Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How to Build Web Traffic Daily

This article will show you 10 easy ways to get more targeted traffic to your website. Use as many of these techniques as possible to improve your website traffic. And be sure to track all of your different traffic campaigns so you’ll know which ones are working the best. Then you can concentrate most of your efforts on the ones that make you the most money. So let’s get started.

1) ‘Pay Per Click Search Engines’ - This is one of the fastest ways to get targeted traffic. Just set up an account with some of the top PPC search engines and start bidding on keywords related to your product. Use the keyword suggestion tools that the search engines provide to make it easy to build your keyword list. Make a long list of targeted keywords so you can take advantage of the least expensive ones. Then write a killer ad with an attention grabbing headline and start driving traffic to your website.

2) ‘Search Engines’ - To get the free traffic from the search engines you will want to get ranked as high as possible. So here are a few tips that should be helpful: Have lots of links to other sites, use the best keywords for your targeted market on your website/sales page and choose your domain name wisely.

3) ‘Write Articles’ - Do you want to get a ton of free traffic to your website? Just start writing articles and submit them to related ezines. Always make sure your articles are filled with quality content. And you can include your bylines at the bottom of all articles. Then whenever someone reads your article they will be exposed to a link to your website.

4) ‘Solo Ads in Ezines’ - Solo ads should also be a good way to send traffic to your site. Find ezines that are related to your market and place ads with them. A solo ad is someone sending your ad to their list without any other ads. And the people reading your ad will feel it comes recommended from the ezine owner. To search for ezines in your related market just use your favorite search engine and enter: “ezines ________”. Fill in the blank with your related market. Plus you can do a search for the top rated websites in your related market and then contact them to see if they accept solo ads in their ezines.

5) ‘Classified Ads in Ezines’ - Now this will be very similar to solo ads but should be a lot cheaper because of the smaller ad space. And classified ads will be sent out with other ads and other content. But use the same strategies as described in solo ads to generate traffic. The secret here is to have a good ad with a great headline to make readers click on your link. The better your ad is then the more money you’ll make. Another thing to mention is if your ads are making you money then keep running them. But you will also want to run split test to try to improve your ads.

6) ‘Ads to AOL Customers’ - You could send ads to the 20 million people using AOL to collect even more traffic. Just use the same techniques as in ‘Classified Ads in Ezines’. Again for best results try to create irresistible ads. Here is the link to start placing AOL classified ads:

7) ‘Banner Ads’ - You may want to invest in some banner ads for even more traffic. If you use a word banner ad, then it can be written similar to a classified ad. Some banner ads are cost per impression and others are cost per click. With the cost per click banner ad you only pay when someone visits your site, which may be better. 500 impressions don’t really mean anything if no one visits your website. But 500 clicks on your banner ad mean 500 people to your site.

8) ‘Linking to Websites’ - Another way to get targeted traffic to your website is by linking to other sites. Only link to reputable sites that you would want to recommend to your good customers. Search for high traffic websites that are related to yours and then try to get them to link to your site. Collect information about these sites so you can send them an email later. In your email compliment them on their site and explain how linking to your site will benefit them. Tell them their customers will be interested in the information on your website. If they don’t agree to link to your site then try exchanging links with them. Also start an affiliate program it’s the ultimate linking system.

9) ‘Viral Marketing’ - You can also create lots of website traffic using viral marketing. Create or buy a product that is valuable and has permanent links back to your websites. Then sell or give this product away and then let your customers sell it or give it away. You will have a viral product that can spread all over the internet like a virus and all those links will keep sending prospects back to your websites.

10) ‘Joint Ventures’ - Joint ventures are a great way to get target traffic fast. When you do a JV with someone you can promote each other’s product to your lists. Both JVs will make sales and increase their customer lists almost overnight. Once you start developing JVs you can use the results from the first one to promote the next one. And the more JVs you have the more sales you’ll make.

Remember don’t forget to test everything you do to find out what works the best for your products.

Copyright © Duane Marx

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Duane Marx
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Search Engine Optimisation for Joomla Websites

This article focuses on the first few steps in the Web Development and Design of a decent search optimised website in Joomla. Okay lets get into it. Once I have setup the standard Joomla installation there are a few component types that are mandatory to install and I believe these to be:- a sitemap component and a SEF URL changing component. These are by far the most important components to have on any Joomla Installation.

What is a SEF URL changing component and how does it relate to Web Design in Joomla? SEF stands for Search Engine Friendly and a normal installation of Joomla has a URL like this: index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=6

When it comes to search engines they are really smart in many ways but the normal Joomla URL describes nothing about the web page and its contents and so they really do dislike it in many ways. It is what I call, Search Optimisation Stunted (SOS). I like this term because it describes exactly what it needs; some help! This is where a SEF URL changing component comes into play. These types of components take the normal Joomla URL and change it into something more meaningful to both us and the search engines. eg: buy-blue-widgets-here.html

From my Web Design & Development experience this is the single most important component installation you can make on a Joomla Website. I want to detail my personal best picks. There are a few available to us but I believe the JoomSEF component to be the best of the best when it comes to Search Engine Friendly URL's. There is only one drawback to choosing this component and that is a hidden advert in the code from the original makers. Given I use this component all the time I have taken the time to remove this component and make the whole new Patched SEF component available for download on my web site - Joomla SEO. So if you want to use this component then please do visit this link and grab the latest version with these hidden adverts removed - for free of course! Looking at the "best of the rest" of the SEF components we find a new component (May 2007) called sh404SEF, if you search on the Joomla extensions website you will find this one. I believe it to be strongly based on JoomSEF; in both look, feel and functionality I have noticed this. Another SEF friendly component for Joomla is OpenSEF. When it was release about a year ago it was great. Since that time there have been no updates and the project has lagged way behind. Having said that it still does a reasonable job of converting all Joomla URL's to look nice and friendly.

Which ever one you choose, download the component and then using the Joomla Administration interface install the component. Then go to Site->Global Configuration->SEO (tab) and ensure "Search Engine Friendly URL's" is set to yes. Ensure your htaccess.txt file in the root directory of the Joomla installation is changed to .htaccess and follow the directives in the file in how to turn on "mod_rewrite" - this is straight forward. Then just go to the JoomSEF component and configuration and turn it on. Once this is done you should be generating friendly URL's on the front end interface so you should go and check. It's as easy as that!!

Okay so lets move on to what I consider the next most important thing to do to your Joomla installation once the SEF component is installed and working a Sitemap.

In my books there is really only one legitimate and decent sitemap component and it is called Joomap. Again the standard version of this component does not output decent XML files so I have enhanced the Joomap component so that it produces greater XML output. You can find the enhanced version on my website using this link Joomla Search Engine Optimisation - Sitemap Joomla SEO - Sitemapundefined. The installation of this component is the same as before, through the Joomla Administration interface. With no other config after installation we can just go straight to the component and select it. Now we just choose the menu's we want to include in our sitemap. Generally these are main menu and top menu. Now we just create a new menu item and select the component to link to it, being Joomap and the rest takes care of itself. Easy!!

One other advantage of Joomap is that it allows you to hook in to Google Sitemaps. On the admin interface these is a Google Sitemap URL given. All we need to do to generate a dynamic google sitemap is to copy paste this URL into google webmaster interface and now whenever google wants to download your whole website sitemap it gets a dynamic version - which is significantly better than just hoping google will find all of your pages! With this sitemap it tells google all of your pages and where they are so it can scan them more affectively.

Okay now I have covered off the first two steps in Search Engine Optimisation for the Joomla Content Management System. These are the first two steps every Web Designer and Developer should take when they want to Search Optimise Joomla. Until the next article you can gain more Web Design hints and tips on my website.

Friday, June 08, 2007

11 Tips for Pay-Per-Click Success

11 Tips for Pay-Per-Click Success

This list details some very important points to keep in mind when creating or managing any pay-per-click campaign. Is this all there is to know about pay-per-click advertising? Absolutely not, but for those new to PPC it should serve as good place to start. Additionally, pay-per-click veterans or at least the moderately-seasoned will want to touch upon these points now and then to brush up on their fundamentals.

1) Do your keyword homework.

Use Google's free Keyword Tool or sign up for a WordTracker account to find out which keywords are the most competitive. The more competitive the keyword, the more expensive your clicks will be. While you're finding out which keywords are too expensive you'll come across some that aren't being targeted heavily by advertisers. Take a good look at these - they may be your keys to a successful niche campaign.

2) Don't bunch your ad groups.

You should be striving to separate your ad groups by keyword. Whatever your target, separate your keyword lists into closely related groups containing the same target words and write ads geared specifically to those words. Your ads will show up higher in results based on their quality, and search terms show up bold in results - a click-through rate booster.

3) Drive home your selling point.

What's your offer? Why are you better than the others? Remember that your ads are going to display with your competitors. The difference between a user clicking your ad and clicking a competitor ad is about 100 pixels on the screen - or a millisecond of time. You need to convince them that you are the one they want. You are better. Grab them.

4) Don't send users to your home page.

This is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your Pay-Per-Click campaign. Internet users are notoriously impatient. Send them to your home page when they were searching for a specific product or service and see how fast they leave. Don't waste your advertising budget - send them to optimized landing pages.

5) Optimize your landing pages.

Your landing pages need to drive something home immediately for your users: "you have landed in the right place." They need to know that, yes, this is what they were looking for, here it is, here is why it is better than the rest and here's the easy thing they need to do to get it. In most cases you'll need to create multiple landing pages based on your different ad groups and keywords, but look at it this way - if your users aren't landing at pages geared exactly to their search phrases they'll leave and take your advertising budget with them.

6) Don't lie in your ads.

People aren't dumb. If you promise something in your ads you had better well deliver. Otherwise you'll not only waste advertising dollars but damage your brand. Be honest, and focus on points that make you stand out from the competition. Grandiose ad text might bring in clicks, but if it isn't the truth it won't bring in conversions.

7) Your domain name counts.

In most cases you can display a domain name that you own as the "display domain" but point the ads to a page on a different domain. Why does this matter? If you own a domain name that contains the keyword text it will show up bold and increase conversions. Enter the optimized domain as the displayed domain, point the ads to your landing pages and you can expect higher CTRs in most cases.

8) Utilize negative keywords.

Google has a new Negative Keyword Tool that will allow you to find negative keywords that you should specify for your ads. Negative keywords are those that you don't want your ads to display for. For example, if you're selling "blue widgets" you don't want to display your ads to those users searching for "free blue widgets." If you don't use negative keywords you are missing out on a chance to get more targeted traffic to your landing pages, and this can really hurt your conversion rates.

9) Test, test, and test some more.

The greatest thing about internet advertising is the ability it grants you to measure your success. It's easy to create A/B split tests with Pay-Per-Click advertising. Change one word, add a comma, include a value proposition. . .just make sure you only change one thing for each split or you won't know which variable it was that made the difference! You'll find out right away that this is a great way to optimize your click-through rates - just don't forget that clicks aren't everything!

10) Don't focus too heavily on CTRs.

Getting tons of clicks isn't always the name of the game. In fact, if you aren't using proper techniques to ensure that you're getting targeted traffic and sending it to well-optimized landing pages you can blow through your advertising budget in no time flat. Remember that the success of any advertisement is getting back more than you put in. It's an investment, not a cost - so do all that you can to better your rate of return!

11) Don't pigeonhole yourself.

We all know that Google AdWords is the most popular Pay-Per-Click service out there. Your competitors know it, your users know it - even your grandma might know it. It would be foolish to ignore Google as a venue for advertising, but don't forget that there are other search engines out there who offer similar services. Yahoo!'s new Panama search system is catching on, and Microsoft's adCenter is nothing to sneeze at either. Both companies are currently offering sweet promotional deals to new Pay-Per-Click advertisers to stay competitive so take advantage and diversify!

About the Author: Mike Tekula handles SEO, SEM, usability and standards-compliance for NewSunGraphics, a Long Island, New York firm offering Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, W3C-Compliant web design using full CSS layouts and all things web design/development.

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