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Friday, June 26, 2009

The Top 10 Essentials for Your Pay Per Click (PPC) Success

Whether you're looking to do Paid Search Advertising yourself or to hire someone to do that for you - you should know what makes a Pay Per Click campaign successful - or you will end up suffering. Paid search advertising may look deceptively easy to do. Countless times small business owners decide (and correctly so) that PPC is going to do wonders for their business and 'dive' right into it...

Unfortunately most of them don't really educate themselves enough on what to do and how to do it, and then they end up spending a helluva lot of money, with little to no results. Next they declare that Paid Search Marketing doesn't work and then they're out!

Alternatively, the small business owner hires an overpaid, over-promising PPC management firm, and lets them do whatever they like - not knowing what to be aware of in order to make sure he's getting the best possible results for the best price...

Well - despite the doom and gloom scenarios above, I'm here to tell you that PPC works for most businesses!

It works very well, and can be one of the best, quickest, most cost effective and best tracked medium of advertising/promotion there ever was... Sure, there are other ways you can market your business, but if you know how to, and if you want almost immediate results that are fully tracked - then PPC can't be beaten.

OK, let's get to the top 10 essentials of Pay Per Click marketing:

1. Know your market place

It's as obvious as daylight, but people still go into PPC without doing their research. Bear in mind that you may know your market place offline, but when you consider the internet - it may be a whole different environment. So make sure you look into it - even if you have to pay for professional research - it will be worth your while.

If you're letting an agency manage your paid search, then make sure you ask them about your market - make sure they have done their homework thoroughly.

2. Know your target audience

Again an obvious one - and yet again people don't do this step properly. Don't just list out a bunch of demographics about your prospective customers. Get into character - engineer 'real-life' people profiles (avatars), describing everything about them.

Creating about 3 customer avatars for your business, will help you understand your customers, and thus you'll be able to anticipate how they behave. Knowing how they are likely to behave, will allow you to setup a VERY effective PPC campaign process, that will guarantee you success.

Remember - your customer just wants to feel understood, then if your product/service is good - they will buy.

3. Know what you want your visitor to do

In other words decide - do you want a prospect visiting your site to:

call you to make an appointment?
email you with more info about themselves, before setting up a consultation?
click on the "Buy Now" button on your landing page?
sign up to your membership site?
sign up to your free newsletter?
download a free report?
The clearer you are about what you want visitors to do, the easier it will be to entice them to do just that. If you don't tell your prospects what it is they need to do to progress this visit to something that is of benefit to them, they will click away, most likely to never be seen again...

4. Know how they look for you & your product - i.e. understand searcher intent

This one's not so obvious. Only very good paid search marketers know that keywords have different intent behind them. In other words, if a searcher on Google types in "running shoes" they are highly likely to be doing some preliminary research on what types of running shoes there are.

If the same searcher typed in "running shoes reviews" - then they are likely to be still researching - but they now know that they will buy - when they find the shoe that appeals to them.

A prospect with 'buying' intent, however, will likely type in "buy asics gel kayano running shoes" or "asics gel kayano stockists". You get the idea...

5. Start small - grow big later

This simply means that it is better to find the most suitable keyword phrases for your business, and run with that small group first. This will allow you to test the 'waters' and it will help you keep control of your budget.

Later on, when you know what works and what doesn't you can add other phrases to your heart's content.

6. Split test your ads

It is amazing how many people don't take advantage of this feature on Google AdWords. Split - testing will give you a constant way of improving on your ads. Your ad is the 'window' to your sales... so you cannot afford not to be constantly trying to make it better converting than before.

7. Use landing pages (LP)

Landing pages are powerful when using them correctly. They allow you complete control of what your visitor experiences. I always recommend that if you are only wanting one result from your prospect you should use LPs. But if your resources and knowledge are limited, then at least make sure you are leading the searcher to the most search-relevant page you have on your site.

8. Track everything

This says it all - even if you don't know how to, or with what - find someone that can help you. Outsource this job, or simply head over to Google and read all there is on their Analytics service. In some cases this is perfectly sufficient.

9. Listen to your stats

Once you have your tracking working, make sure you look at your stats to see the results. I recommend you look at them once a day in the beginning - depending on the size of your campaign, the amount of traffic your keywords are getting, and the amount of money you've budgeted to spend.

Once your campaign is working and making you profit, you can start looking at it less often, but at least once a week. Also make sure to optimize it regularly on the basis of your stats.

10. Learn consistently and constantly

Learn from your successes, your failures, your competitors' successes and their failures too... I have a document template that I use for all my campaigns called - Lessons Learned. It's only through experience that you will be able to progress and optimize any paid search campaign.

Well - hopefully you'll find the above list of PPC essentials very useful. Of course there are a lot of other important points to consider, like daily budget, competitive research, and return on investment requirements, but the above 10 will be able to start you off in a very strong way.

Bear in mind that whether you're managing your own PPC campaigns, or you're hiring a professional to do it - you can use the list above to make sure you're getting the best out of your campaigns.

About the Author

Anita Chaperon is an experienced Paid Search Marketing professional who's managed multi - national campaigns with large budgets for a variety of small and medium businesses. For more information on how to make paid search work for your business, visit OnTargt.com.


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

9 Hot Tips to Increase Site Conversions

By Gary Klingsheim (c) 2009

"Site conversion" is a very dry and unexciting way of saying "how to get more profíts from the same amount of website traffic." Isn't that a more upbeat way of expressing it? Who doesn't want to get more profíts from the same number of visitors?

Increasing your conversion rate is a straightforward, even dramatic way of positively impacting your bottom line. It really cannot be emphasized too much that any improvement at all in your conversion rate means additional revenue that is total profít.

Remember this fact when you are told that the way to "make more money" is to invest in more traffic-generating schemes (and dreams, at times). Before you start spending more money to generate additional traffic, you need to do as much as you can with the traffic you are already getting. If you keep the horse ahead of the cart in your planning, you will have an efficient, stable, measurable conversion rate from which you can extrapolate x amount of additional profit from y amount of new-traffic generation.

The following tips are not in any particular order (except for Number 1), and can be modified and reordered to suit your particular situation. Take ownership of the change and improvement, and make sure everyone involved understands the importance of maximizing every revenue source, beginning with the existing ones!

1: Before you can repair or improve something, you have to have a good way of measuring where you are, what you're doing, where you're going, etc. You can sign up for a free Google Analytics account and use other low- and no-cost tools to develop your "analytics" and "metrics" - essentially fancy words that tell you how you're doing with numbers.

2: Create landing pages that are both keyword- and campaign-specific. Try separating any related pay-per-click keywords into smaller and tighter groups, and then create the landing pages for each of those new subgroups. Conversions will almost certainly be better if keywords, advertising approaches and landing pages are thematically related and tightly integrated.

3: Test different headlines and copy writing. This might be the most effective way of quickly showing improvements. Therefore, you need to write compelling copy or find someone else who can do it for you. There is plenty of free advice about this (much of it worth every penny you pay for it), but the importance of copywriting as it affects site conversions cannot possibly be overstated. This is key.

4: It is very important to test your pricing, as it really does make a huge difference in conversions. If your goal is to maximize customer value, then the highest converting price may not actually be the optimal one. In other words, if you raise your price by 50% and only see a 10% reduction in conversions, you will more than compensate for the drop. Going the other direction, if you lower the price 15% and this doubles or triples your ratio, your gain compensates for your price reduction. Test your prices, and test them in both directions.

5: Website load time has become an oft-overlooked item in this age of "broadband everywhere." Load time is critically important in reducing your "bounce rate" on landing pages. There are various online services that will measure your load speed (websiteoptimization.com), and when you know what it is, you can reduce it by compressing images, removing redundant items, optimizing your style sheets (CSS) and HTML code, and so on. The referenced website will also give you advice on other ways to improve your site's load speed.

6: Clearly identify the sales path(s) and discard any points of resistance, or bottlenecks. Even if you have just a single product, there may be a number of different "paths" that lead to a sale. Perhaps you have a landing page to acquire visitor contact data, which then takes them to a sales page, thence to an order page, and so on. Check your metrics and analytics carefully and you should start seeing patterns in how your visitors navigate your site. If you can see when, where and how visitors are leaving the site, you can delete unnecessary steps, enhance the sales copy or the "call to action," insert a few testimonials, emphasize your warranty or something else to capture that business. Do everything you can to keep the sales process simple and straightforward. The less confusing it is, the less resistance visitors will display.

7: Let your praises come from others' lips. Sometimes talking about oneself can sound egotistical, and it has been clearly proven that third-party testimonials boost conversions. In marketing it is called "social proof" when you bring in statements and assessments from others to buttress your message. If you add testimonials - short blurbs, highlighted quotes, letters - to your various landing pages, sales pages and even shopping cart pages, you will almost invariably notice an improvement in your conversion rate.

8: You need to understand the mind of your market, and your customer's experience with your website. Place an order on the site yourself as you step into the mind of a first-time visitor. Identify the hang-ups, inefficiencies and confusing or missing components that hinder your conversions. In concert with step #6 above, you want to identify why you are not converting, so that you can make the necessary improvements, whatever they may be, to improve your ratio.

9: Some people believe passionately in the power of media on landing, sales and order pages to raise conversions considerably. Others are not convinced, and there is not much hard data from controlled studies to consult. You should consider testing this idea yourself. You should try pages both with and without automatic play engaged. The idea is to lower buyer resistance, and if media helps, all the better. Music, motion graphics and video do add life and personality to your website, but there is a "sweet spot" (balancing point) and the fact remains that different age and cultural groups respond differently to the media. You need to make changes here in the context of your site's demographics. You wouldn't put rock music on your page of ladies' perfumes, probably - unless you have a 20-something demographic and it's a signature fragrance from U2 or some other chart-topping band.

Aren't most of these lists called the "top 10" this or that? You can count this tip as a bonus, then: Keep track of everything you do! Nothing "goes without saying" anymore, so you are hereby reminded that all your hard work can go for naught if you do not keep good records of what changes you are making, when, where, why and how. Chart your progress, review it regularly and don't be afraid to make continuing refinements as you move along your strategic path.

Finally, as a "super bonus tip" - use some kind of sales accelerator, "offer intensifier" or other method to move people faster through the sales process. It could be a special "one time" or "limited time" offer, a limíted quantity offer or even a "special event" promotíon. Research what's going on at other sites in your industry and others, and stay abreast of what seems to be working. Add your creativity to the mix, tailor things to your company's situation and you should start seeing increased conversion rates in short order.

Good Stuff!!!

About The Author:

Moonrise Productions is a custom web design company specializing in custom web development and design. Whether you need web application development or social network design - contact us and we'll get it done right.


Check out: The Chronicles of Barack Obama, Credit Repair va, repair credit, f&i, Credit Repiar Blog, F&I Manager Blog

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to connect your Laptop/PC/Computer to your TV

This works!
Link to source article at Online Tech Tips:

How to connect your Laptop/PC/Computer to your TV

I’m writing this post on how to connect your PC or computer to a TV because last week I returned from a trip in India and wanted to show all of my pictures and videos to my family from my laptop onto our HDTV, but unfortunately I did not have the correct cords and so after fumbling around for 30 minutes trying to connect my computer to the TV, I had to tell everyone that they would have to wait till the next weekend! Pretty annoying considering the times we live in, it should be quite easy to connect the two together!

So here’s a quick walk-through of all the methods that I know (if you know any more, please comment) to connect a laptop or PC to your TV:

1. S-Video - This is probably the most common method out there currently because an S-Video cable is cheap as heck and just about every TV under the sun has a S-Video port. You’ll have to make sure you laptop is equipped with this port. Remember, there are two types of S-Video cables: 4-pin and 7-pin. Most laptops and PC’s are equipped with a 7-pin port, so if your TV only has a 4-pin S-Video port, then this method will not work.

2. VGA - If you have a HDTV, then you will be better off connecting using a VGA cable. It gives much better quality than S-Video and as with S-Video, the cable is very cheap. You usually won’t find a VGA port on regular TV’s though, so this option is if you have an HDTV.

3. DVI - DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface with “digital” being the key word there. The digital signal will give a higher quality picture than either S-Video or VGA. Of course, your computer will need to have a DVI connection and your TV will need to be an HDTV. This cord is definitely not cheap, it ranges anywhere from $40 to $80.

4. HDMI - Using HDMI will give you the best quality by far. No computers that I know of yet have HDMI ports, but you can get a DVI to HDMI cable to connect it to your HDTV. HDMI is compatible with DVI.

5. Scan Converter Box - This is the last method that I could think of and it involves using a scan converter box, which takes a VGA signal and converts it into S-Video or component video.

Here’s a graphic I created with some pictures of the various cables:

Remember to print this article for your records.

Helpful Comments and situations to help solve:

1. Peter Mule said:

tried using a vga cord connected to laptop and hdtv. tuned tv to pc mode but when laptop is switched on the screen just remains black as well as the tv screen..The only thing that works is that i can use the cursor on the laptop and it shows up on the hdtv but all remains black…what can i do..please,,,any suggestions….thank you

* You could try to do a few things for starters: go ahead and change the resolution on your laptop to something lower, maybe 800×600, sometimes that causes the problem. You can also change the color scheme to 24-bit if it’s set to 32-bit and see if that works.

Also, you said you are changing the TV to PC mode, but what about the laptop? Sometimes, you have to press FN (function key) and F8 (the CRT/LCD) key to have the signal sent out to the TV.

2. Hmz said:

Dude, the easiest and by far the best way I have seen is to set the advance timings on a pc just right and use a vga to scart cable (Maybe with audio of you don’t have the pc hooked up to an audio system of some sort). This is a nerdy approach but you get superb results for little money with stuff that’s standard on both the TV and PC. You can also get dvi to s-video or CVBS to make it happen.

One on my favorite ways is to just stream it to my TV via a computer that is hooked up via DVI. This way you can have a silent, efficient and small htcp that can stream over your wan.

3. Nick H said:

I have a Tevion 32″ LCD TV, my computer has 3 outputs, 1xVGA, 1xDVI, 1xS-Video. I bought a DVI-D cable (5 metres) and a DVI to HDMI Adaptor to connect the computer and the TV.

The video works fine but of course I cannot get any audio since the TV does not appear to have a audio input related to the HDMI video input. Is there any other work arounds to get audio to work in this case?

If there isn’t I will just get a DVI to VGA adaptor and a 5 metre VGA cable and connect that to my TV and use the 3.5mm “PC Audio In” to connect the audio. How much worse will the video look using VGA instead of DVI?

4. Mike said:

I hooked my computer to my TV using the s-video cable, then I configured my my video card, and now I can see my comp image on my TV screen.. However, what Im really trying to do, is go the other way. I want my TV screen image to appear in a video program on my computer so I can capture the footage with my CPU.. How do I get my computer to find the TV?

5. Michael said:

I was trying to hook my computer to my new HDTV, I was told to buy a DVI to HDMI cable, I went to the store and picked up a DVI-D to HDMI I connected it and I get an image but is not good at all, it has some kind of green stripes on the screen. Could it be becuase is a DVI-D? Does that have anything to do with it? Whats the difference bewteen DVI-D and DVI?
If anyone knows, I would aprreciate your help.

6. faith said:

I have a vga cable both male and attached it from my laptop to hdtv that has hdmi port, the cable fit the hdmi port but I don’t know what keys to turn from my laptop so I can watch watch the video from my laptop to hdtv. Where do I find the FN key it all shows f1 f2 f3 f4 etc. Can I use that vga cable to hdmi port? Please help.


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Pretty Face is Not Enough (When it Comes to Your Website)

By Ivana Katz (c) 2009

Imagine meeting someone new ... they have a beautiful face, lovely hair, stunning smile, drop dead gorgeous body and are dressed in designer clothes. Naturally you are attracted to their striking appearance, so you start talking to them. After a few minutes you realize this person has no personality, only talks about himself/herself and has no interest in finding out about you. Any attempt on your part to speak gets shut down and if you do manage to ask a question their answer is usually "Yes, but ... let's get back to me".

How long do you think you would stay and chat to this person? Do you think you would want to become friends? Probably not.

And the same goes for your website!

You can create the most stunning website, with flash animations, video or audio features, rotating logos etc but the truth is, if your website doesn't have any depth, no amount of "pretty" will get visitors to come back, let alone purchase anything!

Just as Dr Phil warns against spending your entire time planning a wedding (and spending thousands of dollars on it), instead of preparing for a lifelong marriage, many first time entrepreneurs become absorbed by the visual aspects of their website. They spend hours agonizing over colour schemes and designs (and then spend thousands of dollars having special effects added), but sadly don't give any priority or time to the content of their website. True.

Every month millions of new websites are being added to the internet and you are competing against all of them! Even if they are not in the same line of business as you are, they are competing with you for visitor attention.

And even if you do manage to get a visitor to your website, but fail to provide the necessary information, your potential customer will click away in seconds, not to be seen again!

As a new or prospective website owner, you are faced with three major issues, when it comes to having a successful website:

1. Driving traffic to your website
2. Converting visitors into paying customers
3. Getting customers to come back and purchase more

1. Driving traffic to your website

This is a broad subject and has been covered by an earlier article, entitled "30 ways to promote your business & website on a shoestring budget".

2. Converting visitors into paying customers

This is one of the areas in which most business owners fail. The main reasons are that they:

(a) Don't provide information that their customers are looking for. For example, if you are selling furniture and your website only features a "general" category of products being sold, but not specific items, their prices and measurements, the customer will go somewhere else. If someone is looking on the internet for a sofa, they need to know whether it will fít into their home, whether it is within their budget and how it will look. The customer wants to know the information there and then. They are not going to wait until they can speak to someone on the phone or even drive to the store to find out. They will find another supplier (even an overseas one) who does provide the information. So when creating your website, PLEASE PLEASE ensure that you supply as much information as possible about each product and service, including its price (or price ranges).

(b) Don't make it easy for their customers to find the information. It is important that your website is easy to navigate. This means placing your navigation bar at the top or left hand-side, as this is the first place majority of people look for. Contact details should be displayed not only on "Contact Us" page, but also at the bottom of each page.

(c) Don't prove their credibility. Sure many companies speak about themselves and how great their products are and why you should buy from them, but the reality is no-one really believes them. International Marketer & Author Darrell Berg-Smith (www.darrellberg-smith.com) says that you should "Forget selling; prove your expertise. Start to position yourself as the expert on your product or service. You don't do this by claiming to be the expert, or displaying your impressive CV. You do it instead by sharing your knowledge and giving your customers helpful, relevant information, without a sales gimmick and for free."

Another way to prove your credibility is by simply placing testimonials from happy customers on your website. If you don't have any, GET THEM NOW!

3. Getting visitors to come back and purchase more

In order for your customers to come back to your website, your first transaction with them must prove flawless. Your products/services need to be delivered exactly as stated on the website and be delivered on time (or sooner). In reality, you should under-promise and over-deliver. Provide your customer with bonuses, such as free information. If for example, you sell baby products, you can send your customers tips on how to settle their baby, a líst of child-friendly services in their area, advise on baby skin care etc. (fantastic advice)!

You should also include as much information as possible on your website - free resources, articles, reports, ebooks relating to your industry, service and products. You can easily source free information on the internet. This will ensure that your customers will keep coming back to your website, even if it is just to get information. The more they visit, the more you will stick in their mind as an expert and the next time they are ready to order your products/services, you will be their first choice.

Another way of staying in touch with your customers is by sending them a regular newsletter. This can be done, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You can do it manually if you don't initially have many subscribers, but as your subscriptions grow, you should consider using inexpensive mailing software such as GetResponse (www.getresponse.com), which will not only handle your mailing líst, but also allow you to easily send out newsletters.

Remember once you've created your website, the work doesn't stop there. You need to keep updating the content to keep your customers and search engines happy. Your marketing also needs to continue. There is no point in spending thousands of dollars on creating a beautiful looking website if no-one is going to visit it or worse still, refuse to buy products/services.

About The Author

Ivana Katz of Websites 4 Small Business makes it easy for you to get your business on the Net. If you're looking for a professional and affordable website designer, visit www.web4business.com.au and download a free plan for your website.

From Ivana: Hi Robert Thank you for your kind words. Of course you are welcome to publish my article. There are other articles I've written at: http://www.web4business.com.au/Articles.htm



Remember to print this article for your records.

Friday, January 23, 2009

5 Steps to Newsletter Mastery

This is the best advice I have read on designing effective newsletters. This fantastic advice came from Entireweb.

What is good email design? And how can you hone it to heighten the payoff of your email marketing investment over time?

Like any ambitious endeavor, success favors preparation. In this article is best practices for optimal email newsletter design and how, with careful cultivation, you can plant the seeds that will yield a bounty later. As you will discover, launching successful newsletters is not difficult--it simply involves a hearty combination of knowing your goals, drafting a plan and executing with precision. Staying committed to each is essential.

Mastery Step #1: Define Your Purpose

Your email marketing program--and each newsletter within it--deserves a well-thought-out plan. It's essential to determine what goals you want to accomplish and how they align with your department's or your company's overall communications strategy. The idea is to send emails that convey context, reinforce company "voice," and build your brand by creating a positive user experience. Draft a rock-solid email messaging plan, listing yours goals and the content and design features that will support them. Ensure every element--imagery, copy, palette, tone--supports your brand and communicates consistency across campaigns.

Mastery Step #2: Know Your Audience

Always remember: Your audience is in cahoots with their own interests. That means, no matter what your plans are, if your newsletter doesn't speak to, reach, or intrigue your audience, then you're not going to see the response you want. Since you're also marketing to current or potential customers, it's imperative to understand what they want to see and how they want to see it.

Take into account the following demographic considerations and plan accordingly:

- Is your list comprised of B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer)?

- Does your list skew to teens, middle-aged or elderly individuals?

- Is it predominantly female or male? Age, generation and gender are big influencers in design. Vary font size, message relevancy, tone of voice, and color themes based on whose reading and why.

- How well do recipients know you and your company? If you're emailing to prospects, delineate clear and relevant benefits in the subject line to deter spam alerts. If your list already knows you, personalize the message by including your name in the "from" line and put the recipient's name in the body.

A few quick tips on keeping the audience front and center:

- Execute "precision marketing:" create newsletter campaigns based on demographic information (age, sex, income, geography, buying habits)

- Place the content most relevant to your target demographic above the fold.

- Speak to your audience on the level they prefer, talk up not down to young adults, be respectful yet upbeat and friendly to seniors.

- Create visual and content templates unique to each demographic group.

Mastery Step #3: Crystallize Your Message

To win the hearts of customers, you need a meaningful message--well told and well presented. To get there in a newsletter, it's essential to define your content's purpose. Do you mean to build customer loyalty, start a conversation, sell a product, offer a discount, or ask for opinions?

Perhaps "all of the above" sounds good, but be warned: like any message, a newsletter saturated by multiple themes and intentions loses steam fast. Spare your readers the burden of too many links, options, and themes. If you don't, they'll likely abandon the search and leave. If your goal is to sell more, try saying less. Be precise. Showcase your products, offer incentives, and present obvious and enticing links. Save the rest for another round.

Map out your newsletter with clear goals in mind--and don't overwhelm readers with too many or unrelated messages.

Remember these quick tips:

- One objective is best for all emails.

- If you have multiple objectives, break it up into manageable sections or send several emails over time.

For example, of the following objectives, choose two or three per campaign:

- Build customer interaction/brand awareness

- Drive customers to your Web site

- Sell your products or services

- Promote events or news

- Recruit brand champions to spread your message

- Communicate your unique selling position and cultivate customer interest

- Build or introduce new brand attributes: color, logos, messaging and tone

- Create hype and fuel social networking

Email marketing is essentially a speed game, word economy is a must. Don't take time getting to the point: say it now, fast, and clearly. Remember that your newsletter is about prompting readers to click to your site. Communicate enough benefit, briefly coined, so readers will want learn more.

Make calls-to-action stand out with unique symbols, arrows, or font and color choices. Pick a style and stick with it--if you use a red triangle to denote section links, then always use them. This consistent effect trains your audience to quickly identify and to respond to links within the message.

Mastery Step #4: Carefully Chunk Content

Structure, design, nuance and message blend to create the force--powerful or weak--behind any communication. How these aspects coalesce in your newsletter content can affect your brand image, sales goals, customer relationships, and future business demand.

As many big-name e-marketers know, achieving email newsletter success requires shapely, succinct, engaging and easy-to-follow content. Once you master the form of these design strategies, over time your newsletter's effectiveness will rise to the occasion.

For starters, a carefully chunked page--that is, a page broken into bite-sized pieces served under clear, informative headings--creates a palatable design tempting to even the pickiest reader. Content chunking is cousin to several essential design tactics. For example, avoid the formidable "wall of text;" present brief, quick-read paragraphs that prompt a "click" rather than teach a lesson; and buffer sections with plenty of white space and complimentary, appropriate imagery.

Akin to content chunks is the "6-second rule." Keeping this in mind will shape everything you do in your newsletter design and campaign, from subject line, to byline to calls to action. The gist is this: if your reader doesn't get it in six seconds or less, then they're gone. Do not collect $200. Do not pass go. They couldn't care less. That's because the way to your readers' hearts is through direct, clear, scannable content that piques their interest and offers quick benefits. How you convey that in the speed game of email marketing is with carefully and concisely structured pages.

Here are a few tips to assist you with 6-second rule mastery:

- Use headings to communicate the essential messages on the page.

- Segment content to make the page "scannable".

- Offer obvious and enticing links to your site or promotional page.

- Restrict paragraphs to three lines or less.

- Break key points into bullets rather than paragraphs.

- Include title, byline, and call-to-action in each paragraph and bulleted list area.

- If you have multiple objectives, chunk each one into bite size nuggets.

Mastery Step #5: Send Multi-Message Campaigns

We've covered the importance of limiting each newsletter to just one or two clear objectives. Now, what about big, complicated messages that still need to get out?

Once you outline your campaign's successive messaging goals, list the topics for each email. Then you can run it as an ongoing conversation with your audience on a theme you make familiar by stretching it across days, weeks, or months. *** Always remember, the ultimate goal is to get them to your site.

Here are a few tips for multi-message success:

- Stay nimble and allow your Web site to do heavy lifting.

- In each successive email, sprinkle intrigue elements--ask question, offer tidbits, lay breadcrumbs--to get them to your site.

- Use teasers in each email about what's coming next week, month, etc.

- Create reflective content on your site to pair with each message.

- Maintain a consistent theme throughout the entire campaign, in your newsletter and on your Web site.

- Suggest a timely, limited offer to create extra incentive to buy, click or return.

- Plan multi-message campaigns to coincide with larger, yearly marketing strategies.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Video Search Engine Optimisation (VSEO) - tips and strategies

(VSEO) - Video Search Engine Optimisation

by Caroline Rodgers

The use of video’s to promote your online content is becoming more and more important, and prevalent, in the expanding world of search engine optimisation.

We should be seeing a big boost in VSEO (Video Search Engine Optimisation) in 2009.

With the growth of video portals such as You Tube (www.youtube.com) and multi-submission sites such as Tube Mogul (www.tubemogul.com), it has never been easier to get your videos on the web. So why should you try and go down the root of selling VSEO to your customers? What is its selling power? Is there more to it that popping your video up on You Tube and hoping for the best? Or do you need to provide your customer with a full blown media centre?

Why use Video SEO?

1. Video on independent websites seem to be quickly and heavily indexed and ranked by the major search engines.

2. Including videos adds additional ways to optimise for your keywords and phrases. By adding content relevant to your keywords and phrases, combined with the related videos, will add weight to your site and its content.

3. The video content can be duplicated on 3rd party website such as you tube without any duplicate content penalties.

4. Allows for more text and pages to optimise your keywords and phrases around. Be sure to surround videos with relevant on-page content.

5. Embedding videos in your site pages is a great way to increase the stickiness factor of your pages, which can increase both traffic and search rankings for a specific page. Google and most search engines use a variety of factors to determine the ranking importance a specific page online, one of which is average visitor session length on a page.

* Visitor length on a page can be increased by embedding a video. These longer site visits may be interpreted by Google that the page has increased value and in turn may be given a bump that translates into higher search engine rankings.

6. Choosing a video that is themed to your content and informative can help with the stickiness factor – you need to give the search engines something to crawl. Adding an irrelevant video for the sake of adding a video will just confuse your visitors.

7. Videos help in adding new, fresh and dynamic content to the site.

8. It is important get your video content found by the search engines. This can be achieved through the use of sitemaps, RSS and MRSS (Media RSS) feeds.

Google has introduced Video Sitemaps that will index the video content. If video files are named correctly this is valuable to the search engines. Click here to see Google tips on creating and adding a video sitemap: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/topic.py?topic=10079

9. Videos are now listed in the search engine results pages adding valuable links and alternative sources to your brand name and web site.

Tips for implementing Video SEO

A) File Names - Give the video file a catchy and relevant name that is related to your keyword or phrase. Once you have uploaded your video sitemap there is added opportunity for these keywords and phrases to be found and indexed by the search engines.

B) Meta Data - Add meta data to your video files. Again, use relevant meta data, like you would when you are carrying out other Search engine optimisation campaigns.

C) Transcripts - Transcripts of the video will add credible content to the page and give the spiders relevant information to crawl. The transcript should make reference to keywords, relevant content and your brand.

D) Outbound Linking - If you add video content to other sites such as You Tube, make sure that you avail of their ability to link back to your own site.

E) Video Length - Add shorter videos to keep your audience interested. If your video is quite lengthy, consider breaking it down into smaller chunks. This will also give more quality video content to optimise.

F) Branding – Have your branding displayed in your video to enhance your brand awareness.

G) Inbound Linking – link your videos to important keywords throughout your site to enhance their value.

H) Rating – allow users / visitors to rate your video

What can you provide to your customer to boost your sales and in turn boost their rankings?

The first step is getting your client to see the value in undertaking Video Search Engine Optimisation.

Using the information supplied in this document you should be able to present a fairly strong case to your client.

You will also need to provide them with a viable strategy that will get their rankings up. For a simple solution, you can offer to add content to video sites, implementing the tips outlined above.

Another option is to provide them with a video library on their site that will have separate pages for the individual videos. This will allow you to add valuable content and meta data, plus the ability to link to these pages from within your site.

An excellent article by Caroline Rodgers,Biznet IIS. Caroline Rodgers, SEO Executive, Biznet IIS.


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