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Archive for the 'Ppc-advertising' Category

3 Proven Ways To Build Your Opt-In List

Monday, June 26th, 2006

If you’ve been involved in online marketing for any amount
of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase “The money is in


the list!” Why? Because those who are successful online use
their mailing list to generate massive profits. It’s no
secret! A large list equals instant cash. But how do you
build your own responsive list?

Here are three proven methods anyone can use to build their
own guru sized mailing list.

1. Co-registration Lists

Co-registration is the secret tool many gurus use to build
their lists to jaw dropping numbers. It’s now possible to
have a targeted list of 100,000 subscribers in as little as
one month.

Co-registration companies are able to generate these large
numbers by placing small advertisements for your list on
various websites across the internet.

Sounds great, right?

There are a couple of drawbacks to using this method.
You’ll usually pay a hefty fee, and the subscribers will
not be as responsive as the one you collect from your own
website.

But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to build the
giant opt-in list you’ve always wanted, co-registration is
the route for you.

2. Write Articles

Writing and submitting articles not only creates hundreds
of links to your website, but also gives you the
opportunity to generate thousands of new subscribers.

At the bottom of each article, you should provide a five
line advertisement for your mailing list known as the
resource box. Inside your resource box, you should offer a
free report or e-book in exchange for the reader’s e-mail
address. You’ll usually see better results if you provide
your auto-responder address inside your resource box rather
than a link to your website.

When you article is published by an e-zine, you’ll have
thousands of responsive readers viewing your article and
resource box. If you’re free offer is a product that many
people will be interested in receiving, you’ll notice a
large spike in new subscribers each time your article is
published.

One of the fastest ways to get your articles noticed is
through an automated service.

3. Pay Per Click Landing Pages

Google AdWords allows anyone to generate almost instant
traffic to their website 24 hours a day. By tapping into
this powerful avenue, you can pick up new subscribers for a
little as .05 a click.

The secret to success with PPC advertising is to create a
landing page. Landing pages are one page websites that
offer a freebie(s) in exchange for the visitors e-mail
address. When a visitor clicks on a PPC ad, they are
directed to a landing page. They can either leave or
provide their contact information. It all depends on your
offer. If you can create enough interest in your offer
through your copy, your landing page will become an e-mail
vacuum.

You’ve just read three powerful list building techniques.
By using one or all of them, you can expect to see
substantial gains in the number of people subscribed to
your mailing list. And before too long, you’ll also be
“bragging” about your guru sized opt-in list.

Google AdSense Fraud: Sofizar

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Google AdSense fraud is one of the diseases that plague the Ad Words advertisers. The AdSense program essentially allows website publishers/owners to sign up with Google, enabling them to display Google Ads on their sites. These publishers essentially act as “Google Partners”. The ads chosen by the Google bot for display are contextual and the ads are related to the contents of the publisher’s website, more specifically that particular web page. The intent for Google is to capitalize on the traffic to these (in practice) niche sites and provide highly direct targeted traffic to the advertiser. A subset of the users of the Google Partner website, click on those ads and Google charges the advertiser per click. Google shares the booty with the website publisher but the revenue sharing ratio falls under Google’s “undisclosed “criteria. While the exact amount can be reverse engineered, the take home lesson is that the final amount is proportional to Google’s income from that click.

In theory it’s a match made in heaven. The advertiser gets good ROI through targeted traffic, the publisher gets to monetize the traffic on their website and the web browser gets to buy that classic CD that he couldn’t live without. Not to mention that Google gets a wad of cash. The gods of lucre smile beneficently on all.

Unfortunately, this happy faחade hides blemishes. Severe ones. For all Google AdSense Publishers are not created equal. While (we daresay) many advertisers have a genuine website, providing a valuable or interesting service to the world wide community, there is a significant number of unscrupulous operators who are out there to prey on the advertisers. These creatures of the night (and we will explain later why we use that term), make websites for the express purpose of milking AdSense revenue.

This category of fraudsters deserves a taxonomy of its own, which we have developed (the other categories, click fraud and impression fraud are even bigger problems in some industries). In the interest of not being gender biased, we have alternated between genders. We hope that our lighthearted tone does not mask the revulsion that we feel towards these cheats.

Regressive Fraudster ( aka ClickMonkey )

This guy is at the bottom of the food chain. Inspired by the riches of his neighbor Ms. Jones, who has been making more than ten grand a month in AdSense revenue, he plans a course of action. He “invests” in a clickbot software( a simple google search reveals many) and gets a list of anonymous proxy addresses. He then goes to register a few domains and hires someone off of elance to create a “network of sites”and “ click bot ” . He hopes that the interlinked sites will provide each some “link popularity” and increase his page rank. If only it were that simple! He then proceeds to use the $30 clickbot to start clicking on the sites. Or he could click on them himself manually using the proxies. We don’t call him click monkey for nothing. He clicks and clicks all the way to see his account getting banned. No banana for this monkey! His calls of despair to google fall on deaf ears. This person is likely to quit, but sometimes retries to get up the food chain, the Wanna -Be-Fraudster.

Wanna -Be Fraudster ( aka BOZO)

This girl searches for high paying keywords like “home loan equity” (current ad words rate $45), or “web hosting” (ad words costing $20). She correctly guesses that the AdSense payout is proportional to what Google earns and therefore homes in on such words. Her strategy is to make a page with contents that are appropriate for the targeted high payout keyword. She moves ahead by clicking on the link multiple times and recruits friends and family to give them a click. Or ten!

Little does she know that Google has a 45 day inspection period before she get her nubby little fingers on that cash. With little to no knowledge of Click through Ratio , her greed couples with her ignorance. Seeing her ill-gotten paper wealth multiplying in her AdSense interface, she increases the clicks. Google however inspects the CTR and throws a fit when they see a CTR exceeding 20%. Furthermore, Google notices clicks mostly originating from a few IP addresses and that essentially seals her fate (or rather docks her earnings). That virtual cash is now just some deleted bytes on a hard disk on Google’s servers. She moans, nay she rail against the cruelty of Google’s policy. Some of these people wisely cease and desist such activities, perhaps philosophizing about the NFL (no free lunch) theorem. Others however see it as ground school for the next stage of nefarious behavior. The Almost-There Fraudster.

Almost-There Fraudster ( aka SmartAlec )

The archetypical ATF is supremely confident in his ability to fool Google. Like the BOZO, he looks for high paying keywords and makes appropriate website(s). Let’s assume that he is in a third world country, just to make the case more interesting. The case described here is 1 year old news. He has read this article and taken the learnt the subsequent lesson . He knows that that the clicks from the IP Addresses of USA, UK & Canada are worth much more than the clicks from the IP Addresses from the third world countries. He therefore seeks to befriend people from such IP addresses by logging onto messenger services.

This way, he gets the unique, unrelated IP clicks and (he hopes) that Google is fooled. Remember “creature of the night”. Well, these people typically are more than a few time zone removed from the US or Canada and therefore are up at odd hours whenever they feel that their targets are most likely to be active. Plus they sometimes have to deal with “inconveniences” like a day job.

AT fraud thinks that the clicks he obtained by trolling on these sites is a job well done. He has got clicks from the IP address of his choice .. An interesting factoid is that for AdSense, state also matters. Clicks from Washington and New York State have the highest payout for AdSense Fraud.

He has just one problem. His tragic flaw. While he worked so hard to get the unique IP and high earnings, he is not able to maintain a good CTR. He is likely to cross the limit of 30-40% of daily CTR and 10-20% of overall CTR. He ends up in the same purgatory as the BOZO. The account is banned, and he gets the abominated email. Yes, the “AdSense account closure”. Almost-There is never good enough in this nether world of AdSense gaming. Although it is possible that he would have made a few thousand dollars before the punishment catches up to his crime. Crime doesn’t quite pay, now does it? Well, gentle reader, unfortunately crime _is_ paying to the next category. Fraudster Maestro ( aka Satan’s Spawn).

Fraudster Maestro ( aka Satan’s Spawn)

This category of fraudsters is the most sophisticated and rarely gets caught by google . She has researched the high paying keywords as well as the CTR issues well. She has the smoothest lines in the business of soliciting clicks. She can flirt online, and ask to click the “link” for her picture. Or she may claim that clicking the link causes the hungry child to be fed in Ethiopia . Let’s follow a typical “simple” chat session

US User hello

FM Fraud what are your coordinates, handsome?

US User NY , NY

FM Fraud Oh! Wish I could be there. Can you help out a damsel in distress?

US User sure

AT Fraud I have made a site and want to see if all the links on this page are working or not. Can you please click on the links and see if the other page loads?

US User Sure. Link?

FM Fraudwww.fraudstersite.com/high-value-keyword-page.html

US User wait! Yes I checked all the links and they are working fine.

FM Fraud
Thanks

US User so can we talk about you now? ( Message Not Delivered as the fraudster has blocked the User and is busy looking for a new victim)

And she has lots of tricks up her repertoire besides chatting up strangers. She knows about opt in lists, usenet and blogs where she can snare the victims. Technically savvy and able to empathize with her victims she doesn’t let arrogance get in her way to success. Since she is very mindful of the CTR issues she has a secret weapon. She has optimized her site for some low paying keywords which are really not competitive. She organically gets lots of traffic (but for things unrelated to those competitive high paying keywords). In her website, she may be giving away free greeting cards Or free screensavers. End result is a fabulous impression count. The second step for her is to makes unrelated pages on the same site and these pages pertain to the high paying keywords. These keywords are used to attract the victims of chat sessions. The process of getting the clicks is different but the results due to CTR are very lucrative.

So, how does all this geek talk affect the PPC advertiser? It’s a $5 billion+ dollar market(for exact projections onto the future, please check out our FAQ, and with a 20% + fraud rate, we are talking about a 1 BILLION dollars fraud per year. Even Dr. Evil may be impressed by such a number. It’s greater than the cumulative GNP of a few banana republics. And a fair chunk is ending up in the coffers of these fraudsters. We know from anecdotal evidence, how people are clearing up to 20 grand a month. All, courtesy of the hapless PPC advertiser.
We want to emphasize that there are lots of authentic sites serving genuine content. But unfortunately the existence of these people (as discussed above) reduces the ROI of many advertisers to the extent that they rethink their interest in PPC. In the word of one of our organic SEO customers, with PPC “you always get a little less back than you put in”. It needn’t be that way, if you watch carefully where your ad words traffic is coming from and take some steps (such as traffic analysis or at the very least a log file analysis) to protect arm yourself. Look for patterns, some of which are obvious(such as large traffic spikes from India). Unfortunately other patterns may require a doctorate in artificial intelligence. Still the keyword is to stay nimble. Convincing search engines to refund money is a lot tougher and a lot more work than proactively watching for problem visitors and taking steps that you deem appropriate. Before the situation goes out of hand. Remember, an ounce of prevention…

We want to emphasize that there are lots of authentic sites serving genuine content. But unfortunately the existence of these people (as discussed above) reduces the ROI of many advertisers to the extent that they rethink their interest in PPC. In the word of one of our organic SEO customers, with PPC “you always get a little less back than you put in”. It needn’t be that way, if you stay nimble. Convincing search engines to refund money is a lot tougher and a lot more work than proactively watching for problem visitors and taking steps that you deem appropriate.

Some things you can do to stay ahead of the game. This is by NO means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. It’s sorted by the level of protection in ascending that you may need.

1> Let your visitors know that you are tracking them and know quite a bit about them. For instance, if you visit www.sofizar.com , you will see information about yourself. You can display this information to all your visitors, or only to some of them. It can be in-your-face or subtle, but it will remind at least some of the fraudsters that they are being watched. Sofizar provides free sample code and connection to its database allowing you to display “premium” information(like City, ISP, ISP contact number).

2> Invest in a serious visitor tracking software. Set alarms based on the number of times a person clicks on your site in a certain time period(hourly, weekly, monthly). Display the same information to someone who is definitely PPCing your budget to death, as a custom message box. Something harsh, if the pattern keeps up. “We are logging the usage, and we are noticing that you keep clicking on our site through PPC. If you don’t cease, we would be forced to call your local ISP at +91-23-344-5678”(if you see the information that we can glean about visitors, you will know we can get even more specific). This will weed some of the casual fraudsters.

3> Start checking for things that we have discussed earlier, by investing in an industrial strength data collection package. Based on your data collection, one strategy is to score each visitor, deducting(or adding points), based on the following (non exhaustive) list.

a. Visitor conversion/past conversion history.

b. Visit Depth Analysis.

c. Visit Time Analysis(time spent on each page, and time of day the visit happens).

d. Cookies/Javascript/”Unknown OS”

e. Keyword Cost analysis.

f. Anonymous Proxy Server

g. Is part of “Fraudster list”.

h. Country/Localization analysis(are you really targeting people in Sao Paolo , Brazil for your French Restaurant in New York ?).

4> Do pattern matching. See what your top 20% of your customers do as part of a “macro pattern” and match the visitor against that pattern.

Keep in mind that you will get a few “false positives” and vice versa. A few innocent people may get tagged unfairly as “fraudsters” while a few “fraudsters” may well give you the slip. It’s not an exact science, but over a period of time you can get fairly close. If you decide to take up your case with Google, you have to make a very convincing case. All based on meticulous data, instead of (what may be considered by them as) paranoia.

Over the long term, as the threat evolves and the fraudsters improve, you have to keep adapting your strategy using your friends, diligent data collection, statistics and pattern matching.

If you have any further question, comments or want us to give you a free evaluation if your PPC campaign is a likely magnet for fraudsters, please email to [email protected] or visit http//www.sofizar.com/contact.html

A Fundamental Overview Of Pay Per Click Search Engines

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

expected to increase to at least $8 billion by 2008.

The three fundamental core elements that form the basis of a
successful pay per click ad program are constant monitoring,
analysis, and refinement.

Pay per click search engines offer a way to buy your way to the
top of search results for any term you wish. With proper
management, and a clear focus, pay per click search engines can
offer some of the most well targeted and economical advertising
on the Internet.

Pay per click advertising works through a bidding process, and
the ads appear prominently on the results pages of search engines
such as Google and Yahoo. The highest bidder for a particular
word or phrase receives top placement, and depending on the
engine, the top three to five bidders also generally also receive
placement on the first page of unpaid search results.

Fundamental questions to be addressed when formulating a pay per
click search engine strategy include the following:

When is the top pay per click bid necessary for highest
conversion, and when will bidding for a second or third place
position create a more attractive return on investment (ROI)?

How can you keep your PPC bids from cannibalizing your search
efforts on other (non pay per click) search engines?

What percentage of your pay per click budget should go to each
search engine?

Does either Google Adwords or Overture work better for your
particular product or service? Or, perhaps neither one is
appropriate from a return on investment (ROI) perspective.

It is of critical importance to focus sharply on identifying
the search terms that convert most frequently for your particular
site, eliminating those that don’t perform, and most importantly,
calculating and maximizing your return on investment.

The cost structure of pay per click is action-driven and each
time a user clicks your ad, the pay per click engine deducts the
amount of your current bid from your account. Pay per click
offers a high level of assurance that your ad is reaching the
proper target.

Pay per click campaigns, however, are not perfect. Without
CONSTANT monitoring, you sometimes risk incurring advertising
costs that can spiral out of control, focusing on terms that
don’t convert well for your product or services, or falling way
down in position during a bidding war.

PPC advertising can be a great help to a site’s success, but only
with very close supervision and a thorough knowledge of the
unique characteristics of each PPC search engine.

A world outside the US

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be making a living writing and selling software have the luxury of riding on the very crest of the wave of good fortune. The whole Try Before You Buy concept allows us to send our software across the whole world quite literally in minutes, and users from almost every part of the globe can download, try and hopefully buy our products. If our business deals exclusively with downloads and avoids working with physical media, then we have nothing to worry about with getting our products from A to B, and no packaging, shipping, customs or tax issues to keep us awake at night.

But the reality is somewhat different, and the vast majority of websites selling products or services online are doing so almost exclusively with the US market in mind. If you truly want to sell your products to the rest of the world, chances are that you’ll need to make some changes.

Change the way you think!

The very first step is the most important, and requires a change in attitude. The world extends beyond the US borders, and to assume that the rest of the world follows the same norms as the US is wrong. A potential buyer may not speak English as their main language, may have no access to US Dollars, and may not have, use or want to use a credit card.

Assuming you’d still like to sell your products to a buyer like this, you have to consider the practicalities. Setting up a link to an online currency converter is child’s play, and there’s no shortage of options to choose from. Doing so not only reassures the buyer that you take international considerations into account, but also makes the buying process easier for them. And making it easy sells.

Make sure that you provide this information before the actual order page. Many people’s first question when a product catches their eye will be how much it costs, and they shouldn’t have to go searching for it. Again, make it easy.

The same principle should also be applied within the software itself. If your application deals with different currencies for example, then you shouldn’t assume that the user will automatically want the US Dollar as their base currency, or even that they will want to use the Dollar at all. And I’m assuming that you have already included the Euro, haven’t you? Many users will be unfamiliar with the concept of sales tax, and other countries have different names, such as VAT in the UK, and GST in Australia.

Regional variations in numerical formats are also important - most countries outside the US don’t use the MM/DD/YYYY format, and many will use a comma for a decimal symbol, and a period for the digit grouping symbol.

If your icons and interface are non-standard, then make sure they’re clear to all users. There’s a reason for sticking with the standards and familiar icons, and that’s the fact that they have become instantly recognisable to most users, all over the world. If you’re going to use something a little more original, make sure that other people will understand the symbols and images that you use. Having a US stop sign might not mean as much to someone who’s never actually seen one before.

What about your web forms?

But even once your potential buyer has found your website, understood how much your software costs and even decided to buy it, the battle may be far from over. If you’ve ever tried ordering from an “international” store on the web, and you live outside the US and Canada, you’ll already know how frustrating the process can be, and how the dreaded web forms can often make the process near impossible for us to work with.

I’ve tried to buy products from sites that don’t have Finland listed in their pull-down menu, that demand a State and/or County even when I don’t live in one, and don’t leave enough room for my phone or fax numbers.

Even though my wallet, bills and bank statements are all full of Euros, there are still (at the time of writing) a huge number of sites that allow me to pay in everything from Algerian Dinars to Zambian Kwacha, but still don’t consider the EURO a real currency. I’d suggest they wake up.

And even the more flexible forms that allow all these options may still fall over when it comes to shipping costs. I can enter my delivery and credit card addresses in Finland, but when it comes to choosing my shipping option, I frequently have US POSTAL SERVICES and US FED-EX DOMESTIC only. More than once this has resulted in my simply giving up and looking elsewhere. Wasted opportunities don’t get any easier to avoid!

If you use a third party to handle your sales, then make sure you use one with flexible options. I use SWREG, who can handle everything under the sun, including fax, phone, online, check, international money orders, direct payment and more. Can yours?

And if your software involves a large file download, then you have to consider the many users around the world connecting at a theoretical 56 KBPS, who simply cannot even consider downloading a 15 MB file. If you want to reach those people, then you have to make it easy for them. Even if you don’t want the headache of burning a CD and mailing it yourself, there are services out there that can do this for you, and their prices are very reasonable. Make it easy.

If you don’t want their business - let them know!

But ultimately if your business cannot or will not adapt to the rest of the world, then I have one humble request. Please make it clear from the start. I’ve filled out so many of your long forms, only to find out at the very end of the process that you can’t deliver to Europe.

Amazon is considered by many to be one of the world’s most successful online stores, yet even they are guilty of these sins. Assuming I don’t mind paying the shipping, I can order books and software through their US website. But when I go to software downloads, and add these items to my Shopping Cart, everything is fine until it comes to checkout time. At this point I get a message informing me that they do not offer digital downloads to my country. Go figure - and ask yourself why they waited until that moment to tell me.

I’ve also filled out other long forms and received an email 24 hours later explaining that you don’t normally ship outside the US; but if I will pay an additional $35, you’ll send your $30 product direct by courier.

And when your international user has already downloaded, installed, used and admired your software, falling at the final hurdle is a very painful and frustrating process.

The irony in writing this article is that while preaching the concept of internationalism, many of the ideas I suggest for achieving it are aimed primarily at US developers. But it’s not only the US developers who need to expand their views.

The ability to reach across the globe is yours for the taking. But if your software, website or ordering options aren’t up to the task, then you’re throwing away a whole world of opportunities. Think international. Be seen, be sold.

Adsense - Get the Clicks

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Well, one reason for CTR varying is the relevance of the ads with respect to your site content. That is the prerogative of you as a webmaster. But there is one more aspect, that you should learn to improve your CTR. That is the placement of the right ad at the right place.

What does this mean? Take a look at this. The reddest block is the most readily looked at part by the visitor. Accordingly, placing an ad there would get you more clicks.But do you tend to believe it as such? I do not. This is because, your site, in the long run should be made in such a way that you could solely focus on building content rather than keep working for traffic. What impression would it create on a visitor if you were to place an ad right in front of his face? Do you think he would return? The answer is simple. No, he will not.

But, that is the place that will get the clicks readily. And you should also make way for returning traffic. There is one way you could do this.This way, the visitor will, no doubt, realize that you have placed an ad in front of him. But still not be disturbed to the extent of not returning back. This is the classic case of having your cake and eating it too.

Let me explain how it is done. First and foremost, you need to revamp the colors on your Google ad. For my case, I take the example of my webpage with a white background and black text. To make your ad merge into your content, set the background as white, Title and content text as black and border also to white. Preview the ad. Doesn’t it look much like your page?

Now, set the font in your page to Arial.This is very important as the Googls ads appear in this font and you do yourself good if your prime content is also in the same font. Now the stage is set to place your ad on your page and make it look at one among your other content.

But, there is more that you could do. Look at the ads that are between 120 and 180 pixel widths. These are the ads that you need to place at the red hot area. Only thing that you need to do is rephrase your prime page content in such a way that you could put in a few of the content that you need to say point-wise, preferably linking each of these points to another related page.

Finally, what you need to do is put some paragraphs, and then a couple of pointwise written contents, and insert an ad just below this, following it up with a few other points. When this is done effectively you could have a series of points all of the same width and linking it to other pages. And there in between you would also have some of your ads. Believe me, this does not irritate the visitor, though the ‘Ads by Goooogle’ is visible. This is because, the visitor is able to see many more related links,and who knows,he might end up clicking the more relevant ad on your page.

An Overview Of Pay Per Click Search Engine Fundamentals

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

expected to increase to at least $8 billion by 2008.

The three fundamental core elements that form the basis of a
successful pay per click advertising program are constant
monitoring, analysis, and refinement.

Pay per click search engines offer a way to buy your way to the
top of search results for any term you wish. With proper
management, and a clear focus, pay per click search engines can
offer some of the most well targeted and economical advertising
on the Internet.

Pay per click advertising works through a bidding process, and
the ads appear prominently on the results pages of search engines
such as Google and Yahoo. The highest bidder for a particular
word or phrase receives top placement, and depending on the
engine, the top three to five bidders also generally also receive
placement on the first page of unpaid search results.

Fundamental questions to be addressed when formulating a pay per
click search engine strategy should include the following:

When is the top pay per click bid necessary for highest
conversion, and when will bidding for a second or third place
position create a more attractive return on investment (ROI)?

How can you keep your PPC bids from cannibalizing your search
efforts on other (non pay per click) search engines?

What percentage of your pay per click budget should go to each
search engine?

Does either Google Adwords or Overture work better for your
particular product or service? Or, perhaps neither one is
appropriate from a return on investment (ROI) perspective.

It is of critical importance to focus sharply on identifying
the search terms that convert most frequently for your particular
site, eliminating those that don’t perform, and most importantly,
calculating and maximizing your return on investment.

The cost structure of pay per click is action-driven and each
time a user clicks your ad, the pay per click engine deducts the
amount of your current bid from your account. Pay per click
offers a high level of assurance that your ad is reaching the
proper target.

Pay per click campaigns, however, are not perfect. Without
CONSTANT monitoring, you sometimes risk incurring advertising
costs that can spiral out of control, focusing on terms that
don’t convert well for your product or services, or falling way
down in position during a bidding war.

PPC advertising can be a great help to a site’s success, but only
with very close supervision and a thorough knowledge of the
unique characteristics of each PPC search engine.

Avoid a Summer Sales Slump

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

HereNextYear.com

Did you ever see the movie “Terminator 3″ by Arnold Schwarzenegger? Remember when the machines took over the controls and began to terminate society as we know it?

This is exactly how it feels every Summer for many business owners.

As if your computer somehow sneaks in during the middle of the night and takes over by putting a “Closed for the Summer”
sign on your business.

You wake up on July 1 wondering where all the customers are.

My business is no different.

I’ve just learned to expect it every year and I do something about it before I can be sabotaged.

So, when the beginning of June comes around, I start ramping up for the Summer months to keep business steady and even on the increase.

And, here’s what I do:

1) Find something in your industry that’s timely and write an article about it. I’m doing just that with this article as an example. The fact that sales slump for more small business owners in the Summer than any other 2-month time of the year is timely since July is right around the corner.

The article doesn’t need to be extensive, maybe 600-800 words, and write as if you’re just talking to a friend sitting next to you.

2) Create a signature line at the end of your article that invites readers to visit your web site. Use mine below as an example to write your own.

3) Send your article to your clients or customers by e-mail or even regular USPS. They will appreciate hearing from you
and they will be thankful for the timely courtesy.

Plus, any time you can get your name in front of an existing customer, you stand a chance of getting additional business
just by simply reminding them you’re still around.

4) Get your article posted on other peoples’ web sites and in their on-line newsletters. This might sound like “old hat” if you’ve been doing business on-line for a while, but the fact is that people still turn to the Internet to find information.

5) Submit your article to other peoples’ BLOGs. BLOGs are easy to find because web site owners are always adding them to the front page of their sites so that you can’t miss them.

The challenge of owning a BLOG is contributing to it every day. It’s easy to do for the first couple of weeks but then that dedication slips.

So, approach a BLOGger with your article and suggest they include it to their BLOG if they ever get in a bind and can’t make a posting of their own one day. Chances are, you’ll see your article posted within the week!

6) Submit your article to RSS feeds. RSS stands for “Real Simple Syndication,” which essentially means you add your article to the list once and it will appear on potentially hundreds of other peoples’ web sites. Search Google or “rss articles submission” to get you started.

7) Have something ready on your web site to inspire any new visitors to get more involved with your business. I’m not saying put the hard sell on them. Just offer some way for them to discover more about how you can help them.

Provide more articles for them to read. Maybe add a sound file or two. Have a newsletter subscription area. Offer a free tele-seminar or webinar. Be creative but captivating. Have a definite answer to the question, “How can my new web site visitors benefit from being on my web site for another
couple of minutes?”

Follow these seven steps and there’s a good chance you will not only increase your web site visitors with targeted traffic, but that visitation could happen more quickly than you might
expect.

So, don’t allow your potential sales for this year’s Summer months to be “terminated” before they even have a chance to happen.

Take action this week and July and August could turn out to be two of your best sales months yet.

So You Want To Make Big Profits From Your AdWords PPC Campaigns?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

There’s no secret to AdWords success. Like anything, joining the big leagues of AdWords profits means you must put in the hours. In this case, it’s hours of keyword work.

Extensive Keyword Research

There are literally thousands of keywords for every industry. By advertising a thousand or more keywords you will greatly increase your chance of getting clicks at a cheaper rate.

Consider this:

Campaign A: Your AdWords campaign has only 4 keywords. These keywords are the most popular keywords for your industry. The average CPC is $1. These keywords get 6000 searches a day. Your campaign is getting a 2% CTR which means your getting $120 clicks at a total cost of $120.

Campaign B: You research and bid on 2000 keywords. The average CPC is .10 These 2000 keywords also receive 6000 search queries a day. Again using a 2% CTR, your campaign is delivering 120 visitors. But instead of paying $120 as in Campaign A, you are only paying $12.

Obviously, Campaign B is the better performing campaign. Campaign B is saving $108 a day, $3,600 a month and $43,200 per year. The difference in ROI is staggering.

Remember, the difference between the two campaigns was in the keywords. Campaign A had a few popular keywords. Campaign B contained 2000 keywords. The keywords in Campaign B are less popular, translating to a cheap CPC for you.

How To Find Keywords For Your PPC Campaigns

Now you know the importance of doing extensive keyword research before beginning an AdWords campaign. But how do you come up with a long list of targetted keywords. Here’s how:

The simplest and easiest method to come up with good keywords is to think long and hard. “Yeah, that’ll get me 50 words” you say.” Still need more keywords? Try these tools;

1. Google Keyword Generator
2. WordTracker
3. Overture Search Suggestion Tool
4. Keyword Wrapper
5. MyTrashMail Keyword Generator

Happy keyword hunting. You can never have too many keywords. Just remember with each keyword you are increasing your ROI. And istn’t that what it’s all about?

You can discuss this article in the ReveNow! Forums.

Click Fraud

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

All these abuses are reducing our trust in the internet and e-commerce. Which is a shame, given the efficiency and cost savings that this medium allows, especially in terms of targeted advertisement. One example of such advertisement is PPC, or Pay Per Click. This is a great improvement over the good old flashing banner ad’s that we all know(and have grown to hate). The Pay Per Click ad’s are text base, with no slow loading flashy graphics detracting from the site. Best of all, they are context dependent. They get displayed only when a person searches for a certain “matching keyword”. PPC is extremely popular for one reason with advertisers. It’s simple to demonstrate that it brings traffic to their site. For the people searching for something it’s sometimes a shortcut to click on PPC ads rather than sift through the clutter that search engines often display organically. This Pay Per Click (PPC)advertising market size exceeds $5 Billion/year and keeps growing. Often at the expense of radio, TV and magazine advertising. Whether it’s cost effective to use such a program or it gives you the requisite ROI is topic for another web analytics discussion.

Unfortunately, if you advertise your site via Pay per Click Programs like Google Adwords & Overture, then it’s exceedingly likely that you are a Click Fraud Victim. Click fraud, takes place when a person or program visits a website with no intention of browsing the site, purchasing a product or performing any other type of conversion action. The intent is to make the advertiser suffer losses (or make extra income). This new type of cyber fraud is on the rise, and estimates on the loss to the advertiser through click fraud vary between 10-40% depending on the keyword and the industry. A simple calculation shows us that the advertisers are shelling out $ 500 Million to 2 Billion per year to click fraudsters. Google and Yahoo are among the leading providers of advertising links, usually targeted to the audience based on the contents of a page. The issue, to some extent boils down to the difference between a genuine user(sometimes referred to as a “good faith” visitor) and a click fraud artist. According to a Newsweek article, Google and Yahoo are struggling to adjust the definition of “good-faith click” and their policies, and methods of preventing this new type of click fraud. Given the rampant rise, it’s a work in progress.

Who perpetrates the click fraud? A significant portion is performed by the competitors who aim to drive up the advertisement cost of their rivals, and hence drain their rivals’ marketing budget. This is a form of digital industrial sabotage. There are the profiteers using ad-sense fraud (see Google AdSense Fraud Article about these shoplifters ) then there’s the impression fraud guys ( Article on Impression Fraud) who are the sneakiest. There’s always the existence of the terminated employee getting his revenge by clicking on the Pay Per Click ( PPC ) advertisement. The one that’s probably the hardest to nail down is the equivalent of a drive by clicker. Someone who enjoys random acts of click violence and other such mayhem. Anecdotally, a person who wanted to click on PPC ads of all the lawyers, just because he “hates” lawyers. There was a method to his madness, since the PPC keywords that lawyers bid for, go for as much as $50!

To gauge the seriousness of the problem, who better to listen to than Google’s chief financial officer, George Reyes. Click fraud is “the biggest threat to the Internet economy,” Reyes said during a December investors conference. “Something has to be done about this really, really quickly, because potentially it threatens our business model.” Ask Jeeves, similarly thinks of it as a serious enough risk to list it in it’s regulatory filings. They feel that their revenue might decline “if advertisers come to perceive click-fraud as a widespread and pervasive problem.”

We have to agree with them. The advertiser pays a large premium for having focused, directed traffic to his website through the paid listing. If banks lose their credibility, then people will stop using them and hide their dollars in their mattresses. If the search engines lose their credibility due to click fraud, their customers will vote with their dollars and move back to more traditional forms of advertisement. Similarly, as the PPC customers see their advertising ROI drop, often due to such fraudulent activities they may start walking towards the exits.

One would have thought that given such a threat to their business model, the big search engines would have been more forthcoming with information pertaining to data regarding the visitor to a site through PPC and incidence of click fraud. Such is not the case. The big two, Google and Overture are extremely secretive, and seldom give out any traffic information, or details about how they track click fraud. Their approach is not without justification, given the possibility of people reverse engineering their tracking mechanisms and allowing the fraudsters to tweak their tactics.

The search engines are also accused of turning a blind eye to click fraud. The reasoning goes that they are likely to take a severe hit to their earnings if all the click fraud cases are detected. They have not been following up on anything but the most egregious instances of click fraud. We are inclined to believe that the search engines make some effort to play fair, but they are hobbled by some technological limitations to their ability to track click fraud.

The biggest one is that the search engines can not possibly know the overall trends and analytics of the advertiser’s site. A good analytics package would be able to provide the statistics which show the optimal path to conversion, places where abandonment may happen, the average time taken reading the “top” pages etc. This is the “signature” may very well include time spent on the path, conversion, on site search etc. of a genuine client. Basically, the serious visitor has a certain pattern which a malicious user or a bot would not be able to simulate. Similarly, for a certain site, the fraudsters too have their own “signature”(i.e. a statistical pattern). When making a decision whether a certain visitor is a likely fraudster, one of the techniques used is to match against the “genuine” signature and then against that of “fraudster”. The search engines don’t have access to this data(since they are unable to track visitors once the visitor click), while a good click fraud detection software or service has access and is able to do such detection.

Furthermore, the search engines can’t track traffic from multiple search engines belonging to same network(a favorite of the “classic” competitor click fraud). For instance, Overture network is composed of Lycos, MSN and Alta Vista. The click fraud artist could potentially click on an ad using Lycos, move to MSN and then Alta Vista clicking on the same ad. Overture/Yahoo will not mark/catch the perpetrator. It’s even worse when the ad is displayed across Google and Overture! It is possible that the situation will be exacerbated when the upcoming Yahoo “Publisher” program(the equivalent of Google Adsense) goes mainstream. However, a dedicated click fraud detection effort, if based on rigorous analytics, website statistics and software pattern matching should have no problem nailing these guys.

Lastly, some efforts need to be done with customized reporting, when the pattern of abuse is more complicated. The search engines don’t have the resources(or interest) to drill deep into the analytics data and audit individual advertisers website stats. However, they will consider refunds if presented with detailed and convincing data. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Google is the tightest with AdWords fraud refunds, while Overture(Yahoo) is somewhat more liberal. Naturally, you would want to present yourself as a competent, organized person or organization when applying for refund. The arguments need to be backed up with statistics and actual events to be credible. If you are a regular PPC customer, you have the unfortunate task of defending what’s rightfully yours from the click fraud artists. This can be done with the help of expertise for auditing and reporting click-fraud developed in-house or by outsourcing to an analytics based click fraud detection company.

The FTC has been cracking down on the consumer fraud and the fraudsters, by increasing resources to track down and prosecute the “fishers”, the “investment schemes” and the “real estate opportunity” guys. However, Eileen Harrington, director of marketing opportunities has declined to deem “click fraud” as something that directly affects the consumer. Therefore, the FTC does not want to tackle the click fraud. The search engines too are unable to fully detect fraud, due to the reasons described above. One wonders who is there to look after the best interests of an advertiser trying to make it on the web and getting cheated by fraudsters. Given the PPC fraud rate, the advertiser has to really question her conversion numbers. Is that conversion ratio of 1% really natural, or could it be higher if the fraudsters are excluded from the traffic, and the money wasted on them refunded.
For More Details visit www.sofizar.com/click-fraud-services.html

Dedication is essential to your home business success

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

The definition in the dictionary is:
“The act of dedicating or the state of being dedicated”.
Have you ever been in a situation were things weren’t going the way you wanted or expected?
What did you do?
Did you decide to give up or did you decide to keep on giving it everything you’ve got?
Most home business entrepreneurs start their new venture feeling positive and excited.
They read, listen, and study all they can about internet marketing. Work hard to implement those concepts, ideas and strategies.
But In most cases during the process of implementation they find out that things aren’t Going the way they’ve expected.

So what do they do?
Some of them spend a lot of money buying leads, e-books, internet marketing courses and so on.
Others simply go back into their comfort zone forgetting they ever wanted to build an online business not to mention a successful one.
But a few of them (and I do mean just a few of them) make a decision to go all the way willing to give it everything they’ve got.

Now don’t get me wrong here e-books, internet marketing courses, leads, ppc advertising and so on are great tools, assuming you know how to choose the right ones.
One essential element that makes these tools work for you and bring results is simply this: a decision to dedicate yourself to your goal.

The best way for me to explain the state of being dedicated is by the following example:
Imagine you make a decision to climb a very high and steep mountain.
While climbing you reach a point where you feel it is too difficult to go on and there is no way you’re going to reach the top.
You think about giving up and going back down, but you notice there is very bad weather and you must reach the top.
Well, I bet you will find a way to reach the top knowing there is no other option. Out of nowhere new energies, ideas and strategies start popping up.
Eventually you would write an e book about how to climb mountains and reaching the top.

The point I am trying to make here is this:
When you set a goal don’t allow yourself the option to back down because this is the only way to reach a state of being dedicated and eventually reaching your goal.
To build and maintain a successful home business you have to be in a state of dedication.
This means that there is no such thing as failure and no way to back down from your decision.

E books, internet marketing courses, leads, ppc advertising, ezine and so on are the tools you use to build you’re home business.
When you integrate those tools with your unrelenting desire to build a successful home business you become unstoppable.
Then you become a powerful internet marketing machines.

So before going back to look for more leads, new ppc engines, classified adds, new software’s and so forth…..
Be honest and ask yourself:
Am I dedicated to my home business? Am I willing to give it everything I’ve got without thinking of the possibility of going back?

Author: Itsik tzur



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