #4 on Google for the keyword 'article services', and then
find the screenshots and explanation of how he does it on That is how to learn:
from successful sites.

Copyright © 2007 Jayde Online, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Deep Linking Strategies For SEO By Seomul Davis (c) 2007

Linking is one of the prime areas of any SEO campaign and is considered a key concept that can drive targeted traffic to your website if done the right way. The good news is that Linking is effective and the bad news is that there are many aspects of linking that have undergone severe changes over the years.

One of the good aspects is that one single linking tip can put you way ahead of your competition especially where most webmasters think that all you need is a reciprocal link directory for gaining link popularity in some of the top search engines like Google or Yahoo. If you have already gone through the Google page rank update then you are aware of the fact that directories with hundreds of links are not happening any more. It is being treated as a negative tactic.

There was a time when content was supreme and then it shifted to design and other elements and it has come full circle back to content. Hence more and more people have started to focus their efforts in content. Let us look at a different perspective, maybe an example.

Hypothetically, you have a website with 500 pages of resourceful content. If you want to publish articles on multiple categories then the page number can go higher up. Now on the other hand if you have a website with 30 pages, you can expect it to grow to 500 if you keep publishing articles. Now each of the articles as well as the resource pages is live links to your web site. There are two ways by which you can get links to your website in a given situation and they are:

You can get a link for your home page as a part of an exchange for a link to one of relevant article pages on the site with whom you are doing the exchange.

The second option is deep linking. In deep linking, you will get a link straight to the particular page on your web site, which you are going to link them to. The question is how will it benefit you?

So let us look at the various benefits of deep linking:

1. This will make webmasters excited regarding linking with you/your site simply because you will be putting them on your web site and not on any low rank, low traffic website where people might not visit.
2. This will give a signal to other webmasters that you have studied their website carefully and completely and hence know where their link will fit on your website. It is any day better than a simple swapping of web site links. There is a more meaningful result associated with deep linking.
3. You will start to build link popularity directly on to the pages that are within your web site.
4. You will have the leverage and hence you will be in a position to ask for better links from different web sites. This means that there will be no dumping of links. You will also have the advantage of asking for links of importance from various webmasters.
5. Your links page will grow in value because it will not be crammed with links, it will now have only useful or relevant links.
6. These links will help to direct meaningful or targeted traffic to your website, which in the long-run will generate revenue and provide opportunity for many more traffic spikes.

These benefits are enough to keep your website ahead of competition and will not impact your Google page rank severely even when the next page rank upgrade is released.

Seomul Davis is a senior SEO Services expert with SEO 1 Services, a Dallas SEO Company.

Monday, October 22, 2007

SEO: 20 Must-Have Search Engine Marketing Tools

Anyone working in Search Engine Marketing knows that this industry travels at warp speed. If you’re trying to market your web site or the web sites of your clients via search engines, chances are your time is limited - severely limited. To squeeze as much into my schedule as possible without resorting to self-cloning, my daily routine involves the use of a range of time-saving tools and software. I use such tools on a daily basis and I truly don’t know how I’d function without them. I’m not the only one. I’ve talked to other SEM experts and they also rely on various tools to help them through their hectic schedules.

Here is a líst of 20 must-have tools used by busy SEM professionals:

1. Freshbooks Invoicing and Timesheets
Freshbooks is an online estimating, invoicing, project management and time tracking service that gives your business a professional image, no matter how small. I use it to invoice all my clients online and it can even be set up to automatically bill and debit the credít cards of recurring clients every month. It also has built in staff timesheets and project management tools for online collaboration.

Price: Free for 3 clients or less

2. XML Sitemaps Generator
The XML Sitemap Generator trawls through all levels of your site to generate an XML sitemap. It also gives you a running count of pages, provides a text-based URL líst and a HTML sitemap you can import straight into your site. The online version of the generator is free for sites of less than 500 pages, but there’s also a low-cost script-based version for large sites that can be set up to automatically index your site, upload an updated XML file to your server and ping Google and Yahoo when done.

Price: Free for sites of 500 pages or less

3. Proposal Kit
ProposalKit takes the chore out of creating and tailoring client estimates and proposal contracts. With over 200 pre-designed self-guiding templates ready to fill in the blanks with your company, project/product/service and client information, ProposalKit has already half completed your proposal for you.

Price: From USD 47.00

Continue to read.. SEO: 20 Must-Have Search Engine Marketing Tools

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Death of Paid Content Has Been Exaggerated! By Miles Galliford (c) 2007

There is a debate raging on the internet at the moment about whether the move by some of the major national newspapers in the US, away from subscription to a free, advertising driven business model, is a signal that the days of paid content is over.

This debate shows a lack of understanding of content publishing on the web. The reason that the national newspapers are failing in the subscription market is because most of their content is available elsewhere for free. If there is a free alternative, guess what, people will always take the free option.

In the early days of the web, brand was enough to sustain many of the online sites of the national newspapers, but now brand is not enough. There are many credible sources creating content and the internet community is getting pretty good at ensuring quality floats to the surface and the dross is trampled under foot.

So do huge national newspaper sites being forced to go free mean paid content is dead? The figures suggest not. In fact they suggest that the market has blood surging through its veins. According to the Online Publishers Association, paid-for content billed over $2bn in 2005 and is expected to reach over $5bn in 2007. In Europe according to a study for the EU, revenues will jump from €849m in 2005 to €2bn by 2010. So if the large national newspapers with their huge audiences are not generating subscriptions, who is? The answer is highly focused niche websites. As Gary Hoover said at the recent SIPA (Specialist Information Publishers Association) Conference "In the information business all the money is in the niches".

At the specialist information end of the market, knowledge and expertise is still a limited resource and there are many reasons why people pay to get access to it. These include:

• When knowledge is restricted to one individual or a small group of individuals e.g. share tipping and ínvestment information - and Bull Market Report

• When knowledge is inextricably linked to one personality or celebrity e.g. Jancis Robinsons' expertise in wine,

• When the editor has privileged access to source material e.g. insider industry information like

• The timeliness of information. If one website gets access to information quicker than other sites, people will pay for that time advantage e.g. the fashion trend prediction site

• A specialist website aggregates information which saves the reader time and hassle e.g. provides analysis of court judgements that are relevant to landlords.

• The website hosts a specialist community. Charging for access acts as a quality filter to ensure all members have a reason and interest in participating e.g. the many collectors clubs and niche industry groups such as

• People pay for exclusivity. Many paid-for websites are driven by people wishing to be a member of a small elite group. It's much the same as private members clubs or exclusive golf clubs in the real world e.g.

• People who are passionate about a subject often want to submerge themselves in it and are prepared to pay to mix with likeminded people e.g. fans of the T Bird car

• Training sites that give people access to information that will improve their skills or knowledge e.g. the photography site and the writers bureau's writing course

• Help sites that enable people to improve themselves or their health e.g South Beach Diet, and What to Expect Pregnancy Club,

• Save people time e.g. business book summary sites such as, and the site that provides preachers with downloadable sermons

What is driving this revolution is the combination of cheap and simple publishing tools, zero cost distribution via the web and the access to a global audience via the search engines. Suddenly individual experts can easily share their knowledge and become global celebrities in their specialist areas of interest.

Chris Anderson has researched this phenomenon in his book "The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand". He observed that:

"When you can dramatically lower the costs of connecting supply and demand, it changes not just the numbers, but the entire nature of the market. This is not just a quantitative change, but also a qualitative one, too. Bringing niches within reach reveals a latent demand for specialist content. Then, as demand shifts towards niches, the economics of providing them improve further, and, so on, creating a positive feedback loop that will transform entire industries – and the culture – for decades to come"

Historically the distribution of knowledge and expertise has been restricted by the cost of distributing it via magazines, books and newspapers. Editors, literary agents and publishers were the gatekeepers who decided and controlled what was worth printing. Chris Anderson compares this to islands being visible above an ocean, where the waterline is the economic threshold for what is worth printing. The islands represent the publications that are popular enough to be above that line, and thus profitable enough to be offered through the publishers distribution channels. However islands are just the tips of vast undersea mountains. When the cost of distribution falls, it's like the water level falling in the ocean. All of a sudden things are revealed that were previously hidden. And there is much, much more under the waterline than above it. What we are now starting to see, as online production and distribution costs fall, is the shape of the massive mountains of choice where before there was just a peak.

This can illustrated by the fact that there are approximately 75,000 print magazines, newsletter journals and newspapers in the UK and US, yet there are over 15m active blogs and millíons of niche content websites.


The future of internet publishing is in the niches. Subscription and advertising revenues will continue to migrate down the long tail to the niche sites. Specialist publishers who are focused on creating the best site in their subject area in the world are set to prosper. The mass market publications will continue to see their audiences and revenues squeezed.

About The Author
SubHub provides an all-in-one solution to enable you to rapidly design, build and run your own content website. Publish for profít on the web. Website: SubHub Articles Feed

Thursday, October 18, 2007

SEO: Crafting Good Title Tags For SEO and Clickability By John Buchanan (c) 2007

It's amazing to me, the number of people who still do not take proper advantage of the power of the title tag. The title tag, is arguably THE most important on-page factor in SEO (and much more as you'll soon learn).

If you happen not to be too versed in HTML coding I'll explain what the title tag is.

The title tag is found within the and tags of a webpage. It's format is as follows: “Your Page Title Here”

The title tag is important for two very simple reasons.

1. The title of the page is given an enormous amount of weight by the search engines. It always has and it always will. It's of less importance today than it was 6 or 7 years ago, but it is still the most important on-the-page factor a page has. After all, it's sole purpose is to describe the page so it *should* be considered important.
2. The title tag is also used as the anchor text of your listing in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). When someone visits a search engine and runs a search for one of your products, if one of your pages comes up in that search, it is the title tag that the visitor will see (along with a short description) and be able to click on to visit that page.

The problem is a LOT of webmaster's simply don't understand or make proper use of the title tag. Instead of name the page using keywords relevant to that specific page, they use their company name, etc.

Unless you are FORD, GE, or some other multi-million dollar company you should NEVER have your company name or website name (unless it's an SEO'ed website name) in the title tag. Are people going to be searching for your company or website name or are they going to be searching for keywords related to your product or service?

Let's look at a quick example from a real search I ran earlier today:

So a ran a search for "lawn chairs" clicked to page number two and there sitting at #14 is a site with the title "Brookbend".

Now, this particular site actually has a LOT wrong with it, but for now we'll stick to the title tag, or lack-there-of as this particular site's title tag actually just said "Untitled Document". As a result, Google replaced that with the name from the URL which Google will often do when a webmaster does something stupid such as this. ;)

As I said, this particular listing was the 14th listing for "lawn chairs". That is actually VERY good considering it doesn't have a title tag. Imagine what it could have ranked if it had actually made use of the title tag? Possible using something along the lines of:

*Beautiful Outdoor Furniture, Lawn Chairs, Patio Tables*

Think they may have been able to achieve an even better rank? I would venture to say yes.

Now, there is also a second problem with their lack of a title tag and that is that their listing in the search engine is simply "Brookbend". I don't know about you, but if I'm looking for "lawn chairs" I'm probably not going to click on a listing that just says "Brookbend". For one reason, it doesn't contain either of the search terms I used in the title. For another thing, it isn't very "clickable".

You see, a title tag should do two things. It should incorporate that pages most important phrases and it should make someone want to click on it. You will notice in my above example, for the title I used "Beautiful Outdoor Furniture... ". That is because, while I wanted the keywords in there, I also wanted it to read well and entice the surfer to click on it. After all, it doesn't do much good to get a top ranking if no one clicks on your listing.

So, when you are designing your pages always remember to:

1. Decide on what that pages target keywords are
2. Incorporate those keywords into the title tag of the page
3. Make sure the title tag is enticing enough to make the visitor WANT to click on it.

Do the above three consistently and you will see the results in no time.

See you at the top!

John Buchanan is a veteran search engine optimization specialist with over 9 years experience. For more information, visit his site at or his newest site where he will provide you with a professional SEO Video Website Analysis of your site.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Web Traffic: Dirty Tactics to Increase Comments on Your Blog By Gobala Krishnan

If you’re ok with “gray” tactics to build your blog, you may like these suggestions. These are merely half-serious suggestions, so please do your own due diligence first. Let’s think “outside the box”.

  • Fake your comments - No one wants to be the first to comment on anything, but they don’t mind joining in. You can always fake it, by submitting fake comments yourself or by hiring others to do it. Fortune 500 companies do this too, they call it “content seeding” and every major site has done this to some extent before they go live, so as not to look empty to new visitors.
  • Use visual stimulation - Use pictures that appeal to emotions, for example pictures of sexy women, cute toddlers or even cute puppies, depending on your market. Don’t pretend like you’ve never seen this happen on someone else’s blog before. You probably commented on that post too, right? Find a reason to put that picture into your post or else this won’t work. Use as often as required.
  • Comment bashing - A software like Instant Blog Links will get you a list of blogs where you can post your comments. Then, either post really negative comments or post a link to your blog that bashes the original post. You’ll get a lot of angry people dying to comment on your blog.
  • Re-light the fire - Do you know some topics never run out of comments? Are men smarter than women? Are dogs better than cats? Are blondes better than brunettes? Are Macs better than PCs? Some topics just have no conclusions, and that means you can get an infinite amount of comments and be no closer to a resolution for the topic itself.
  • Write something stupid - Break the rules, and do something contrary to what people expect from you. Go silly on your posts and you can wake up the next morning to a few comments at least.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Website Design - Cornerstones of an Effective Website

Just about everyone has a website today. Certainly, if you’re in business one way or another, you have a website. And people have different objectives behind their sites. Some are content-driven. Others provide an online service and have sophisticated user interfaces. Others still are designed to entertain and amuse their visitors. But regardless what your website is designed to do, there are a few primary objectives you should keep in mind before you start building.

This first website objective is FOCUS. Your site needs to have a narrow and specific focus. Why is this? Because there are literally millions of websites out there and the visitors you’re lucky enough to attract will only take a few seconds to decide whether they’ll stick around or whether they’ll simply click the back button and continue browsing elsewhere. Within those few seconds, your site needs to communicate exactly what it’s designed to do so the visitor can decide if it meets his or her needs or not.

One of the best exercises to enhance the focus of your site is to establish a 15 to 25-word positioning statement that guides all your development activity going forward. Think about it like a mission statement. It should articulate exactly what your website does in just 15 to 25 words.

Another way to look at it is to do a Google search for a keyword in your field and see what comes up in the results page. Under each listing, there’s a short description of what that site is all about. As it turns out, the search engines get that description from the meta tags on those websites but it’s exactly the same thing. What do you want YOUR description to say?

Once you’ve established a positioning statement, you should display it prominently on your homepage. It should be one of the first things visitors see when they land on your website. And as I mentioned above, the same statement should be included in your meta tags as your site description. That way, the search engines know exactly what your site is about at the same time. And if your site shows up in a search results page, that description will show up as part of your listing.

Continue to read more here

Monday, October 01, 2007

7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid when Promoting your Business

Many people rush into business thinking it will be easy to run, but very soon they realize that it is not as easy as it looks. A successful business is a finely tuned machine. In order to keep your business running smoothly it is important to avoid making mistakes.

Here are the 7 most common mistakes to avoid:

1. Not having clear objectives:
Many business people start a business without clear objectives. They fail to set realistic goals for their marketing and consequently set themselves up for failure. It is important to make a list of goals and objectives based on a quarterly time line. If you do not have company goals and objectives you are like a car driving without a road map. Make sure all employees are briefed on company objectives. When your employees are not properly prepared you will not be able to achieve company objectives.

2. Neglecting to analyse your potential customers
Neglecting to analyse your potential customers is a dangerous mistake. It can lead to many problems. When you do not analyse your customers wants and needs you do not know what products and services to develop for them. This will lead to targeting the wrong market and neglecting to understand your own niche market. It is important for any business to do their marketing analysis so that you can target your market and maximise your sales.

3. Not testing:
By not testing your sales copy and places you advertise with split testing your advertising, you will be losing sales. Split testing is simple to do but many businesses fail to do this. This results in a lot of wasted time and effort. If you do not test your ad copy and marketing promotions you will not have a proper idea of the ads and promotions that are pulling and what is not working. It is simple to do by placing 2 ads for the same product in a publication or website etc. You can then see which one is performing the best.

4. Not budgeting:
Budgeting is extremely important in business. Your business should never run out of money. This is especially true with your marketing and advertising ventures. It is important to have a monthly or quarterly budget for your marketing. Within that budget put aside money for each promotion you will be doing. Start small, test and then build on successes. This will allow you to always stay solvent and have enough for promotions.

5. Giving up too soon:
Companies go out of business at an alarming rate these days. One of the reasons is that the owners give up too soon. Just when success might be just around the corner they give up and decide to close the business down. In exactly the same fashion marketing promotions can fail. You need to give your promotions at least 3 months before you decide to scrap them. Some promotions will take longer than others to bring results. As always, test all marketing tactics before you launch a larger promotion. Patience is one of the hallmarks of business and you need to implement it.

6. Poor sales copy:
How often have you wanted a product but when you read the sales page you had serious doubts? Poor unprofessional ad copy will cost you sales. In fact without good sales copy you will not be able to sell effectively at all. It is critical to your business to get this right. If necessary get an experienced copywriter to do this. It is worth the investment, as you will see returns when you make sales.

7. Not screening your employees carefully:
To handle the extra load for the Christmas season you will need to hire new employees. It is very important not to rush into this. There is no dearth of people needing employment but you need to screen them carefully before hiring. One rude customer service agent can cost you customers. Do not take this type of risk. You want to preserve the integrity of your company at all times and screening employees is the way to achieve this. You will then be able to build a core of loyal professional employees that will be an asset to the company.

The golden rule is to diversify. You should always use multiple forms of marketing promotions in your business. Do not just do one or two promotions and then wait for results. This will slow company growth and your business will stagnate. The last thing you need is to slow your marketing in the Christmas season. So remember to diversify and enjoy the increase in sales.

By avoiding these mistakes you will take your company to the success you deserve. You will be able to have year round success for your business and really be able to cash in on the Christmas season. So plan ahead and be careful not to make these common mistakes.

About the Author: Sean McPheat is a leading authority marketing consultant and helps businesses across the UK, Europe, US and the Middle East. Sean's marketing services include direct mail, internet marketing, sales copy, sales training, telemarketing, PR and strategic alliance marketing.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

SEO: 5 Things To Hate About Web Design (and how to fix them)

What do you hate most about websites? If you browse websites as much as we do, then there is a lot to hate. Because there are so many terribly designed, user non-friendly websites on the Internet today, we have put together this short but detailed list of things to hate about web design. In addition to compiling this list, we’ve also provided a solution for each of the problems.

When creating a web design, there are a number of things that a web designer should take into consideration if their goal is to produce a high quality, user friendly website.

1. Vomit Inducing Color Schemes

There is nothing worse than visiting a website and seeing a borderline-gruesome, mismatched, out of control color scheme. As basic as it is, some people have a terrible time choosing successful color schemes. Though there are millions of colors to choose from, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Whether you want to pay for a piece of software that will significantly simplify the color scheme selection process or use one of the free color scheme tools available on the Internet, you will be implementing attractive and successful color schemes in no time.

To Pay

If you want to pay for a color scheme application that will do all of the work for you, then your best solution is the Color Schemer Studio. Located at and available in both Mac OS X and Windows flavors, this tool not only builds you an entire color scheme based on a single color, but it also generates monochromatic, complement, split complement, triad, tetrad, and analogous harmonies based off of that same single color that you choose. It is absolutely remarkable. There are a lot of other neat and extremely useful features built into this application, too.

Not to Pay

If you would rather not pay the $49.99 for the Color Schemer Studio (even though it is worth every penny), then there are free alternatives available. Navigate to and you will find a Flash based color scheme tool called the Color Wizard. Although not quite as user friendly as the Color Schemer Studio, the Color Wizard has a lot of features built into it. You can either enter a hex color code or move the sliders back and forth to find the color that you’re looking for. The Color Wizard also gives you multiple harmonies based off of the single color that you choose. The Color Wizard is a solid (and free) color schemer product. The only downside to the Color Wizard is that it is available only to be used on the Internet. In comparison, the Color Schemer Studio does not require an Internet connection since it located on your computer’s hard drive.

Continue reading.. SEO: 5 Things To Hate About Web Design (and how to fix them)

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Alexa Ranking A Web Site Monetization Strategy?

The main goal that almost all companies have today when dealing with online marketing is to improve their conversion rate. Everybody knows that there are various ways of attracting targeted traffic. Some go for a good place in the Search engine result page, others would be more satisfied with heavier traffic. Either way, everybody sets his goal usually in earning more money.

But, while having a high position in Google may seem to some companies the only way to make themselves known and thus reaching their goal, there are others that think that a good place in the Alexa ranking system might result quite beneficial in the end.

What is Alexa Ranking?

This is a ranking system provided by controlled by that basically evaluates and shows the number of visits on various Web sites. The algorithm according to which Alexa traffic ranking is calculated, is simple. It is based on the amount of traffic recorded from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed over a period of three months.

Continue reading ..Alexa Ranking A Web Site Monetization Strategy?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Art of Website Maintenance By Erin Ferree (c) 2007

Now that you've designed and launched your website, you have a powerful marketing tool for your business. But, your website is only as useful as the content is current. The process of keeping the content on your site current is called website maintenance, and it's important to keep both visitors and search engines supplied with new information. Just like regular maintenance on your car, you have to make changes on your website every few months to make sure that things run smoothly.

If you update the content on your website on a regular basis, potential clients will be drawn back to your site to find out "what's new". The search engines pay visits to websites in their queue regularly. The catch is that you'll stay in the queue only if you update your site regularly. If the search engines visit your site several times in a row, and don't find anything new, they may decide not to come back-which can be a blow to your search engine rankings.

So, when is it appropriate to update your website? You don't want to waste time and monëy nitpicking at your site if you don't have updates of real value to add. You should update your site if you've:

- Grown your skills. Have you gotten a new accreditation? New licensing? Improved your skills? Any change in your skill set is a great reason to update your website - and your potential clients - with your new capabilities.

- Expanded your products or services. Do you have a new offering? Add it to your website and start making new sales in that area.

- Completed a successful project. If you've just finished a project, include it on your website. Create an online portfolio, add a case study - build a section on your website to use as a place to show the world your success.

- Gotten more testimonials, or added to your client list. Including more feedback on your offering helps to build your credibility. Be sure to get a testimonial from each of your successful client projects. Updating your testimonials regularly will also show clients who have visited your site a few times that your offerings are "up to snuff".

- Written an article. Writing articles is a great way to keep your website up-to-date and to put more content on your site. Search engines love content-rich sites, and visitors will love to see the new information. So, if you write articles to educate your clients and promote your business, be sure to place them on your website as well. They're likely to be full of keywords related to your area of specialty, which will help your ranking in the search engines.

- Issued Press releases. You should post all press releases and other information you publish about your company to your website. You nevër know who may be visiting, and you may get written up for your accomplishments.

- Made changes in your business. Have you hired someone? Changed your business structure, and you're now required to notify the public of that? If so, you should probably review your website and evaluate how you can add that information.

- Made Yearly checkups. You should do a basic review of your site at least once a year, to make sure that the content is current. Some things to look for include:

  • Your copyright statements should be updated yearly

  • Test and validate your links, to ensure that they still work

  • Your time references should be changed. If your "About" page says how many years you've been in business, this is the time to change that!

  • Your pricing and offerings - do you have new products or services? Have your prices increased over the past year?

Spotlight any major updates on your home page as well, so that people will learn of those updates as soon as they enter your site. The search engines will also discover the new update as soon as they enter your home page if you leave a bit of information, with a link to the full story, on the home page. That will act as a breadcrumb for the engine to follow - the engines will follow your link to learn more about it.

Any of these reasons, and dozens of others, are great reasons to make changes to your site. If you make keeping your website current a priority, it will pay off with better search engine rankings and increased sales and leads through your website.

Once you've decided to make your changes, the next choice is how to go about doing that. There are two steps involved in maintaining your site:

1. First, decide whether you prefer to edit your content on paper or online. This can be done in a couple of ways. You can start by printing the pages that have outdated information and then updating that information on paper first. Or, you can copy and paste the outdated content from your website into a word processing program such as Microsoft Word and then edit that file on your computer.

2. After you have updated your text content you can choose either to make the changes yourself or to hire a web designer to make the changes. There are several tools that you can use to make changes to your site yourself. We recommend an easy-to-use tool called Macromedia Contribute. It's fairly inexpensive, its simple to set up and learn, and it allows you to back up to older versions of your site if you make mistakes.

We suggest that you use this tool to make only simple text changes. More complicated changes - for example, to the overall design or navigation - are more difficult to make, and having a professional make those changes will save you energy and frustration.

If you are comfortable with a more complicated software program, then we recommend a professional-grade tool such as Dreamweaver. With a better software package, you'll be able to make some of the more complicated changes yourself.

By building more and more current information into your website, you will also begin to build trust with your potential clients, since they will have a snapshot of what's currently happening in your business available to them. Your website can go a long way towards making sure that your online prospects know, like, and trust you - which can lead to more sales from your website.

About The Author
Erin Ferree is a brand identity designer who creates big visibility for small businesses. Her workbook, "Design a Website That Works", will walk you through all of the questíons that you need to answer in order to create the best possible website. Elf-Design Web Workbook

Monday, September 17, 2007

Effective Email Marketing Subjects

Email marketing has exploded in growth over the past few years, as marketers have continued to see the benefits and outstanding ROI this marketing medium can bring. However, despite the great results being attained, many marketers still overlook a very important component of their email marketing campaigns: The Subject.

Just about everyone who uses email knows about the subject line. It's the little bit of information that is displayed along with the 'sender name' when an email lands in someone's inbox. Some email programs show the sender name, subject and a preview of the message, while other email programs only display the sender name and subject. In these latter scenarios, the subject is an even more vital part of your email marketing campaigns because that may be the single biggest factor in determining whether or not someone will open your email marketing campaign.

Far too many email marketers spend a long time perfecting their message content (which is a good thing!) and then they simply gloss over the subject. An there's the mistake. You may have the world's greatest content, but if your subject line isn't compelling enough to make your readers open the message, all that great content will just go to waste. With that in mind, here are a few tips for crafting your subject line:

1. Short & Simple: A Few Words Can Go A Long Way

A good subject line is short and to the point. Many email programs restrict the amount of characters that are displayed in the subject. What this means is that your subject may get cut short. Worse yet, you don't really know where it will get cut off, which would lead to some highly unexpected results. Imagine sending out an email campaign to business professionals with the subject line: "Learn to Diversify Your Sales Strategy." Now imagine if that subject gets cuts short by your readers' email programs, and all they see is "Learn to Dive". Chances are, your business-focused readers won't care to open that message. On the other hand, if your subject is just a few words, and is direct and to the point, then it will be displayed fully and you will know with the utmost confidence what each recipient is getting the context of your email marketing campaign, regardless of their email software.

2. Pique Your Readers Interest Everyday

People receive a lot of email messages, so you want to make sure your email marketing campaign cuts through the clutter. For your email marketing campaign to succeed, you need to pique people's interest. After all, it is their choice as to whether or not they open your email. And if the subject doesn't elicit some interest or curiosity, then it can easily be skimmed over. The best way to come up with a captivating and interesting subject line is to put yourself in your readers' shoes. Don't tell them what you think they want to hear; tell them what they actually want to hear! This can be tough because you need to keep it short (as per point 1), but a few words is more than enough to get a reader's mouth wet and make him or her want to know more. Remember, if your subject is dull, boring, or completely uninteresting, your reader will go looking for the delete button, and no email marketer wants that.

3. Cheesy or Overly Exaggerated Subjects Doesn't Fool Anyone

If you send out an email and in the subject you promise that "all of your dreams will come true", today's consumer will likely delete your email marketing campaign prior to even reading another word. If your subject guarantees your readers will be rich beyond their wildest dreams, then it will almost always get trashed (not to mention classified as spam). Today's consumer is very savvy and these cheesy, out-dated gimmicks simply don't work. Before writing your subject, assume that each one of your recipients is very well aware that your product or service is not the miracle of all miracles. The moment you send out an email with an overly gimmicky subject, you are really shooting yourself in the foot. This is not to say the content of your message is not special, but with limited reading time for emails, people quickly dismiss anything that sounds "too good to be true". Make sure your email marketing campaigns don't get filed into this notorious group!

4. Be Honest: Describe Your Content

Your email marketing subject should not be conjured up in isolation of your actual email content. They should go hand-in-hand, where the subject nicely describes what the reader can expect in the body of your email marketing campaign. Far too many times in the quest for the perfect subject (and while following the points above) an email marketer will stray so far away from their content that the subject ends up having nothing to do with the message. This is a catastrophic mistake because in addition to the subject acting as a determining factor for opening your email, it also sets up the reader's mentality for what they can expect to see in your email marketing campaign. If they open your message expecting to see tips for effective email marketing, but instead you give them tips for dieting, they will swiftly close your message. While a goal of the subject is to get the reader to open he message, you also want to set it up so that the reader keeps reading. And you can only do that when your subject is honest. After all, if you're trying to fool your readers into opening your message, then you can't expect them to be that attached to what you eventually want to say.

A good email marketing subject can go a long way towards boosting your results and helping you achieve your goals. This important part of every email marketing campaign should be given some serious thought and, when combined with the points above, will help more people open your email and read your content.

Robert Burko is the President of, the leading email marketing program, serving thousands of businesses across the globe. The email marketing service is part of the family.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

50 Common Web Design Mistakes

This started out as a “Top Ten Newbie Web Mistakes” for my beginning web design students but it quickly became obvious that I couldn’t limit it to only ten. I was finally able to edit it down to 50. But I suspect, as soon as the comments start, it will begin growing again.And, yes, I’ve made them all at one time or another.

Page Titles
1. Untitled documents: “Untitled Document” is the default title for pages created in Dreamweaver and other web design programs. Too many people forget to change it.
2. Same title for all pages: The title is important. Help the world know which of your pages they want to see.
3. Non-descriptive titles: The page title is the headline for your link in search results (not to mention an important factor in determining those results). Instead of “Jim’s Page” try something like “Cartoons and Illustrations by Jim” or better yet “Political Cartoons.”
Meta Tags
4. Duplicate meta information on all pages: The keywords and description meta tags in the head of your page help search engines categorize your page. If you duplicate the tags across all pages of your site, they will look alike to searchers. Customize the keywords and descriptions for each page or don’t use them at all.
Site Structure
5. No index.html (or equivalent) in the root directory: By default the index.html (or an equivalent such as index.htm, index.php, default.htm, etc.) is displayed when you visit If you don’t include it, visitors will get an error message or be required to type out the full URI including the file name.
6. Disorganized file structure: How you organize your site files won’t affect what the site looks like but lack of organization can make your life hell down the road when you’re trying to update or redesign the site. Use directories (folders) to help organize your pages and images.
7. Uploading non-web files: Accidentally uploading a few native Photoshop files can eat up your disk space quickly (not to mention take forever). Store your resource files (Photoshop images, Word files, etc.) in a separate folder outside your local web folder.
8. “Under Construction” pages: If a page isn’t ready to post, don’t post it. If you can’t help yourself, remember “Under Construction” is supposed to be a temporary condition and, after a month or, so it starts to seem permanent.
9. Frames: There are good reasons why you might want to use frames but there are no good reasons to actually use them.
10. Horizontal scrolling: The least common denominator for monitor width is currently 800 pixels. You also need to leave space for scroll bars, page margins etc. so 760 pixels is a good standard width for your web pages. Wider may be acceptable depending upon your target audience but be careful!
11. Worthless content: If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say it.
12. Out-of date content: If your content is no longer timely, delete it and, if you’re going to include a copyright notice, update it each January.
13. Overly long pages: Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing wrong with long web pages (that’s what the scroll bar is for) if the content warrants it. But, if it can be done logically, it’s usually a good idea to have several shorter pages than one very long one. If you do have very long pages, provide additional navigation to make it easy for readers to move within or off the page (such as a simplified menu of text links at the bottom of the page).
14. Unnecessarily short pages: In an effort to make the content “fit” the design, designers often resort to a series of short pages when one long one would be more user-friendly.
15. “Orphan” pages: Pages you forget to provide links to don’t exist as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
16. “Alien” pages: Pages that completely ignore the look and feel of the rest of your website leave users feeling like they’ve been suddenly transported to a website far, far away.
Navigation, navigation, who’s got the navigation?
17. Pages without navigation: If you don’t offer them an option, visitors are more likely to close your page than to hit the browser’s “Back” button.
18. Broken links: ‘Nuff said!
19. “Hidden” links: Make links easily identifiable by using a contrasting color, underlining them, using “button” images or altering the rollover state.
20. “False” links: Underlined text and rollover images scream link. Use them cautiously.
21. Menus that move: Establish consistent “navigation zones” and stick with them.
22. Inconsistent navigation: Once the user learns how to use your site’s navigation, don’t change it on him.
23. Restyling text instead of using heading tags:

is not the same as big paragraph text.
24. Using heading tags for design: Headings are structural elements and should be used to define the purpose of the text they enclose. Don’t use them just because you want big bold text.
Body Text
25. Using images for text: Text in images can’t be read by search engines or screen readers.
26. Justified type: It’s hard enough to make justified text look presentable on a static printed page. On a dynamic web page it’s nearly impossible.
27. Using

instead of
: It will make formatting difficult.
28. Using
to control line breaks within paragraphs: Let the browser determine where your lines break within paragraphs. If you force the issue you may get strange results as not all browsers size type exactly the same.
29. Typos and grammatical errors: use your spell checker and check out 10 flagrant grammar mistakes that make you look stupid.
30. Type too small: Really, 9 point type on a printed page isn’t comfortable for most people. On screen it’s unreadable for anyone over 30. Except for the “small type” you’re trying to make unreadable 12 points (or even 14) should be your minimum.
31. Too little contrast between text and background: It’s really hard to read!
32. Using non-breaking spaces to align type: For tabular data use tables. To position type as a design element use CSS styles.
33. “Ransom” note styling: Using too many fonts, too many styles, too many weights, too many sizes and too many colors is simply too much.
34. Images without the alt attribute: Search engines, screen readers, and that little text box that sometimes pops up when your mouse is over an image all use the alt attribute. You should too.
35. Jigsaw puzzle graphics: Don’t slice images more than necessary. Each slice requires an extra call to the server.
36. Resizing images in the browser: Size your images in your image editing program before placing them on your pages. Images that are blown up in the browser lose quality and images that are reduced in the browser increase the loading time of a page. For example, a 1 inch by 1 inch image loads 4 times quicker than a 2 inch by 2 inch image, even if they are displayed at the same size.
37. Improper image format: JPEGs are best for photos and continuous tone images. GIFs are best for images with large areas of flat color. Also, transparent GIFs are prone to “ghosting” if used incorrectly.
38. Use of transparent PNGs without Explorer fix: PNGs offer true transparency but it doesn’t work properly in Explorer 6 without a javascript fix.
39. Gratuitous Flash: No matter how fantastic your Flash splash page is, nobody really wants to watch it more than once. If you must “Flash” yourself, at least provide a “skip animation” link.
40. Non-stop animations: Let your animation cycle a few times and then stop it before it gets overly annoying.
41. Too many animations: More than one animation on a page is just annoying.
42. Use of the tag: Thankfully some browsers ignore it.
43 “Sheet of paper” pages: Your screen is not eight-and-a-half inches wide, things don’t necessarily stay where you put them and, when you get to the bottom, you can scroll. Take advantage of the design possibilities those attributes and others offer.
44 Confusing content and design: HTML tags (p, h1, h2, etc.) are structural elements and, by themselves, say nothing about how your page should look (see for example…). Organize your content using HTML and create the design of your pages with CSS (and maybe a table if absolutely necessary).
45. No contact information: The purpose of a website is communication. Right? Make sure people have a way to contact you if they’re interested in your work, product or service.
46. Reliance on email links: E-mail links only work if the user has an email program available and correctly configured. And they don’t work with G-mail and similar services. So people in libraries or school labs can’t use them. Most ISPs offer a form processing script that can convert the contents of a form to an email and send it to you. Use it.
47. Failure to respond to contacts: Sure you can ignore spam but, when a legitimate visitor takes the time to contact you, a prompt reply is just good manners.
48. Auto-play sounds: Unexpected sounds are annoying especially in an office or classroom.
49. Opening too many windows: Cluttering up someone’s screen with a new window every time they click on a link is just bad manners.
50. Failure to check for cross-browser inconsistencies: Your site should work on Macs and Windows, in Explorer, Firefox and Safari. If it doesn’t you’ll drive visitors away.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

5 Ways To Increase Website Traffic To Your Website

Millions of websites online can be placed in their own special
category of "Deserted Town". The only life you can find there
are those of the webmasters who created them. This is because
they get very few, if any, targeted visitors. For these website
owners, there are simple techniques they can use to increase
website traffic.

Read on and I will give you five ways to increase website
traffic to your website. These aren't hidden secrets and they
won't give you millions of hits per month for just $ 9.99. (I'm
sure you know what I mean). However they are effective and using
them will increase website traffic to your website. And the
visitors that you get will be more profitable because they will
be targeted.

Increase Website Traffic

You can pay to increase website traffic. (I've decided to get
the money spending out of the way first). There are many ways
you can pay to increase website traffic; here are three (3)
popular ones.

· pay-per-click
· ezine ads
· website ads

Before you use any of these paying methods to increase website
traffic to your website, I want you to first examine your website
with your ideal customer in mind. What keywords will they use to
find your website in the search engines? Write them down.

Increase Website Traffic - Technique 1

Now you're ready to increase website traffic with pay-per-click
search engines. Start by using the keywords you have written
down, go to the free keyword suggestion tool at
and type in the search box one keyword at a time and press the
'suggest' button.

The results will show you how many people search for your
keyword each day and also suggest other keywords you can use
and the number of visits they get each day. Write down this
information or create a spreadsheet with the headings 'keyword',
'visits per day', and 'pay-per-click cost'. Your pay per click
cost depends on which pay-per-click search engine you use, the
competition for your keywords and on how much you're willing to
pay for a click.

Once you've finished the spreadsheet, sign up for an account
with the pay-per-click-search engine of your choice and bid on
your keywords.

You will notice that the keywords with the most visits per day
cost more per click than those with less. To get more clicks for
your money the trick is to bid on those keywords which have a
few visitors a day. There is less competition for these keywords
so your bid price should be low.

Increase Website Traffic - Technique 2

Ezine Ads
When using ezine ads place them in ezines which are related to
your market, which have subscribers who would be interested in
your product or service. You can find ezines in ezine directories
and you should be subscribed to a few of them already - start
with these.

Increase Website Traffic - Technique 3

Website Ads
For website ads, use the keyword list you made for your
pay-per-click marketing. Starting with the keyword that gets the
most visits per day, do a search at a search engine. Research
the first ten (10) to twenty (20) websites looking for any
information which indicates that they sell advertising space
on their website, like 'Advertise With Us'. If you don't see
any advertising information look for a 'Contact' page or email
address and send a message asking if advertising is sold on
their website and if so then what's the cost. Once you've
finished this research, choose where to place your ads.

Increase Website Traffic - Technique 4

Search Engine Optimization
To find information online most people go to the search engines
first. If you're not listed in at least the first two pages of
search engine results for your keywords, then you're missing out
on a lot of free targeted website traffic.

To increase website traffic for your website using this technique
here is a free resource for you to help optimize your website so
that you can access this free website traffic source.

Increase Website Traffic - Technique 5

Article Writing
Another way to increase website traffic is by writing articles
for your niche market and submitting them to article directories
and ezine editors. Your increased website traffic will come from
the resource box at the end of your articles. The resource box is
like a 4 to 6 line ad telling your readers who you are and to
encourage them to seek more information on your website by
clicking on your website link, which you will provide.

One advantage of article writing, beside the free increased
website traffic, is that it will make you an expert in the eyes
of your readers. This will increase your credibility and your
readers trust in you causing them to open their minds and wallets
to your recommendations.

Like I said earlier the five (5) techniques I've written about
here to increase website traffic to your website are not hidden
secrets, they're nothing new. They are used everyday by website
owners whose websites are far from deserted. So start using one
of the techniques today and see how it goes, then try another.

Fayola Peters is a member of the International Association of
Home Business Entrepreneurs.

Need MORE TRAFFIC to your website or affiliate links? "Turn
Words Into Traffic" reveals the secrets for using FREE articles
to drive Thousands of NEW visitors to your website or affiliate
links... without spending a dime on advertising!

Copyright © 2004 Jayde Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SiteProNews is a registered service mark of Jayde Online, Inc.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

7 Steps to Developing Effective Newsletters Online

If you have a loyal customer base, but haven't used a regularly scheduled newsletter to communicate with then, then its time to develop a monthly newsletter. Electronic newsletters are a great way to share information, promote your products, and solicit feedback from your most important customers. If you want to develop effective newsletters, you'll need to follow these seven proven tips for creating winning newsletters.

1. Choose a Theme.

The largest pitfall to developing an effective newsletter is the lack of a theme. When creating newsletters on a regular basis (ex: monthly), select a unique theme every month that appeals to your audience. Once you have identified a theme, be sure that your newsletter content focuses on that specific theme throughout its content. This creates a newsletter that is meaningful and positions your company as a meaningful source of information.

2. Allow for Easy Scanning.

If newsletter subscribers are unable to scan your newsletter, you stand a good chance of losing them. The first few seconds are your most important so make them count. Use big, bold headlines, and article descriptions, providing links to the full article or related content areas. By providing article introductions versus an entire article, you make it easier for readers to view your entire newsletter while allowing them to zero in on the content that has the greatest appeal.

3. Use Graphics.

Producing a newsletter that's wall-to-wall text will not be able to keep the interest of even your most savvy reader. Interject graphics, product photos, pictures, and so on throughout your newsletter. This will break up those large blocks of content increase your newsletter's appeal. Make sure your graphics include links to the articles or products they reference as Internet browsers tend to click on pictures or graphics presented online.

4. Include Product or Service Information.

Internet users are very comfortable with product promotion especially when receiving free information or content. They understand that advertising pays the bill and is common among electronic newsletters. So use this information to your advantage. In each newsletter, discuss a featured product or provide a special offer to your newsletter readers. Products or services that are closely aligned with the theme of your newsletter can be ideal. As a rule of thumb, keep the number of products you promote three or less.

5. Proof Your Work.

When creating an electronic newsletter, you should always check your work. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be perfect. When users find these types of errors, it signals a lack of care - causing doubt as to the amount of effort used when developing the content presented. The result could very well be an increase in those who unsubscribe or a reduction in overall click-through rates.

6. Be Viral.

Never assume that the person reading your newsletter signed up for it directly. In fact, you should encourage your readers to forward the newsletter to others who may be interested in the content you're providing. Make your newsletter, and each volume of your newsletter, accessible via your website. Additionally, make it easy for new users to sign up through a link in each edition of your newsletter. When users forward a copy to a friend, they can easily subscribe.

. Don't Forget Can-SPAM.

In the footer of your newsletter, include your company name, address, and contact information. Inform users why they are receiving your newsletter and how than can unsubscribe. Honor all unsubscribe requests within the alloted 10 day requirement. By doing so you are meeting current standards and you'll keep your newsletter subscription list clean.

These newsletter development tips can help you deliver a valuable newsletter that gets read and acted upon. Don't be afraid to experiment and keep relevant content the main focal point of your newsletter. As your newsletters become more sophisticated don't lose site of the basic principles. The tried and true is often the best way to be successful!

About the Author: Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert with more than 12 years of marketing experience. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media.

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