Internet MarketingSEO

Search Engine Optimization Provides the Greatest ROI

Today it’s understood that you must have a have a high quality website for your company. So my question is why there are so many enterprises that do not focus their attention on optimizing their website?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be defined as improving a site’s list ranking on various search engines. When your site is optimized to the fullest of its potential, it will be listed above all competitors. Potential clients come to your site first, to see what you have to offer as opposed to your competition.

SEO is free, has great results, and is rewarding. As a free source of business, the internet allows companies to really capitalize on the open market. Tremendous opportunity knocks, and those who answer can take full advantage of what the internet can offer their company.

Once you own your domain and have it hosted (usually by an Online Marketing Company), you can make any changes you wish. Having your company available online is a free way to market your company over the internet. A key feature of your company’s website is it can be used as a free online marketing tool. The only cost you incur is the time you put forth to gain maximum exposure for your site. However, that time put forward now will pay off in the end on a regular basis.

When you as a website publisher take the time to optimize your site (or hire someone optimize it for you), you are building your companies market value. The higher you are listed on search engine results, the more respect you will gain as a company. As a consumer, the mind can not help to think that the websites listed on top are the best. So why not spend the time to be atop of the competition?

When your site is listed above competition; the chances are more in your favor to win the business. The reward you will receive upon completion of your site being optimized will show itself. Web surfers will be stopping in to see what your business has to offer which in turn will lead to more business. If you use your site to your advantage, then it can be a great way to function as a lead generator.

Optimizing your web site really plays a large impact on your Return on Investment (ROI). This is mainly because your investment is time and your return is money. The only thing you are risking is a missed afternoon of golf. Some businesses that have the resources are using Google Adwords as opposed to taking the time to use SEO.

Google Adwords functions the same way your site can function if optimized. That is by listing your website at the top of the search criteria results. However, you must pay for the placement you want under Google Adwords where SEO is free. Google Adwords has still been proven to be an effective marketing scheme to attract more viewers to your site, which in turn will lead to more business.

One drawback to Google Adwords is your ROI will be on a different scale now because you must actually pay for each time your site is referred to by Google. Take this SEO specialist’s advice and sit down and optimize your site.

If you do not optimize now and wait, you will be falling behind your competitors. Your website is your focal business point for reference. You must make sure that your site is operating to its fullest potential to ensure that you are receiving the maximum amount of clients that you can. The time you put forth now will be of great value to you in the future.

Internet MarketingSEO

Is SEO Really Free?

Search Engine Optimization Can Cost You…

I’m often asked by companies how much they should be spending on search engine optimization. As you can imagine, the answer to such a question depends on a large number of factors. An SEO budget could be based on the number of web properties you’re managing, how much work there is to do, and who will be doing the work for you.

Despite popular belief, search engine optimization is not free. Many times, individuals try to compare SEO to pay-per-click or search engine marketing, but the two are very dissimilar. Many of the costs associated with search engine optimization are involved in labor, site development, and acquisition of in-bound links. Unlike PPC, search engine optimization does not work on a pay-per-click basis.

The costs associated with SEO begin with an expert analysis of your existing websites and web pages. Additional costs are related to competitive and keyword analysis. Many web site owners consider doing these types of activities on their own. In many instances they can, however they will need tools to do so. These resources aren’t free because they solve a need. When thinking about a do-it-yourself type commitment, you often spend valuable time – which has a monetary value, and money paying for helpful online tools and resources.

Don’t underestimate the value of your time or the time that others are spending on search engine optimization related tasks. You should determine the costs of these activities in order to truly realize and manage your expense. Often times, you can hire a resource for much less per hour than you’re spending to do the necessary tasks of keyword research, competitive analysis, or link building.

Once you have completed a thorough review of your web site, completed the necessary analysis, and have determined the keywords you are going to optimize for, the true work begins. And this work can be very costly. Again, you have to consider the time you are spending on SEO related activities and how much it’s costing you by not focusing on other, more challenging opportunities. The process of link building is an arduous one and can be outsourced to expedite the process or simply lower costs.

Online tools can also be helpful in determining or prioritizing tasks. Once you have specific tasks defined, locate a resource that can save you money. This may be a software application that helps you submit your URL to directories. It could be an article writing service that can do the heavy lifting for you. It may even be an outsource solution for finding link partners and managing link exchanges. All of this link building takes work and requires a good deal of time. So consider your options and choose the one that is most cost effective.

SEO is not free. You may consider it less expensive than other forms of online marketing because you’re doing much of the work on your own. However, you should consider the value of your time and alternatives for reducing your workload and improving results. Whether you are thinking about online resources or additional individuals to do many of the repetitive tasks necessary to build in-bound links and corresponding page rank, your analysis should consider costs and benefits. Even though SEO is not free, it’s worth every penny.

Internet MarketingSEO

How To Find SEO Consultants That Get Results

If your web site is a major source or revenue, or could be, then you should have a formal search engine optimization program that monitors and improves rankings on a daily basis. Now you might be thinking that you don’t have the resources necessary to implement a productive SEO program, but the costs of not doing so are significant.

Starting an SEO program for your business is easier than you think. There are numerous SEO consultants and experts that can show you how to radically improve your rankings for much less than you might think. In fact, many search engine optimization consultants can save you significant dollars if managed properly.

Getting the most from your SEO consultant requires a number of considerations. I have found that the most productive engagements around optimization and SEO all have these same factors in common. By adhering to these principals, mutual expectations are set and each party has a clear understanding of what is being delivered by whom.

The first step is finding a credible source. There are many people out there who claim to be search engine optimization experts but have nothing to show for it. Find a legitimate company, ask for references, or find someone who has a proven track record and is an authority on the topic. A good bet is to find someone who has achieved number one rankings for their website or the web sites of their clients.

The second step is to mutually agree upon what’s being delivered. Most clients feel that by paying a search engine optimization consultant a sum of money that their site is going to instantly rank number one on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. I can tell you first hand that‘s not the case. The purpose of an seo consultant is to help you construct an effective strategy for the long term optimization of your web site.

The third and final step is to assemble a team to work with the consultant and implement his findings. Seventy percent or so of the companies I’ve worked with were very interested in learning how to optimize their websites but couldn’t or weren’t willing to follow through on what it takes to succeed. Commit time and resources dedicated to implementing the consultant’s finding and you will see the true value of your investment.

Whether you’re launching new website or trying to improve the rankings of an existing site, it’s important that you find a reliable resource that can help you succeed. Define what success looks like for both you and the consultant you will be working with. By doing so, you’re creating a mutual understanding of the work that’s being done and clearly understand what it means to your business.

Internet Marketing

How Self Published Books Create Profitable Businesses

When you use your self-published books as a sales tool to identify customers and make additional sales, then your self-published books become a money-generating tool that can drive a million-dollar business.

Customers expect a book to cost $9.95, $19.95, or perhaps as much as $49.95. With production costs, that doesn’t give you a lot of money to promote your books and generate sales. It depends on your income goals, but if it consists of selling your books alone, you’d have to sell hundreds or thousands of books a month to earn any substantial income. Your operation costs and marketing expenses would quickly exceed the revenues.

There is a better way. When you use your self-published books as a sales tool to identify customers and make additional sales, then your self-published books become a money-generating tool that can drive a million-dollar business.

Here Are 3 Examples of How Your Self-Published Books Can Create a Highly Profitable Business:

1. Well-known speaking and presentation skills coach builds a massive list of targeted, hungry prospects and a multi-million dollar business with a self-published book. Speaking and presentation skills coach, Susan Berkley self-published her book, Speak to Influence: How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Voice in 1999.

The book has sold over 14,000 copies, is now in the second printing of its second edition, and continues to sell every month. Susan still gets quoted from her book, even though it is over seven years old. In fact, the book recently scored blurbs in Glamor and Self magazines without even trying.

More importantly, Susan invites her book buyers to sign up for her free e-zine through her website. In the e-zine, Susan offers subscriptions to her monthly paid newsletter, and promotes her products, teleseminars and consulting/coaching services.

The revenue from these additional services and products is many times higher than anything she has received from publishing her book. Best of all, Susan can easily market new products whenever she likes. If she decides she needs more money, she creates another program, sends an e-mail to her list, and makes sales-all from a list created through her self-published book.

2. A mortgage expert increases web traffic and generates millions of dollars of revenue for his mortgage brokerage company from his self-published book. Brian Sacks’ self-published book, Yes, You Can Get a Mortgage: Even If You’ve Had a Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, or Other Credit Issue has helped thousands achieve the American dream of home ownership.

For Brian, this $19.14 book has generated a constant flow of great customers and millions of dollars of revenue for his mortgage brokerage company. Brian invites book readers to visit his website for more information and a personal evaluation. Quite often, this evaluation leads to mortgage services with fees ranging from $5,000.00 to $15,000.00.

3. The source for accurate celebrity contact information creates monthly, recurring revenue from his self-published book. Jordan McAuley self-published his book, Contact Any Celebrity, and sold it for $55.00. This book that provides contact information for celebrities is useful for authors who want positive quotes from celebrities to put on their book covers, fans seeking autographs, and charities looking for celebrity endorsements.

Even though $55.00 for a book is a great price, Jordan didn’t stop there. He created a membership website with data that wouldn’t fit into the finished book. Jordan includes publicist information, additional phone numbers, and charities the celebrity already supports. It’s a lot of useful information specifically for authors and charities.

Jordan charges only $9.95 a month for membership and promotes this option throughout his book. So instead of selling a book and getting paid once, Jordan has created monthly, recurring revenue from individuals who want constant access to more extensive and constantly updated information.

Final Self-Published Thoughts

Too many authors see the self-publishing of a book as their end goal. When that book hits bookstores, they breathe a sigh of relief and pat themselves on the back for a big accomplishment. Yes, you should be proud, but don’t stop there. Self-publishing a book opens the door to hundreds of other business opportunities.

Internet Marketing

Segmenting for Direct Marketers

So what can you actually learn by segmenting your audience?

Direct marketers are always looking for ways to improve targeting to make a bigger impact on their audience. One traditional approach is “market segmentation,” where people are grouped by some set of characteristics.

One of the ideas behind segmentation is that it allows us to describe product benefits in ways that impact a particular audience. Since the same features in a product provide different benefits to different groups of people, it makes sense to segment the audience into groups where each marketing message can be delivered more efficiently. But there is another benefit to market segmentation on the Web–you can learn more about your audience.

Profiling individuals on the Web allows us to not only select which message to deliver to each individual, but also helps us learn about the needs and interests of each person. This can be used to segment an audience in ways that traditional direct marketers have only dreamed of.

So what can we actually learn by segmenting our audience?

Perhaps the easiest thing to learn is which products are purchased by the same people. Web sites that use collaborative filtering are helping marketers and consumers answer this question. You’ve probably seen sites that say, “People who bought this product also purchased these other products.”

For instance, if a group of customers buys what appear to be unrelated products, try cross-promoting the two products and see if other customers buy that combination, too. By using market segmentation tools and techniques, unique groups of people can be identified and marketing programs created to take advantage of this opportunity.

Even without collaborative filtering, we can use standard database queries to identify a number of clusters and learn about our audience. By just using your customer data file it’s possible to segment your audience by geography, season, order size, frequency of purchase, and other data that you already collect.

For example, how does the geographic distribution of your customers compare to the country as a whole? California has 12 percent of the US population, so if less than 12 percent of your U.S. customers are from California, that segment might not respond to the same marketing messages as other regions. By targeting a different email message to that market segment, you might find results are higher than sending the same email newsletter to everyone.

Many traditional catalogers project the profitability of customer segments by just using the recency of the latest order, the frequency of ordering, and the monetary size of the order (RFM Analysis).

In addition to RFM analysis, Web marketers have an additional source of data — Web server log data that can be combined with purchase history data. We can learn a great deal about our customers by looking for patterns of Web behavior that lead to greater revenue.

For those with a strong interest in analytical and statistical techniques, there are a number of data mining products on the market that can help the savvy marketer find the smallest of segments in a market. By linking your Web traffic data to your customer database, you can answer more complex Web-related questions that can’t be answered based on Web browsing behavior alone such as:

  • Is the cumulative amount of time spent on the site during multiple sessions related to inquiry or sales activity?
  • Is the number of visits to the Web site a predictor of e-commerce sales?
  • What is the click-through rate for each product page to the shopping cart page?
  • Which affiliates generate customers with the highest profit margins?
  • Are people who come to your Web site from one search engine more likely to make a purchase than people using the same search phrase at a different search engine?

There are almost as many ways to segment a market as there are data that can be collected. Fortunately, there are tools available for Web marketers to make sense of the massive amount of data.

As more companies integrate databases and e-commerce into their sites, Web marketers will be able to use market segmentation to learn more about their customers and improve performance of each aspect of Web marketing.