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  • 08Apr
    Web Site Usability Comments Off

    Top Web Design Trends For Small Business In 2010
    A website is a great branding and marketing tool for any small business. It is also essential for a business strategy to ensure its brand, location and products are  found in search engine listings.

    In 2009 it became easier to design your website. Businesses had the choice of do-it-yourself website builder’ tools or open source software like WordPress etc. The open source software may require some initial setup help unless the business owner is technically savvy. In 2009 ready-to-use templates also got more sophisticated in the appearance of the finished product, i.e, the published web site, and at the same time got easier to use for the end user. Another new trend for 2009 was getting a design for your website or logo as a contest through “crowdsourcing” with sites like 99 Designs, CrowdSpring and Genius Rocket.

    For businesses that do not yet have a website, their goal for having a website in 2010 should be:

    * Discovery: Make sure your business can be found on the internet by users searching online for a business in search engines, maps and local
    * Engagement: Save your customers time by providing them an easy way to get information on your business.
    * Sales: Get sales and leads from engaged visitors
    * Service: provide information and tools for website visitors who have already made the purchase

    2010 will be the year of both the website owner and website visitor. Businesses will rediscover the marketing power of their websites. Users with an extensive choice of information on the internet will give their blessings to simply designed sites with easy to find information. Search engines will bless sites that are updated more frequently with ranking blessing. Social media integration will help websites spread their information far and wide and savvy website owners will use analytics to continuously tweak their websites based on visitor behavior. Entry pages, bounce rate, click paths will become easier lingo to follow and use for business purposes.

    2010 will be a call to action to those business owners who used the build –it-and-forget it policy for their websites to wake up and get the online marketing and brand engine going. If you don’t believe me, search Google for your competition or look how your customers are reviewing you on social sites like Yelp.

    2010 Trends for web design

    Find me on the Internet: Year of the Web presence

    As 2009 comes to an end and small businesses look to 2010, and an online presence will become important. Highly competitive businesses use technology like websites, online marketing tools etc to succeed (Small Business Success Index June 2009). With over 47% of small business not online 2010 will be an important year to get their business online and have a web site.

    Low cost or no cost ways to get a web site increase

    With the enormous variety of web site tools available for small business, it may be easy to start a web presence for almost no money at all. Hosting providers offering free websites tools, blogging software providers like Blogger, Wordpress etc also let you start a web presence easily. Small businesses could try these free tools to experiment and then advance to a customized hosted option. A hosted option with your own domain name would be more credible and more brand friendly for your business.

    Updating frequently. Realizing the power of a Blog as a business tool

    In the previous years Small businesses had set up websites and did not update them often. Even if they are not online businesses in 2010 these businesses will pay attention and update the content of their websites more frequently.

    More businesses will add Blogs to their existing websites. This will give them an additional way to interact with customers. Customers can comment and give feed back on the blog. An added bonus is that these businesses have a better chance to be in search engine results as blogs are updated more frequently and search engines like blogs. Customers will like this as they get a chance to comment and also get to know the business in a very friendly and conversational way. See Lisa Barone’s  tips on cleaning up your website.

    Flashy out;  practical in

    2010 will be the year of simplicity. Information on the internet is already overwhelming for users. Websites that quickly provide the information without too many flashy promotions will get more visitors. Of course the exception is if you are in the entertainment business.

    Personalized experience

    Greeting your visitors when they visit your website will become expected in 2010. Giving them a personalized experience based on their interests will make them WOW your business. No longer just limited to sites alike Amazon, show visitors what they looked at and recommend products they may like or content that is related.

    Are you for real?

    Security is increasingly a concern and the importance to establish credibility will continue to be important. Visitors will look for security seals, ssl certificates, secure forms (using https:) and also validation seals. This is even more important if you are selling products online and collecting information.

    You should make sure you add your website to the web master tools of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Security of your website will be very important against hackers and malware. To prevent this keep your website software always updated.

    Do you know who is knocking on your web site door; Web Analytics are a crucial tool

    Websites without analytics is like running a business without accounting. Websites will focus on using web analytics tools to learn which content is more popular, who is visiting and from where. Tools like Google Webmaster tools will be important to find stats for indexing.  Read Clate Mask’s article on using Web Analytics tools.

    Widgets and Apps

    Widgets showing collaboration between your website and other properties will become expected for websites. Some examples of using widgets is adding your latest Twitter comments, best selling products, most popular articles. This will extend to the ability to share the content using widgets like Share This, Add this allowing the website content to be shared by the visitors to their own networks.

    Some great info on Lisa Barone’s post here.

    Can I call you now? Adding Interactivity to your website

    Chat and calling buttons on your website will be back. If people find something interesting on the website, features like ‘Click to Call “and chat or send a message will reemerge. This will also be an important analytical tool so as to track where the lead came from by using different incoming phone numbers. Earlier, these tools were only affordable by large corporations in 2010 these tools will become affordable by more small businesses. More website owners will start using  Skype , Google Voice or several commercially available options.

    More Multi-media will be added to web sites

    Videos and photo galleries will form part of websites . Small business will use cheaper and convenient options like FLIP HD cameras to tell the behind the scenes stories of their business and products. Uploading them to video sites like YouTube, Blip.tv etc for videos, and Flickr for Photos and embedding them in their own website and will have the advantage of being seen in both the website and the photo or video network.

    In 2010 using websites like BlogTalk Radio businesses will show their thought leadership through podcasts and even their own live TV show using web sites like Livestream.

    Links links links

    Websites home pages will morph into portals to cater to a wide audience visiting them. Links between websites and other local community websites, events, news will be part of the website content strategy. Media rooms i.e sections of the website where small business owners can showcase coverage of their business will be an essential part of the website. Business websites will show their support to local and community causes. Content will include links to industry trends and news.

    In summary if you are a small business owner you should be prepared in 2010 to show personality in your business by using your website and multi media tools to tell your story to your customers and prospects. Keeping an ear to the ground to learn about the conversations about your business like product reviews etc will become very important. You may get media and press attention by exposure of your business in social media channels. Any effort in 2010 you invest in your website will be highways to your getting more traffic customers and a better bottom line. 2010 is the year of the small business web site.





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  • 22Aug
    Affiliates Comments Off

    Easy Profits Using PPC In Your Affiliate Marketing Business

    PPC is one of the four basic types of Search Engines. PPC is also one of the most cost-effective ways of targeted internet advertising. According to Forbes magazine, PPC or Pay Per Click, accounts to 2 billion dollars a year and is expected to increase to around 8 billion dollars by the year 2008.

    Let us take a quick look at how PPC Search Engines work.

    These engines create listings and rate them based on a bid amount the website owner is willing to pay for each click from that search engine. Advertisers bid against each other to receive higher ranking for a specific keyword or phrase.

    The highest bidder for a certain keyword or phrase will then have the site ranked as number 1 in the PPC Search Engines followed by the second and third highest bidder, up to the last number that have placed a bid on the same keyword or phrase. Your ads then will appear prominently on the results pages based on the dollar amount bid you will agree to pay per click.

    How do you make money by using PPC into your affiliate marketing business?

    Most affiliate programs only pay when a sale is made or a lead delivered after a visitor has clickthrough your site. Your earnings will not always be the same as they will be dependent on the web site content and the traffic market.

    The reason why you should incorporate PPC into your affiliate marketing program is that earnings are easier to make than in any other kind of affiliate program not using PPC. This way, you will be making profit based from the clickthroughs that your visitor will make on the advertiser’s site. Unlike some programs, you are not paid per sale or action.

    PPC can be very resourceful of your website. With PPC Search Engines incorporated into your affiliate program, you will be able to profit from the visitor’s who are not interested in your products or services. The same ones who leave your site and never comes back.

    You will not only get commissions not only from those who are just searching the web and finding the products and services that they wanted but you will be able to build your site’s recognition as a valuable resource. The visitors who have found what they needed from you site are likely to come back and review what you are offering more closely. Then they will eventually come back to search the web for other products.

    This kind of affiliate program is also an easy way for you to generate some more additional revenues. For example, when a visitor on your site does a search in the PPC Search Engine and clicks on the advertiser bided listings, the advertisers’ account will then be deducted because of that click. With this, you will be compensated 30% to 80% of the advertisers’ bid amount.

    PPC is not only a source of generating easy profits; it can also help you promote your own site. Most of the programs allow the commissions received to be spent for advertising with them instantly and with no minimum earning requirement. This is one of the more effective ways to exchange your raw visitors for targeted surfers who has more tendencies to purchase your products and services.

    What will happen if you when you integrate PPC into your affiliate program?

    PPC usually have ready-to-use affiliate tools that can be easily integrated into your website. The most common tools are search boxes, banners, text links and some 404-error pages. Most search engines utilize custom solutions and can provide you with a white-label affiliate program. This enables you, using only a few lines of code, to integrate remotely-hosted co-branded search engine into your website.

    The key benefits? Not only more money generated but also some extra money on the side. Plus a lifetime commissions once you have referred some webmaster friends to the engine.

    Think about it. Where can you get all these benefits while already generating some income for your site? Knowing some of the more useful tools you can use for your affiliate program is not a waste of time. They are rather a means of earning within an earning.

    Best know more about how you can use PPC search engines into your affiliate program than miss out on a great opportunity to earn more profits.
    Easy Profits Using PPC In Your Affiliate Marketing Business

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  • 08Aug
    Affiliates Comments Off

    Using Google Adwords to Drive Traffic to your Website

     Highly targeted traffic is one of the most important entities in the internet universe. Any website owner or administrator recognizes the importance of driving traffic to a website. The success of any website does not rely entirely on the site itself. You may have a terrific idea for a website, offer an excellent product or service, or have an exceptionally designed site with superb content, but if you do not use the right strategies to advertise, your site would not attract the high traffic you need. Attracting targeted traffic is a task that should be taken seriously for any site to succeed or make a profit. Fortunately, there are internet-marketing tools that help the website marketer to drive traffic to his website. One of the most significant, and effective, of these tools is Google’s Adwords. Adwords is one of Google’s advertising services.

    How does Google Adwords work? Google is the largest search engine on the web receiving over 200 million queries each day through its various services. As Google is the most popular search engine today, webmasters are keen on having their websites achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results it provides. A high ranking can mean high traffic for that website. The search engine results page is also a great venue for advertisers to promote a product or service through ads and links. Consequently, Google launched its Adwords service, as a way for businesses to advertise products and services to a targeted audience. Google Adwords can guarantee instant traffic. In this service, Google displays relevant text based ads within its search engine results page termed as “Sponsored Links”. Whenever a particular keyword is searched on, these relevant links appear in a separate section giving excellent exposure to the sites listed.

    How do you use Google Adwords? First, you have to open an account with the Google Adwords Service. Then, you should indicate your target language and country. This is important because you would not want your products advertised in countries where your product or service cannot be sold. Afterwards, you should now create an ad group. This involves designing the ad, selecting keywords and determining maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and defining bid amounts. The most important step in creating a successful Adwords campaign is selecting an effective title tag that will catch the attention of your target audience. The title tag, generally a short phrase, is the most important part of your Adwords campaign so make sure that it is attractive and catchy. You should describe the website clearly and accurately. The most effective advertising conveys a clear message to the target audience. With a clear message, you will be attracting qualified leads, which can eventually convert to sale. Thus, the importance of selecting the right keywords cannot be overemphasized.

    There are keyword variations you can adapt to reach more prospects. Using these varieties, misspellings and derivatives can help increase the chance of your ads being served. Broad match is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner. Here, the ads appear based on the keywords that have been queried by other users as opposed to exact match, which calls for the keyword to match the query exactly. Meanwhile, a keyword phrase set to phrase match will only appear when the exact phrase is searched on. A negative keyword is helpful in filtering unrelated pages.

    After you have decided on what title tag to use in your ad, you must now define a budget in order to maximize exposure. Google Adwords recommend a daily budget for each campaign. However, you should determine a budget that is suitable and affordable. You should also determine the maximum cost per click. Google will offer a recommended cost per click, but you do not have to stick with this. Usually, a number one position is not ideal as it can also attract unwanted traffic and useless clicks. A number two position is more preferred as it can filter useless clicks and provide traffic with a higher conversion rate.

    To conclude, Google Adwords is an excellent strategy and tool in giving your site maximum exposure. Nevertheless, Google Adwords should not be your sole advertising campaign. It will definitely help you find the all-important, highly targeted traffic you need.
    Using Google Adwords to Drive Traffic to your Website





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  • 06Aug
    Affiliates Comments Off

    Benefits of Being an Affiliate Marketer

    Affiliate marketing has become one of the most effective ways to advertise online. It is also one of the easiest ways for anyone with a website to make a profit online. Affiliate Marketing is an agreement between a merchant and a website owner. The website owner, or the affiliate, allows the use of their site for the promotion of the merchant’s products by linking to the merchant’s website. In exchange, the merchant pays a commission to the affiliate on all sales generated by the affiliate. Every time someone clicks on the link on the affiliate website and proceeds to make a purchase, the affiliate gets a commission. The merchant will pay the affiliate only when a customer clicks on the product link and makes a purchase.

    Affiliate marketing programs are described as a win-win situation for both the merchant and the affiliate because of the pay-for-performance scheme. Both the merchant and the affiliate enjoy some benefits in affiliate marketing. There are many benefits on the merchant’s side. It gives the merchant a wider market in which to advertise a product or service. Affiliate marketing will give the product or service the maximum exposure that it may not get with other traditional advertising techniques. The more affiliate sites a merchant has, the higher the traffic, which can convert to sales. Affiliate marketing is the equivalent of having an army of sales people who will do the advertising and will only get a commission if a customer purchases.

    Meanwhile, since an affiliate marketing relationship is a win-win situation, the affiliate also enjoys many benefits. Foremost among these is the easy way to make a profit. The affiliate can earn by having an ad or link to the merchant’s website, which prospective customers will hopefully click and proceed to make a purchase. As soon as the customer clicks on the ad on the affiliate’s site, is redirected to the merchant’s website and goes on to buy that particular product, the affiliate earns a commission. The more referrals there are the more profit for the affiliate.

    Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn money while at home. There are virtually no production costs. The product is already developed and proven by the merchant, and all you have to do to find, as many prospects as you can that will bring in the profit for both the merchant and the affiliate. Affiliate programs are usually free to join, so affiliates do not have to worry about start-up costs. There are thousands of products and services you can choose from. You can find affiliate programs for every product under the sun. Surely, there is a product or service out there that is relevant to your website.

    In addition, there is absolutely no sales experience necessary. Most affiliate programs offer excellent support when it comes to providing marketing material. The simplicity of affiliate marketing allows you to be an affiliate marketer at the least cost and the most comfort. You can even build a successful affiliate marketing business right in the convenience of your own home. In affiliate marketing, your responsibility is simply to find prospects for the merchant; you do not have to worry about inventory, order processing, and product shipping. These, along with customer service support are the duties of the merchant.

    Because of the global reach of the internet, you can easily find thousands of prospects. You can intensify your advertising campaign by exploiting more aggressive and productive strategies such as viral marketing. By attracting more prospects, you also maximize your potential to earn. Another benefit of an affiliate marketer is the minimal risk involved. If the product you are advertising is not making money then you can dump it and choose another. There are no long-term binding contracts tying you to products that are not making enough money.

    All the same, the best benefit of being an affiliate marketer is the opportunity to increase your income; and you can make a profit even if affiliate marketing is only a sideline business. With your own affiliate business, you can earn easily earn extra income, although you do have to exert effort and use your imagination to maximize your earning potential. Indeed, affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and most effective business opportunities on the web today.
    Benefits of Being an Affiliate Marketer





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  • 05Aug
    Web Traffic Comments Off

    2 techniques on Web Traffic to Increase your profits

    There are times when a website owner is raring to ask the secrets of highly successful ecommerce owners on how they have made their business as big as it is.

    It is now a wonder why other sites make more money than the others. It is all a matter of taking the time to study the behavior and the trends in Internet marketing and web traffic.

    But the simple truth is, web traffic spells the amount of sales you get. The more people that comes in your “online store”, the higher the rate of potential sales will be.

    It doesn’t matter if you have a low conversion rate  from traffic to actual sales, as long as there is a huge number of web traffic, you will still be getting a good profit.

    For example, even if you only have a 10 percent conversion rate and you have about 3,000 people going in your site everyday, 10 percent of that would be 300 sales daily. That would be good already, especially if you are only a small or medium enterprise. A good number of web traffic is still the key.

    There are only two techniques on how to increase websites traffic of your site:

    •    First is, increase the number of new visitors that are viewing and visiting your website.

    •    Second is, convince your present visitors to view at more pages of your website.

    There are many methods to do those techniques. Each of them applicable in different sites, but generally its all about how the method is applied.

    Learning the best way on how to increase web site traffic can be very helpful. Taking the time to research, study and conceptualize your methods can make them more successful with less efforts. Plunging in right away without knowing the method by heart can just lead to more do-overs and frustration.

    What are the proper ways to increase website traffic?

    •    By increasing the number of new visitors viewing the websites.

    Attracting the people to view a certain websites is very hard to do. There are viewers who want to go to sophisticated and professionally developed website. There are also viewers who want to view a more informative website.

    Web designers must catch the attention of their visitors. It is also very important to know that a webpage must give the visitors the things they are looking for.

    At the present time, there are millions of websites in the internet. Each and every websites has it own characteristic and method to catch the interest of the visitors.

    A good web design must not put the visitors into trouble. The webpage must be user friendly. It should also be fast loading. If it takes too slow, the visitor may get irked and just leave.

    You should avoid getting your webpage into trouble. There are several rules that the web designer, owner and webmaster must follow in order to avoid any unethical form of SPAM.  As much as possible follow those rules.

    So, as an advice it would be great if you have a high quality webpage. If your web has those features, you surely will have good web traffic and most of all a nice profit.

    Last but not the least, use the present marketing strategies that are being offered. You don’t have to go full scale right away, this can cost a lot of money. Check out the free advertising strategies that can be done and learn about them,.

    By convincing your present visitors to view at more pages of your websites.

    The content of the webpage does counts. If the webpage has great content it is the best key to achieving your goal.

    The visitors will continue to view the webpage because of its great content. Not only that, if the visitors like the content of the site, they may purchase some of the products that the site is offering

    Another advantage is, visitors can make your website popular. Web visitors can also give some blogs to promote your website which can make your rank go up.

    Websites must contain a unique, entertaining, informational and original content. The content must be based upon the keyword phrases. As a rule, the keywords must be popular so that the search engine will easily detect the topic.

    There are many factors and elements that make up the procedure of creating great websites. Each factors and elements perform a main task so that the websites can compete for web traffic.
    2 techniques on Web Traffic to Increase your profits





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  • 02Aug
    Web Traffic Comments Off

    The vital factors of website traffic analysis

    An analysis of website traffic may be difficult but they will prove to be of more valuable to you.

    But before you start your analysis, you first have to understand how to interpret the data being presented.

    Many web hosting companies can give you with basic web traffic information that you have to understand and make use of. But then, the data you are getting from your host company can appear too hard to handle if you do not understand how to apply it to your particular business and website.

    These statistics are probably the most precise assessment of how your website is thriving. Thinking that your website is performing well just by looking at your traffic is the most common misconception any website owner can make.

    What you need to understand is how your visitors are doing once they visited your site. This is how you can accurately distinguish if your site is effective or not.

    Differentiate hits from quality website traffic.

    Hits. This is basically the number of requests taken in by the server. If you think that a hit is equals to the number of graphics per page, then you are thinking wrong.

    These hits are not really effective tools in analyzing website traffic.

    Your interpretation would be more accurate once you see the number of visitors that are coming in your website. On the same note. Your analysis will be more precise once you have achieved a great number of website traffic.

    But once you are not getting large numbers of website visitors, the more your analysis will be misinterpreted.

    The purpose of website traffic analysis.

    The main purpose of the statistics is to work out how well or how badly your site is working for your visitors. An ideal ways of trying of knowing is to find out the time your visitor spends on your site.

    If they stayed for a only a short period of time, assume that there is a problem there somewhere. Now your goal is to find out what that problem is. You have to know why your visitors did not stay long to check out your site. What made them left hastily?

    Keywords.

    This is one thing to be considered. Maybe the keywords that you have used in the search engines are getting you not the targeted visitors that you wanted. Or it may be what is in your site. Maybe what the visitors have seen have turned them off so fast they choose to leave. This could be the graphics, fonts or any other visible aspects that you have used in your site.

    Keywords are important aspects in bringing quality visitors to your site who are prepared to get or buy what you have to offer. Close analysis of the keywords your visitors are using to find your site will give you a vital understanding of your visitor’s needs and motivations.

    Try to get to the bottom of this problem. When you have pinpointed what it is, work out a solution so that the same problem will not be encountered again. You can test your new findings and see if they have resulted well. Are your visitors staying for some time now?

    This is where website traffic analysis will help you the most. Sometimes, you get to believe that you have a page that is doing well. But then, you noticed that your visitors do not find it so.

    You can try and make changes to that page. Take the links, for example. Make them more visible and more catching so your visitors have more tendency to click on that. You could also make an improvement on your page. Remove clutters. Visitors do not want to feel claustrophobic. Make your page accessible for them.

    When you notice that your visitors are staying more on the page that you do not give much focus about, you may consider checking that page out and moving all your major products and services on that specific page.

    As you have noticed, website traffic analysis can give out essential information about how well or how poor your site is performing.  This is a crucial factor that any online business will not do without if they want to maintain the effectiveness of their site.
    The vital factors of website traffic analysis





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