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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

GENERATING TRAFFIC TO THE WEBSITE’S THAT YOU’RE PROMOTING

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When it comes to your efforts for generating traffic to your website, you can never do too much to get it. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to get website traffic. This section is going to show you what they are. So why wait; let’s get right to it because this section is a perhaps the most important one.

It likely makes more sense to begin at the top. For starters, you can start to generate traffic with Sub-domains. Sub-domains are websites that are located within a directory of your main site and have their own domain name. This method is a chosen method of webmasters because it is simple to do. Because sub-domains use the same resources as the main website, they are normally much cheaper than getting another hosting account, however it does require more bandwidth use. Their low cost and flexibility make sub-domains a great way to direct traffic to your site without overstretching your budget. When you use Sub-domains as Portal Sites, you should know that one of the best uses of sub-domains is portal websites. Portal websites are sites that link to your main website and have a similar theme, for example, if your website is about selling cars, your portal website would be about car parts. Basically, they provide another portal, or doorway, for visitors and search engines to get to your main website. So if someone input a query about car parts, the search engines would send them to your website that is about cars. Do you see what I mean?

Since creating content for a website takes time, often webmasters simply modify the existing text of the main site and reuse it on the portal site. It is important that the content is not exactly the same and that the portals do not just redirect the visitor’s to the main site. Otherwise, search engines may not index them.

Portal websites can be submitted to the search engines just like your main site. What this means is that the more portals you have, the more visitors you will get. If your website is doing alright in the search engines, then imagine having five more websites out there for the spiders to find. Five more listings mean that Web surfers have five times as many ways to find your network of websites. You still with me? Portal websites are just like sub-domains but they do not have their own URLs, so it is actually cheaper than subdomains. Search engines and links go hand in hand. More and more search engine spiders or robots are taking into consideration the number and ranking of sites that are linked to you. By linking your sub-domains to your main site and to each other, the ranking of all of your sites is going to be greatly improved.


Banner Exchange Programs are an extremely popular way to get traffic to your website. Banner exchange programs allow members to share advertising space on each other’s websites. Banner exchanges also help you to bring in new clients and customers that you may not have already had. It is like I said in the first few sections; they are a great way to generate traffic to your website, but you may not want to clutter your main site with ads due to loading issues so you have to be careful. Remember the earlier sections that explained the graphical issues that can slow down loading times of your website and force visitors to shut your site down. Portal websites provide a good place to test different programs and direct the resulting traffic to your main site.

You must also try to find Alternative Markets if you want to get your website out there. Search engine spiders will pick up on content variations among your websites. Subtle differences could place a site in a category that you had not thought of and open up an entirely new base of visitors and/or customers. This is again along the lines of finding and writing keyword rich articles etc. that will draw in and attract people to your wares that may not have been looking. For example, when your site is about car parts and you place reviews about cars and articles about cars on your website, it varies your site information enough to draw in potential car buying customers as well. If you are affiliated to a car merchant, this could really boost both of your business. It falls into the category of becoming affiliated with “like” sites.

Product and Service Specialization is going to be a great asset to your website’s traffic. Your main website may have dozens of different products and services. This is great for your business, but when your website is only general, it can hurt your ranking in the search engines. That is why you must focus on one specialization with your website. Specializing allows you to set yourself up as an authority on the product is service that you are selling. Using sub-domains to create sites that specialize in one product or service increases your keyword density and improves your ranking. Plus, many consumers would prefer to work with a specialized business than a one-stop shop because when you are selling everything, it tells them that you are an authority on nothing! Believe me, this is not going to help you in the long run.


Text Link Ads


One of the most successful forms of advertising today is text link ads. They are a bit friendlier for your bandwidth and they don't take up a lot of space. The can be easily implemented into most page layouts with little effort. Good text links ads offer some information as to why your web site visitor should investigate the offer that is being advertised rather than just saying buy me. A company that wishes to make an advertisement should also supply you with very short text links which only state the product or company name. The reason for this is so that you can implement the links directly into the content of related keyword articles and reviews.

This form of web site advertising is a bit time-consuming since it is so hands on, so you really have to choose your products carefully. The information that you supply to your web site visitors will help them make their choices so you have to be honest in your sales copy. If you are successful in this promotion strategy, over time your reviews won't be seen as hype and bluster, but as a reliable source of information that visitors depend on.

Email Hot Lists are another great way of generating traffic to your website and sell services. What they are is just another form of contact information that you can use to get and keep in touch with new clientele. Using hot lists is not the same thing as a contact list. Email hot lists are things that you pay for from other companies that contain the email addresses of people who are looking to buy or are buying items just like those that you are selling. They are called hot lists because there is no guess work here. Your contact list is from people that meet your targeted audience already. That is why it is so important for you to know who you are trying to sell to.

Building an Email hot list

Are you reluctant to use unsolicited email to contact new prospects? You should be. The last thing you want to do is make all of your potential clients mad launching terrible 'flame campaigns' against you or your company or worse….about your affiliates. My advice is to not get involved with anything that even resembles spam.

However, if you use email lists properly, and in a non-intrusive way, you can make a lot of money and keep perfectly safe in the process. In this section we'll reveal how to use email to your profitable advantage, without getting flamed.

The Right Way to Use Email for Marketing

There is only one 'right' way to use email lists for marketing purposes and that is to use it with a list of prospects who have contacted you first. This is what is called an Opt-In list. What it means is the consumers have opted to include their email address in a mailing list which means that your mails are not considered spam because they were ‘opted’ for. Here's why... Your contacts will not complain about receiving valuable information from you. They welcome the opportunity to receive many different types of emails such as:


'last minute' reminders

special offers

hot information about new products

news 'from the very hub' of their industry

product/website updates

even links to affiliate ‘like’ sites

Here are some more key tips to keep in mind when trying to build your own email hot list.

1. Capture Addresses
You can only email your customers if you have their addresses, so start collecting them now. Make sure there is a prominent place for an email address on all customer response forms you use both online and offline. It helps when you use software that is designed to hold multiple email hot lists so that you will only have to input the information once.

2. Use ASCII Text Only
Keep it simple. Include lots of white space in your messages. Use headlines and sub-headlines. Don't overuse words that are in all capital letter. Make it easy for the readers to scan and to read.

3. Use Wide Margins
Limit yourself to 64 characters or less per line because it is simply more attractive to the reader and it helps you to point out anything that you want to draw attention to.

4. Deliver Your Most Important Information First
Key benefits and sales points must be communicated in the first screen people read because many readers do not read an entire email whether they opted in for it or not. If you save the good stuff for the end of the email or try to capture a reader’s attention by leading into it, you will do nothing except for lose business. Think about it; would you want to have to hunt around for the best part?

5. Make The Subject Line Your Headline Too
Since this is what people are going to see first? If your headline is strong, crisp, and compelling, they'll open your email. Concentrate on this all-important element. For example, if you are offering a free gift with purchase, your subject line could read “FREE gift for you!” I don’t know about you, but this would get my attention if it is from a web source that I signed up for.

6. The Shorter the Better
Unlike other kinds of sales writing where long copy outsells short copy, the standard for email sales letters are different. Think about the way you sort through email, especially when you have a backlog of messages. The time you spend online is generally short. Respond to this new business medium by keeping your emails just as short.

7. Test
Keep a good record of your responses by testing one element of your email at a time. Start with the subject line. Test headlines, body copy, layout, and the PS. at the end. Successful marketing copy is always tested, one element at a time to make sure those things are running smoothly and to get rid of the stuff that is not floating. Today the largest companies online including Apple, Excite, Intuit, Microsoft, Symantec, Yahoo! and many, many more are using acceptable and responsible commercial email. If they can do it, YOU can do it too.

Start building your opt-in email lists today!. I would suggest that you keep it simple to begin with, and build a growing text file of email addresses. But ultimately you will want to personalize your messages, because it substantially increases your response. Gather as much information as you can when people contact you, such as the readers name and apply it to the email, but at a minimum capture their name and email address. In time, this list will become highly profitable for you. The list is the most important aspect of any successful email marketing campaign.

8. Use Autoresponders
When you are contacting your clients through emails that require a reply from the reader or a sign up or order form etc. you should be sure to include an autoresponder that will let your client know that their email was received. You can find many different types of software that will do this for you. If for no other reason than so that you can free up some of your time.


Search Engine Optimization


Another common practice among webmasters and marketers is to use search engine optimization (SEO) to boost traffic. What this does is put your webpage at the top of search engines when they receive a query. First page placement in search engine results can be as simple as investing a few dollars into paid search advertising. Within minutes your advertisement can be listed at the top of the pack among other PPC listings. When it is this easy to push your site to the top you may be wondering why anyone would bother with traditional SEO at all.

Paid advertising may be a quick and easy way to get your site to the top, but for many industries it can also be extremely expensive over time. This is particularly true when you are marketing and are making your money through commissions. After you factor in the click costs, it is still possible to make a decent profit however if the visitors were to find you in the organic listings,
the profit would be much higher.

The search engine optimization industry as a whole is still very young which makes it more valuable than traditional submissions techniques and it is also more modern. With this method, you can almost pick and choose your placement in the search engines by how much you are willing to pay for it. New firms are springing up all over the place, and many design houses seem to think they have the skills and knowledge it takes to provide these services on your behalf. While some are good at what they do, they are no substitute for the real thing. It is important to work with a company that specializes in SEO and is already established and well recognized in their industry. You can easily find reviews online if you search for them.

At first, having a professional optimize your site may seem like it will be a very expensive thing to do, but when you compare it to the continuous expense of (pay per Click) PPC, SEO it is much more affordable in the long run. Generally, SEO campaigns start off with a one time only fee, and may lead to monthly maintenance charges in order for you to keep your site ranking in the top 20. When you keep your site properly optimized and achieving top rankings on their own, it will almost always outperform in terms of conversions when compared to those competing sites placed with AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly Overture), or other PPC services. Typically 80% of searchers will click on the organic listings before they opt for the paid ones that are to the right of the result listings. However, do not rule out pay per click all together because they all have their benefits and pitfalls.

Although it is best to hire a professional SEO, you want to be sure that in order to achieve top rankings for the do-it-yourself webmaster, chances are that if you try to get into the head of a professional SEO through a consulting service it can give you the edge they need to compete while at the same time reducing your own costs.

The fact of the matter is that there is no substitute to a properly optimized website when it comes to performance and overall conversions. Websites that are ranking in the ‘natural’ listings have a tendency to convert at a higher rate and draw higher numbers of targeted traffic than any other method of gathering traffic. As the years go by, it will only become more and more difficult for one specific website to be found and singles out by search engines, which places more weight on optimization.

You should not use search engine optimization on its own to garner more traffic but it will help you if you combine this technique with the others mentioned in this book. Using them all jointly will drastically change your odds of being the first and foremost marketer on the internet. As a marketer, you want to have as many methods at your fingertips as possible.

How to Avoid the Optimization Scam

While there are many ethical SEO firms serving affiliate marketers today, a few not so legitimate practitioners also exist. They have a tendency to say the following:

“We can get your site to be number one in the search engines for the top 20 search terms you choose,”

When you do your homework on these companies, this is what you can expect to find: One; that they had no less than 250 telemarketers soliciting SEO clients on a continual basis-Two; In the words of the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” These people promise all kinds of things and when it is mentioned that you can’t get a hold of anyone to talk to they all claim that it is because they company is using an automated service.

The above was only the tip of the iceberg, however. Upon further questioning, I learned that it wasn’t really my url that they wanted to promote. Their program, which only benefits them was to set-up urls to be doorway pages to my website. Their urls, not mine, would be optimized to get high in the search engines. They would maintain control of and ownership of the urls, so if I ever went out of business, they could sell all that traffic including the value I had paid so dearly for—to one of my competitors.

This all just really sucks, but there are many of these scams and those like it running, so beware and read the fine print before committing to anything. after researching the issues carefully, I am warning you fellow webmasters to beware of any SEO firm that:

employs a boiler room full of telemarketers

automates most or all of their services

insists on gaining and retaining control of the url to be promoted

focuses on lengthy and obscure search strings

touts sites that are garnering a mere 100 hits per day as examples of their
success.

Of all the bad practices that I have mentioned above, the one that is the most offensive was the idea that the SEO firm should own or control my url. While owning the url would seem like a good idea for the SEO firm (they could always collect their fees by threatening to shut down the site), it isn’t very good for the client. If you are going to pay a firm to build your business, chances are, that is what you are doing. To pay a firm to build traffic to a url they own is really like paying them to build their business.


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