c:\Users\venkpi\Downloads\me.html

"http://vedicastrology-prognosis.blogspot.com/" "https://gre-vocabulary-list.blogspot.com/" "https://sitarampv.blogspot.com/" "https://ramaffiliate.blogspot.com/" "https://algorithms-design.blogspot.com/" "https://swargadhaamam.blogspot.com/" "https://springframe.blogspot.com/" "https://sunset-rockln.blogspot.com/" "https://ram-seo.blogspot.com/" "https://healthybodytipsforall.blogspot.com/" "https://adsense-revenue-generation-techniques.blogspot.com/" "https://happygruhini.blogspot.com/"

Wed_Feb_13_18:00:08_PST_2019

99 expect people to type in the browser to find your site? If you were looking for your product, what would you type? What types of problems does your product or service solve? Those answers are likely good keyword phrases. Keyword Length A longer search phrase is typically associated with better targeting and increased consumer desire. Some people say shorter keyword searchers are shoppers and longer keyword searchers are buyers. As you add various relevant descriptive copy to pages, you are more likely to appear in search results similar to your keywords that do not exactly match your more generic root-term keywords. Most good keyword phrases are generally two to five words. Keyword Value Pyramid One of the most fatal flaws of many SEO campaigns is that people think they need to rank well for one term or a few generic terms. Generic terms may occasionally convert, but most strong-converting search terms are specific. If you read SEO forums you often hear many posts about something like a San Diego real estate agent no longer ranking for a generic term such as real estate. Since the term is too generic for most of his target market (and his service would not be fitting for most people searching for that term), it makes sense that search engines would not want to show his site in those search results. As search continues to evolve, it will get better at filtering out untargeted or inappropriate sites. Targeting generic terms outside of your area means that you need to use aggressive techniques to try to rank. There are several problems that can go along with being too aggressive: • Targeting exceptionally generic terms may not add much value, since the leads are not strongly qualified. Paying extra to rank for more generic terms may not be a cost that is justified unless you can resell those leads at a profit. • Being exceptionally aggressive raises your risk profile and makes your site more likely to fluctuate in rankings when new search algorithms are rolled out. • Some of the best value is at the bottom of the keyword pyramid. If you spend too much time focused too broadly on the top you may miss some of the exceptional value on the bottom.

Wed_Feb_13_17:00:07_PST_2019

98 the words you are already ranking for than it is to rank for entirely different phrases. Learning what types of sites reference you and why they chose to reference you helps you learn how to create marketing ideas that are more likely to spread. If you track your growth and what has been working well for you then it makes it easy to keep pushing things that have worked well for you in the past and focus less on things that provide little to no return. Keywords What are Keywords? Keywords are phrases under which you would want your website to be found in search engines. Keywords are typically two-to-five-word phrases you expect people to search for to find your website. Oftentimes, corporate climates force people to refer to things using special phrases. Keywords are not about what you call your stuff. Keywords are what Joe average surfer (or your prospective site visitors) may type in a search box. How do You Learn Best? Some people learn better from video than from reading text. If you like video, you may prefer to look at the Dan Thies keyword research video he mentions near the end of his post on this page: http://www.seoresearchlabs.com/blog/2005/10/seo-controlling-entry-pages.html Emarketingperformance also offers a free quality 22 page PDF about keyword research. http://www.emarketingperformance.com/download/Keyword%20Research.pdf Focusing a Keyword When people tell you to target the word free, they are out of their minds. That single word is too general and has too much competition. I just did a search on Yahoo! for free and it returned 749,000,000 results. That is over 10% of the web trying to use free as a sales pitch. I am not saying that free should not be on your page; it is a compelling offer on many of mine. I am saying that keywords should define the product or idea. Free alone just does not get this done. Keyword Phrases If free isn't a keyword, then what is? Keywords are typically two-to-five-word phrases you expect people to search for to find your website. What would you Single word keywords are usually not well-targeted and are hard to rank for. Longer keywords are easier to rank well for and typically have better conversion rates.

Wed_Feb_13_16:00:07_PST_2019

97 In the real world, you would never see people do something like this, but many people think it is fine on the web. On the web there are even more alternatives to your business than in the real world. Because of this, you need to focus on the consumer that much more. It is fine to have many unique ideas and revenue streams, but each site should cover its own specific niche. If you cross industries within your site, you weaken your brand and may offend many people. What are the odds that someone is looking for SEO services while shopping for hemp? Even within the specific niche of SEO, I can have a site for linking, one for keyword research, one for pay-per-click…the list goes on. Most websites fail because they fail to properly focus, not because they are too focused. Analytics Create a Baseline Many web hosts maintain free server logs which show you what pages were most frequently requested and what keywords people searched for to find them or what pages site visitors came from. In addition to web hosts, many analytics products like Google Analytics, Clicktracks, and HaveAMint.com are available for reasonable prices. If you run a commercial site you can also use Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Microsoft AdCenter to buy traffic for your site. If you track what keywords convert that will help you know what types of keywords you should be focusing on with your organic SEO campaign. Rank Checkers There are a number of free rank checkers and commercial rank checkers applicatations available (like Agent Web Ranking and Advanced Web Ranking) that check your rankings for keywords in major search engines. It is easy to get lost worrying about shifts in rankings, but what matters more is if your traffic streams are growing as your site matures and you market it. Some of the major search engines like Google and Microsoft are sharing data with webmasters about what keywords their sites rank for and what keywords send traffic to their sites. You can sign up for Google Webmaster Central for a look at this type of data. Building From Your Strengths Seeing what you already rank for is useful because it helps you understand the mindset of consumers finding your site. It is easier to rank for keywords related to

Wed_Feb_13_15:00:07_PST_2019

96 Writing for Search Engines "Presumably man's spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems." - from As We May Think by Vannevar Bush Finally…What was all that other junk? What do the spiders want to see? What are the best words to use? Where do I place them? Don't worry, the above chapters are not a complete wash. The more you learn about the web, the more you will learn how ideas overlap. Good usability is usually equal to good search engine optimization. Some people stress search engine optimization so much that they forget about their visitors' needs. SEO is just one part of the site-building puzzle. Ultimately, it is your social impact or cash in the bank that is a measure of success, not where you rank for some random search query. In the Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell shows how small changes can bear amazing results. If you can learn to include some of those little extras that make your site better than your competition's, site, you will find that others will do your marketing for you. That is why I think it is more important to understand the concepts of the web and the goals of search engines versus just learning the flavor- of-the-moment optimization. If everything else is good, then you do not need to worry as much about optimization. Plus, knowing the above in addition to doing search engine optimization will allow you to draw lots of visitors and have a higher conversion rate. On the web, when you lose a customer, it is usually forever. The last thing you want to do is draw prospective customers into a minefield they are sure to regret. Each and every page is a chance to capture or lose customers. Focusing a Site & Combining Site Ideas One time, a person contacted me asking for a bit of help with their site. They wanted me to submit their site to directories. When I looked at their site I saw it sold handmade hemp jewelry and SEO services. Chapter 4

Wed_Feb_13_14:00:07_PST_2019

95 Sample SSI website. Search Marketing Info (http://www.search-marketing.info/) Seth Godin: blog by one of the more creative marketers on the web (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) Tragedy of the Commons (http://dieoff.org/page95.htm) W3C CSS Guidance (http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/) Weblogs Inc.: large blog network (http://www.weblogsinc.com) Why Aggregation & Context and Not (Necessarily) Content are King in Entertainment (http://www.bearstearns.com/bscportal/research/analysts/wang/112 706/112706.pdf) Why I think using blogs is a great idea for many websites (http://www.search- marketing.info/newsletter/articles/articles.htm#blogs) Write Articles, Not Blog Postings (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/articles-not-blogs.html) XHTMLized – creates websites from Photoshop templates (http://www.xhtmlized.com/) Yahoo! Publisher Network: Yahoo!'s version of AdSense (http://publisher.yahoo.com/) Some Notes ● Search for your topic. Find the #1 result on your favorite search engine. If you know more than them, you will eventually replace them. If not, consider further focus of your topic or consider buying books and reading websites to better learn about your topic. Eventually you will be #1. ● Decide what type of editor would be logical to use for your site. I strongly encourage the use of blog software. ● If you believe you are weak in the skills of copywriting and usability engineering, buy a book that covers the topic in which you are weak. ● List three ways you can generate revenue from your site without making it look like the sole purpose of the site. ● If your site is an e-commerce site, list three reasons or features that would make customers (and competitors) talk about your site.

Wed_Feb_13_13:00:08_PST_2019

94 CSS @ W3 Schools (http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp) CSS House: online demonstration showing how powerful CSS is (http://www.designdetector.com/tips/3DBorderDemo2.html) CSS Zen Garden (http://www.csszengarden.com) Dynamic text replacement article: how to replace images with text (http://www.alistapart.com/articles/dynatext/) GapingVoid: free weblog talking about the concept of "smarter conversations" (http://www.gapingvoid.com/) Google AdSense (http://www.google.com/adsense) Google Co-op: Google's vertical social search product (http://www.google.com/coop/) GrokDotCom: conversion marketing tips (http://www.grokdotcom.com/) JenSense: contextual advertising blog (http://www.jensense.com) Macromedia Flash SDK (http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/download/search_engi ne/ search_engine_faq.html) OSWD: free website designs (http://www.oswd.org/) Other affiliate programs: my list of top affiliate directories (http://www.search-marketing.info/business/affiliate-programs.htm) PayPal: nearly universal payment processor (http://www.paypal.com) Politics and the English Language (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm) PSD 2 HTML – creates websites from Photoshop templates (http://www.psd2html.com/) Quality Content is Conceptually Unique (http://www.sugarrae.com/permalink/when-unique-content-is-not- unique/) Rob Frankel: one of the best branding experts in the world (http://www.robfrankel.com/)

Wed_Feb_13_12:00:07_PST_2019

93 Macromedia Dreamweaver: top-of-the-line web page editor (http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=drea mweaver) Movable Type: my second favorite blog software. Seobook.com uses MT. (http://www.movabletype.org) Site Grinder – creates websites from Photoshop templates (http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/) SWFObject: XHTML-friendly Flash detection (http://blog.deconcept.com/swfobject/) TypePad: Movable Type's web-based blog software (http://www.typepad.com/) WordPress: my favorite blog software (http://wordpress.org/) Websites AdSense optimization tips (http://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page=tips.h tml) Affiliates Alert: tracks new ClickBank products for sale (http://www.affiliatesalert.com/) Amazon Associate Program (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/ associates/join/associates.html) Apache SSI Tutorial (http://httpd.apache.org/docs/howto/ssi.html) Beyond Algorithms: A Librarian's Guide to Finding Web Sites You Can Trust (http://www.google.com/librariancenter/articles/0601_02.html) CafePress: sells t-shirts, clothing, and other small material, which is good for sites with a cult following (http://www.cafepress.com/) Chartreuse: The Correct Way To Build A Niche Website (http://chartreuse.wordpress.com/2006/02/01/the-correct-way-to- build-a-niche-website/) ClickBank: affiliate program and payment processor for electronic goods and services (http://www.clickbank.com) Comprehensive Guide to .htaccess (http://www.wsabstract.com/howto/htaccess.shtml)

Wed_Feb_13_11:00:07_PST_2019

92 Krause, Kim. Usability Checklist. The Usability Effect. 26 December 2006. (http://www.usabilityeffect.com/ringbell.html) Krug, Steve. Don't Make Me Think. New Riders Press, 2002. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0789723107/) Locke, Christopher, et. al. The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0738204315/) (Also available online for free at http://www.cluetrain.com/book/index.html) Nielsen, Jakob. Designing Web Usability. Peachpit Press, 1999. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/156205810X/) ---. UseIt Alertbox. Useit.com. 26 December 2006. (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/) Usborne, Nick. Net Words. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071380396/) Wall, Aaron. What is Quality Content? Blog.v7n.com. 26 December 2006. (http://www.v7n.com/quality-content.php) Zeldman, Jeffrey. Taking Your Talent to the Web: Making the Transition from Graphic Design to Web Design. Indianapolis, IN: Waite Group Press, 2001. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/- /0735710732/104- 7658529-2666358) Software AAA Logo: logo design software (http://www.aaa-logo.com/) Adobe Photoshop (Image software) (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/main.html) Atomz: free site-level search (http://www.atomz.com) Blogger: 100% free, easy to use blog software (http://www.blogger.com) FreeFind: free site-level search (http://www.freefind.com) The Logo Company (http://thelogocompany.net)

Wed_Feb_13_10:00:07_PST_2019

91 Golden Rules of Blogging • Follow your passions • Always cite sources with an HTML link • Don't sit on a great story if you believe it is a great idea • When in doubt, it is better to be opinionated than boring Popular Blogs To find blogs in your field you can • search Google for your topic + blog • search for recent events in your field on Technorati or Google Blogsearch • search for feeds on Google reader and see how many subscribers top channels have • look at the Technorati 100 most popular blogs list or the Bloglines 1,000 most popular blogs list Interactive Elements Literature Berman, Saul J., Battino, Bill, Shipnuck, Louisa, and Neus, Andreas. The End of Advertising as We Know It. 2007. (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22570.wss) Bly, Robert W. The Online Copywriter's Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0658020994/) Caples, John, and Fred Hahn.. Tested Advertising Methods. Prentice Hall, 1998. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130957011/) Clark, Brian. Teaching Sells (http://teachingsells.com/report.html) Eisenberg, Bryan, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa T. Davis. Persuasive Online Copywriting. Wizard Academy Press, 2002. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0971476993/) Godin, Seth. The Big Red Fez. New York: Free Press, 2002. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743227905/)

Wed_Feb_13_09:00:07_PST_2019

90 • Don't be afraid of controvercy. If you gain mindshare and authority some envious parties will hate you for it. • Add enough value to ideas that people talk about you when referencing them • Encouraging contribution from others and highlighting their contributions builds a community effect to your site Post Regularly People appreciate regularity. Some bloggers ask for guest bloggers while they go on vacation, while others pre-write draft posts that they publish periodically when news is slow. If you are short on ideas to write about then participate in your community and/or solicit feedback and questions until you find good topics to write about. Wait to Monetize It is hard to win mindshare in competitive markets with a new site, especially if you run too many ads on your site. If you place AdSense or other ads above your content on a brand new blog people are going to be less trusting of your blog. Blogs are often hard to monetize using contextual ads, but tend to have great revenue potential if you sell branded ads, create your own products, or use your blog to create opportunities for indirect revenue. Brian Clark released a great report to launch his Teaching Sells subscription site. His thesis was that the web is getting too saturated to profit from AdSense, and that it was more profitable to create your own content to sell. Even if you plan on giving away your content, if you create content that is good enough to sell that will help you quickly gain attention and mindshare. Push Marketing You have to do a bit of push marketing to get a new website noticed in competitive markets. When you launch a new blog you should: • Get involved in your topical community - online and offline if possible. • Submit your blog to some of the popular general directories and blog directories. • Consider buying targeted AdWords or AdSense ads to drive traffic to your site. Also look at BlogAds if they are popular in your space. • Guest author for other trusted blogs in your industry.

Wed_Feb_13_08:00:06_PST_2019

9 In the end, ask yourself -- Would people want to link to your site without you asking them to? If not, what creative or original ideas can you add to your site to make people want to link to it? Picking a Domain Name Finding the right domain name can be a tricky business, and indeed, can mean the difference between success and failure in the online marketplace. As such, it is important to consider the following before choosing a domain name: • FOR NEW SITES: Depending on your branding angle, pick a domain name that is either highly brandable (meaning that it can be easily and positively associated with your product or service) or one that has your primary keywords in it. Use a short and memorable domain name. It is fine if it does not have your keywords in it if it is memorable. For serious, long-term websites, a memorable domain name will be one of the key ingredients to success. • If your domain name exactly matches your keywords Google places a relevancy bonus on your site. (ex: SeoBook.com ranks easily for both seobook and seo book). • If you are going to be working in competitive fields, or if you will have large sites, you may want to use a different domain for each different language you are targeting. Examples of domain names I own: BlackHatSEO.com, SEOBook.com, FattyWeightLoss.com, and Threadwatch.org Domain Registration & Hosting Once you have selected a domain name, you must make sure that it is available, and then register it. After your domain name has been registered, you must find a reliable host for your website. • Register your domain with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) accredited registrar. I use GoDaddy. • Register as a .com if possible, if you have a global market. If you cannot get a .com, but a great .net or .org is still available, it might be worth it to register one of those instead of registering a longer (and less memorable) .com domain. • If you are targeting a specific country or language, register a domain name in that country's top-level domain designation (e.g., buy a co.uk website for a U.K.-targeted site). Also buy the .com version of your domain name and point it at your country-specific location. • Oftentimes certain directories and search engines will either be biased toward local sites will or only let local sites in the index. "Local" may mean ending with a local domain and/or being hosted on a server in that country. • Host your site with a reliable host. I recommend DreamHost or Pair.com. • For dynamic sites, make sure your host supports the technology you will be using (such as ASP or PHP) before spending money.

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89 • are aesthetically appealing with a unique site design • make important content, like top posts and about us pages, easy to find • rely on simple words and short sentences, and are thus easy to read and understand • are well structured – with headings, subheadings, pictures, videos, and bulleted lists to help break up the content Filter & Offer High Content Quality Tools such as Google Reader, iGoogle, Google Alerts, and custom RSS news feeds make it easy to subscribe to and read a lot of information. If you read 50 different websites and only cover the best parts you save other people the time it took you to read 50 different websites. Some of the better bloggers also write drafts, save them, and finish them a few days later. If you are selling content off your blog it may make sense to post less frequently but only publish your best content. That makes your time appear more valuable, and makes your content quality better than a person who feels they have to write about everything. Jakob Nielson's Write Articles, Not Blog Postings offers additional background on filtering and content quality. Social Interaction Many of the top channels got to be top channels by adding original content and value to their marketplace. Others may have got there by stroking the egos of key players in their market. Your content quality does not matter until you get people to consume it. So here are a few tips to help you get noticed • Quote and link to popular bloggers, and add value to the conversion • Leave valuable useful comments on popular related blogs • Write articles for other popular blogs • Create community based ideas and ask for feedback or involvement of community members before launching it • Actively solicit comments and reply to them • Network offline at industry trade shows, conferences, and community gatherings

Wed_Feb_13_06:00:07_PST_2019

88 one of the easiest ways to do it is to BE THE MEDIA. To summarize the key message from their report: The "voice" delivering a message, along with its perceived authenticity, will become as powerful perhaps as the message or offer. Due to a rapidly increasing number of competing channels, each publisher is vying for a smaller piece of the pie. As people like you and me spread stories of blogging success, it gets harder to jump into the blogging game late. There are many strategies you can use to accumulate attention against more established players. Passion If you are passionate about a topic it shows. People who share that passion do not subscribe to your blog, they subscribe to that passion. And they also share it with others. Bias Each of us is brilliant and highly flawed. We are all human. Communities are built around commonly shared ideas and shared points of personal identity. We are more likely to listen to and believe those who tell us things confirming our worldviews than people who challenge them. Fox News is successful because it turned news into biased entertainment. Many of the most popular blogs are popular because they are biased and entertaining. It is easy to build a community around negativity, but it is hard to profit from that type of community. People looking to spend money are more interested in stories of hope and success. Niche With there already being 1,000's of SEO blogs, I would not start a new blog focused on SEO in 2008. The only way I would allow myself to do that is if I was focused on SEO for a specific vertical like real estate or if I was focusing on a subset of SEO like link building. From a publishing standpoint, owning an idea is much more valuable than being a #57 player in a larger market. The top site in any niche gets more media exposure, more self reinforcing exposure, and can charge more for ads than a site which is viewed as an also ran. Formatting We thin slice the information we see and make quick judgement calls. We are more likely to trust and subscribe to sites that:

Wed_Feb_13_05:00:07_PST_2019

87 $500) is if you are trying to appeal to people who are trying to buy something for its extravagance. Value & Price Disconnect If you look on the Amazon.com marketplace, sometimes a brand new hardcover version of a book will sell for far less than a used copy of the paperback version. I find it interesting in a marketplace of that size that there would be large price disconnects with items so close to one another. In any market there will be price disconnects, many of which will make no logical sense. If your long-term business model is being the cheapest, then you may want to refocus on brand-building or other aspects, or your business model may be doomed from the start. Blogging Why is Blogging Such an Effective SEO Strategy? Over time popular bloggers build up hundreds or thousands of subscribers. These subscribers are people interested in the field or topics that blogger writes about. Each time those bloggers write a new post those readers get notified of the new content in their RSS readers. Imagine that… • everytime you had an idea to share, that 5,000 people who trust your opinions see it. • most of those 5,000 also write blogs in your field or related fields. • some of those bloggers frequently mention your site • some of those bloggers also have thousands of subscribers. Blogs are all about spreading ideas (via in content links) and accumulating attention. Where people go search engines follow. If many people link to your blog posts that also boosts your search engine rankings for the other parts of your site. If you write a frequently updated blog the media is more likely to believe you are a topical expert than if you are just a merchant selling goods in your industry. Attention IBM gave away a free report called the End of Advertising, which talks about how infinite user choice is making us less willing to accept selfish and interruption driven marketing. Which means that going forward if you want to spread an idea

Wed_Feb_13_04:00:07_PST_2019

86 Other items fit the web perfectly. For example, a topic people would be ashamed or embarrassed about is a likely candidate to write an e-book about. E-books about genital warts or beating a DUI ticket are likely to fit the web well because many people would be embarrassed to buy those types of items in person. If you had a problem and your book, software, product, or idea helps others solve the same problem, you can use yourself as an example. In a sense, you are selling yourself and your own experiences. Authentic-sounding voices and stories in first person sound more authentic. Testimonials are important if you are in saturated markets like dating or weight loss. What emotions will people have when searching for your ideas? How can you connect with their desires or sense of empathy? Researching Demand for a Product Alex Mandossian created a concept he calls the "ask database." For niche ideas you can market an e-book or product before you complete it. Using AdWords, you may be able to find targeted leads for a nickel. For example, you can send people to a page telling them you are just about done writing an e-book on a topic. Tell them you are looking to add a little more information. Ask them what they feel is important. Offer them the e-book free in exchange for their e-mail address and feedback. Over time, you will collect the most important topics the e-book should cover and you can pay a copywriter to write those topics. Instead of paying for a complex customer feedback database, you can have feedback sent to a Gmail account, which you can later search through. You can also use a similar technique to price a new e-book. Tell people they qualify as a pre-reader and ask them what they would be willing to pay for the information. Some small percentage of people will type in 20 cents or , but those would be the same people who are not interested, or who would immediately want to return your product just to try to get it free. Ignoring those numbers, you can then look at the remaining prices people offered and determine a good price from there. If your product does not cost you much for each incremental sale, then you are not out much finding exactly what people would want and the exact price they are willing to pay for it. Price Points I do not sell a lot of varied products, but I read about and listen to many marketers. Many people believe that ending a price on the number seven is a good thing because many consumers are taught that the number seven is good due to religion, gaming, and other ideas. If your price is going to be somewhat cheap, you can usually end the price in $9.95 without seeing a huge drop in sales. If you are going close to 00 or over, then you may also want to try ending the price with a 7. Usually the only time to end a price on round numbers (like $250 or

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85 I have sold more copies of this e-book than the average physical book sells. If my business model revolved around a physical book, the slim margins would mean I could not afford to compete in the pay-per-click market, and affiliate marketers would market inferior products to my book because they would get paid a higher commission. Do not let others fool you into thinking that you need their help or that you need to be a part of their network to succeed. A few years ago, I knew nothing about the web or marketing; I was kicked out of the military for using drugs; I had few social connections; and I had to backdate a credit card to have money to live on. Now, money is of no concern to me. To be honest, I could probably make at least five times as much as I do just by writing smaller and quicker e-books on a wide variety of topics and marketing them via strong sales copy and pay-per-click ads. If you look through the ClickBank marketplace, you will see there are thousands of Internet marketers making far more money than I do by doing just that—creating dozens of similar information products in various markets. Business Model & Visitor Value Some people are good at sales and know how to create more value out of their site visitors. When you learn how to increase your visitor value by increasing the amount they are willing to buy or how often they convert, you allow yourself to receive far greater exposure. For example, at $40 I had maybe 20 affiliates. After I doubled the price of my e-book, I could afford to pay a high enough commission to interest more good affiliates. Once you know the value of an average site visitor, then you know how much you can afford to spend on leads, which in turn helps you feel comfortable marketing more aggressively. Don't try to compete directly against more profitable business models (for example, link brokers) in hyper-saturated, pay-per-click markets. Capturing Leads versus Sales When selling expensive items (over 00), many marketers prefer to get the prospect's primary e-mail address before trying to sell the item. Direct response marketing usually peaks in response rate around the third exposure, so many marketers want to get prospects on an autoresponder series. Many marketers also have the shopping cart page open in a new browser so the prospect has to close two browser windows to leave the site. How Well Does My Item Fit the Web? Some items make no sense to sell over the web. Heavy commodities that are cheaply and easily accessible are bad items.

Wed_Feb_13_01:00:11_PST_2019

83 This screenshot is the upper left corner of an AdSense site. For the screenshot, I changed the topic of the site to "Illinois Dental" because I didn't want to point out the vertical the site targeted. Notice the following about the screenshot: • Under the tab titled Illinois Dentists, in an area that looks like sub navigation, there are Google AdLinks. • Where left-hand navigation normally goes, there is a 160x 600 wide skyscraper. • The AdSense link color is default blue. • The AdSense URL color is the same color as other page elements to integrate it into the site design. • The color flag in the upper left draws attention toward the upper left. If the eye moves down or to the right from there, people find ads. Other AdSense Tips • Inline ad blocks also get a great click-through rate. • Typically, I place fewer ads on the home page than inner pages in order to make my AdSense sites seem less ad-cluttered than they are. Some pages sell the site as being of quality and linkworthy. Other pages sell ad clicks. It is a balancing act. • If you make the content look ugly enough, the ads can look relatively appealing, but that is probably not a good approach for sites you want to be long-term earners. • Centering content and using fixed-width designs makes it easy to control the ad placement and ad-to-content ratio. • Many high-traffic, low-cost-per-click sites can greatly increase their income by placing Google search boxes on their site. Value-Added Packaging In any arena, there will only be a few people who make lots of money packaging or repackaging information. Coming up with value-added packaging ideas will help guarantee the success of your product. I sold more books than I ever thought I would have based primarily on the fact that the book was attached to my blog. Most other SEOs selling a book do not have a search engine news blog where they give away free tips. If you sell things, like jewelry, the visual appearance of the site is exceptionally important. Design and copy help develop trust and are part of the packaging. People do not pay (or want to pay) for what something is allegedly valued at; they want to pay what they feel it is worth to them.

Wed_Feb_13_00:00:09_PST_2019

82 When using AdSense, the CTR and earnings can be much higher if you make a couple small changes. The key is to test different things to see what is most effective for your site design and setup. Some sites place the ads in such a way that it hurts their ability to gain links. If you are actively trying to promote a site and build an audience, make sure the ads are not so prominent that they end up causing people to question the purpose or usefulness of your site. For example, it may make sense to show no ads on your home page to make the site seem more legitimate. Many blog posts are generally short, targeted, and quick to make. Many blog networks are used as AdSense keyword nets. Reporting topical news can build a large number of pages quickly. Weblogs, Inc. is one of the more well-known blog networks that aggressively integrates AdSense ads. Google also offers AdLinks, which is another ad format that has helped some publishers. A new contextual ad program by the name of Chitika has been gaining praise from a number of bloggers although some have been absolutely frustrated by their ad auditing. An Example of Aggressive Google AdSense Integration Please note the the below integration is rather aggressive, moreso than you would probably do if you were running a longterm business. Google may eventually look at artificially high AdSense clickthrough rates and flag the associated websites for review and/ or demotion. At one point in time you could put images right next to ads to entice clicks, but after too many people started abusing it Google changed their policy to disallow that.

Tue_Feb_12_23:00:07_PST_2019

81 when I was new I frequently did it, and I occasionally still do today. If you can save $50 for ten minutes of work, why not do it? Google AdSense Since Google automates so much of the ad sales process and has such a large user base, some people can make good money just by selling AdSense ads. Here are a few tips for getting the most profit out of your AdSense ads: • Good advertisements do not look like ads. Blend AdSense ads with the site design by using similar fonts and colors. • Usually the banner ad format is not good unless is looks exceptionally similar to the site design. Different format types will have different CTRs and earnings. The vertical 160x600 "wide skyscrapers" and ad blocks work well for me. • Some people place many ad units on each page. This may work, but many times this hurts earnings since you are selling more ad inventory to cheap ads, which may end up getting clicked instead of the more expensive ads that would display if you ran fewer ad units. • Default blue with underline is good at getting clicks. Increasing ad clickthrough rate should be a consideration before doing any major design or redesign. • Some people place visual cues next to their AdSense ads, but you cannot tell people to click on the ads. • If you are running a somewhat spammy AdSense site that is just there for AdSense revenue, you want to limit users' options by not giving them many other links to click on. Either do not use site navigation above the fold or visually depreciate the navigation links. • Google AdSense has channel tracking and URL tracking, which will show you how various channels and sites perform. Additionally, there are a variety of third party programs that sell for around $50 to 00 that provide additional details. • Google offers AdSense optimization tips on their site at https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/static.py?page =tips.html. Notice how placing ads where navigation typically goes increases earnings. • JenSense.com is a good blog about contextual advertising. Jen is also branded as an AdSense expert. She sells consulting services to help people optimize their accounts and is also a moderator at Search Engine Watch forums. • Your ad click-through rate is going to be highly dependent on your audience profile. More sophisticated people tend to click fewer ads. • Yahoo! is beta testing a publisher contextual ad program similar to Google's, but Yahoo! does not have as much ad network depth as Google does. Also, Yahoo! tends to focus on expensive ads, whereas Google focuses more on ad relevancy, and, thus, gets a higher clickthrough rate.

Tue_Feb_12_22:00:07_PST_2019

80 take the fake ones down. It is important to understand who the important players and aggressive ad buyers are in a market before doing this ad display technique. Affiliate Marketing Tips Many people create huge affiliate sites using product feeds. The problem with generic well-used feeds is that many other people will have the exact same content. Since Google does not desire to show multiple copies of the same content, most of the affiliate feed sites end up not getting indexed or are quickly removed from the search results if they are indexed. Some people end up adding RSS or other content to the pages to make them look somewhat unique, but Google also employs remote content raters to evaluate sites. If the site looks like it would not have a functional purpose outside of the affiliate program, Google does not want it in their index. The instructions Google gave remote content raters for determining if an affiliate site was useful was "is there a value-added service that would make users want to visit this site instead of the original merchant site?" People do not usually buy from affiliate banners. A better way to create affiliate sites is to create unique original content with what looks like unbiased reviews. Whether you are affiliate marketing or creating your own merchant site, each unique item or idea should have its own unique page with sufficient unique content on it. If the only difference between items is size or color, then you might run into duplicate content issues (if pages are too similar, then Google may assume they offer little value or are of poor content quality). Lots of people offer sales letters, but if you create what looks like an original, thoughtful, and honest review, you can send people to the official sites using text links from within the reviews that convert exceptionally well. The less automated your site and SEO techniques are, the greater chance it will do well in the long term. Many large affiliates also hide the affiliate links to make it harder for people to steal their affiliate commission. Instead of pointing to 'www.merchant.com/?aff=123', they would use .htaccess or link to a simple redirect script on their own site and point, for example, www.seobook.com/merchant to the merchant site using an affiliate link. Some people think Google hates affiliate marketers. They do not necessarily hate affiliates, but they hate unoriginal or useless content cluttering their search index. Most affiliate marketing sites are thin sites featuring duplicate content and other useless garbage. If you are new to the web and do not have much money to work with, one good way to save money is to sell things to yourself using your own affiliate link. Some merchants may not like this (it may violate some affiliate terms of service), but

Tue_Feb_12_21:00:07_PST_2019

8 Quick Summary of Do-It- Yourself SEO Tips Many people who buy this book will never read it in its entirety. To help whet your palate and ensure you get some value out of this text (and, therefore, read the whole thing), here is a quick-start checklist highlighting the most important aspects of search engine optimization and Internet marketing. When looking to start with search engine optimization, consider the following issues: SEO Tools Oftentimes using the right tools can save you both time and money. I have created a free PDF checklist of all the SEO tools I use. You may download it here: http://www.seobook.com/seo-tools.pdf Picking a Product You may read this title and think that you have already accomplished this step, and that your product (or your vision for your product) is already refined, wrapped, and ready for purchase. However, there are many key questions that should be considered before bringing your wares or service to customers: • Are you interested in the product you are trying to sell? If not, why not choose a different product? The Internet makes marketing anything a possibility. You are far more likely to succeed if you are interested in what you are trying to sell. Also, it is far easier to sell people what they want than to get them to want your product. Create something the market wants. • Is the marketplace for your product oversaturated? Examples: Posters, credit cards, prescription drugs, hosting, generic site design, and ink refills are all oversaturated markets. Breaking into these markets can be exceptionally difficult, so think carefully about what would make your product different and needed. • Is the product something people would want to order over the web? • Is there something you can do to make yourself different than everyone else on the market? (Please note: "cheaper" usually is not a legitimate branding/business model for most websites in a hyper-competitive market.) Example: No other e-book covering SEO was supported by a blog that keeps up with the SEO industry every day (at least, not when I first wrote this one). Another example: In 2002, I created a SEO "worst practices" directory. To this day, nobody else has made a site like it. It earned me thousands in the first year with a marketing budget well under 00.

Tue_Feb_12_20:00:07_PST_2019

79 If you are trying to sell your service, drive people toward it. A good technique for improving subscriptions, for example, is to place a "We Value Privacy" statement near the sign-up form. This is called point-of-action marketing. Assure people that it is safe for them to do what you want. Recently, Bryan Eisenberg, author of Persuasive Online Copywriting, made the statement that placing a secure checkout symbol near the checkout typically improves conversion rates between 5% and 15%. Establishing Trust Unbiased reviews and "We Value Privacy" help to build a strong trust element in your relationship with your site visitors. In addition, logos from companies such as the Better Business Bureau, TRUSTe, and Public Eye can help build trust. If you have a secure part of your site in frames, the lock (secured) symbol may not show in the browser. When you are performing online transactions, it is a good idea to avoid frames and display the VeriSign or Thawte secure symbols (as applicable). Revenue Generating Programs Some popular revenue programs are Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, and other major affiliate program networks such as Commission Junction, LinkShare, and Performics and perhaps CafePress for smaller, personal websites. ClickBank is an affiliate program that works well for selling electronic information. PayPal is also an easy-to-use third party payment processor. Affiliates Alert tracks new ClickBank products for sale. All of these websites are listed in the resource section at the end of the chapter. If you monetize your site using AdSense, it may be worth it to limit the number of ads that appear on the page, as more ads means you will be showing cheaper ads, and, in some markets, the cost per click quickly drops off rapidly. I also believe the first AdSense unit called from your source code will display the most expensive ads possible. Some topics may make next to nothing from pay-per-click ads, while other industries (such as California mortgage) may earn over a dollar a click. If you can create an idea that generates a decent amount of syndication and attracts a few good links, you may be able to make money selling text link ads or leveraging that authority to get pay-per-click contextual ads indexed. If you know your industry well, then you should have a few friends in it. If your site directly sells ad space, it is best to place a link or a few links to some of the top sites in that space. Most people are afraid to take risks and do not see value in something until some of their competitors do. Why not show a few fake ads so people assume the ad space is valuable? After you gain a few advertisers, you can

Tue_Feb_12_19:00:07_PST_2019

78 Even if you are only trying to sell your opinion, you can still earn money from it through hard work, creativity, or simple outspokenness. If you are selling advertising space, you first need to win great distribution. You do not win that distribution by throwing too many ads up too early! Offer something worthwhile, then try to extract value— in that order. I made a personal blog about losing weight that was accepted into DMOZ and the Yahoo! Directory, both absolutely free. After the site aged and gained authority, I placed ads on it. It is easier to get links for a non-commercial site than for a commercial site. After the links are in place, you can use that link popularity and authority to do whatever you want to do with it. Some people may consider it bait-and-switch, but as long as your site does not deviate too far from its original purpose, most of the links will likely stay. Banners versus Contextual Ads Many web surfers have become banner-blind and ignore the top part of a page. Banners have horrible click-through rates. I do not usually use default banner sizes unless I feel it fits well with the site design. The best revenue options are link rentals, sponsored content, or context-based text ads. Good advertising does not look like advertising. One site that I work with sells links for $500 a month per link and only made about $30 a month off AdSense. Other times, AdSense can make far greater profits. Depending on the market, it may be best to use one or the other or a combination of both. Reviewing Products If you read a book you like, tell people about it. Give them the opportunity to buy the book from your website. Review products you like. Successful affiliate marketers know it is much easier to sell products if they provide what appear to be personal, unbiased reviews. Mike's Marketing Tools is a site that sells Internet marketing books and software. Some of the stuff he recommends is great, but some of it is also terrible. No matter what Mike thinks of the product, he gives the appearance of an honest unbiased positive review of just about everything listed in his directory. It usually highlights more benefits than downsides. By doing that and ranking well for numerous product names, he makes a good amount of money. If you do review products in depth, make sure you give each product its own review page. Point-of-Action Marketing

Tue_Feb_12_16:00:07_PST_2019

75 but use them sparingly. It makes it easier for people to do what you want them to without needing to think. Some webmasters may be more likely to link to a standards-compliant site. If your site is focused toward a geek or techy market, you will likely want to make sure it validates and is standards compliant. Most sites do neither. If your target audience does not care much about standards, and the time and money it would cost you to make it accessible are too much, then it may not be important to address design and accessibility anytime soon. JavaScript & Active Client Side (browser-based) Scripting Approximately 3-5% of web browsers are not JavaScript-enabled for one reason or another. I recommend minimizing the number of pages using JavaScript whenever possible. In addition, you should place your JavaScript in its own external .js file and link to it from within your pages. This can decrease page load time and improve usability. You can link to the external .js file by placing the following code in your page head. If your entire page is in JavaScript, some people will not see it; in addition, many search engines will not index it properly. Make sure to use noscript tags to define what was in the JavaScript to users with that feature disabled. Noscript tags look like this and should be placed just after a script's location: Hacks There are ways to use CSS and other technologies to do many of the things JavaScript does. Additionally, there are some technologies that give more advanced presentations while still using fairly lean code that search spiders can follow. For example, you can use unordered lists to make DHTML menus. Keep File Size Small The back button is one of the most used buttons on web browsers. If your file takes a long time to load, you may be kissing your user goodbye before she even gets to see your full hello. Specify Image Details To allow quick loading, it is a good idea to specify image sizes on the page so the text can load before the image is rendered. Blah picture.

Tue_Feb_12_15:00:08_PST_2019

74 crucial to earnings, then you may want to use a fixed width design to better control the ad integration into the site. When you design for different types of users, you not only avoid offending these people, but you also are given extra consideration since you are one of the few who addressed their needs. Placing text in an image is typically a bad idea since it may appear illegible (or overly large) when the user sees the page on a platform different than the one on which it was designed. Think of search engines as visitors with exceptionally poor vision— they cannot read the text in images. Consistent Site Design People expect to see things in certain places. The upper left corner usually has a logo and a link to your home page. (Oftentimes the logo is the link.) Search is either right beneath it or in the upper right-hand corner. Remember, people like to feel comfortable. The most successful ideas are usually just re-packaged successful ideas from the past. Clear navigation also makes it easier for the user to develop comfort and go where you want him to go. Even if you try something risky, at least be consistent with it from page to page. Site-Level Search There are hoards of people who love to search for information. It is well worth it to include a small search box on every page if you have a larger content website. If you do not know anything about dynamic coding, you can get a third party search engine from Atomz, FreeFind, or Google. Many popular content management and blog software providers also have free built-in site-level search. On small sites you should not have a site-level search, as many of the searches will fail to find the desired information and frustrate the searcher. It is far easier to actively guide site visitors than to let them enter random text in a search box. On top of helping visitors navigate your site, a site-level search can also help you find out what terms and ideas your visitors are interested in that your site may not yet have content about. You can create content around their needs and use these terms for refining your pay-per-click keywords. With large sites, especially large forums, it may be helpful to highlight the search terms on the page if site visitors arrived from a search engine. Use Standards Where Applicable People know "blue underline" means "hyperlink." Whenever possible, it is a good idea to follow standards. Sometimes deviations may be necessary for site design, Many sites fail because they do not create substantial value and appeal prior to trying to extract profits. Many non-commercial sites make greater profits than commercial sites because it is far easier and cheaper to build links into non-commercial sites.

Tue_Feb_12_13:00:08_PST_2019

72 I drove off to find another gas station. I then realized there were no other close gas stations. I went back. I almost got into a wreck on my way back to the gas station. Now I was enraged. I arrived at the gas station and waited in line again. The car in front of me would not back up to let the person who just finished pumping, out. I had to wait until the van on the other side was done. I then had to wait for the guy who would not move to finish. Negative Advertising I was finally ready to pump my gas. I tried to use my credit card, but after about a minute of processing, a warning flashed up at me: "Please See Cashier…System Down." On the pump it stated "pump then pay." So I tried to pump. It did not work. I went inside and asked the cashier what was up. While snacking on his food he said, "(crunch) Sorry, I had not got around to turning your pump on yet." Mind you it said pump THEN pay. I had been trying for a few minutes at this point. I went back outside and pumped my gas. I left vowing never again to visit that gas station. It was a Mobile in Mystic, Connecticut (just off the interstate), and I still vividly remember the sign in my head as well as the cashier who was snacking while he should have authorized my pump. If That Gas Station was a Web site What was the point of that tangent about a gas station? It took longer to tell the story than it will take to make my point. I was reading Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen about the same time I had that bad day, and this nugget of truth came to me—there is no page that is so important that I cannot go elsewhere. If that gas station was a website, I would have left. Many people find your website through search engines. Other sites may link to your inner pages. There is no way to tell where traffic will come from. I never see the shopping cart on many sites because they make it a challenge just to get there. I have abandoned many shopping carts. Most websites have miserable usability. I must admit some of my sites needs some work in this area too…it is one of the most neglected aspects of web design. Web Example This comes from a usability/design example story found on page 69 of Taking Your Talent to the Web by Jeffrey Zeldman. I left my baby daughter in the car while I went to buy dope. Then I drove away. I'd gone about five blocks when I realized my daughter wasn't in the car anymore.

Tue_Feb_12_12:00:07_PST_2019

71 If you write too broadly, or try to make too many people happy, then your ideal prospects will not convert as well, as they may become disinterested or offended by attempts to write to less-targeted prospects. The lower quality prospects are going to convert poorly no matter what you do. The reason many hyper-focused sales letters are still a mile long is because the people who are most interested in the topic are more inclined to want to keep reading. I did SEO for a customer where we increased his monthly sales from $3,000 to around 2,000. I then tuned his page copy for his ideal client. With the same marketing spend and same rankings, we increased his sales from 2,000 to over $40,000. Even better yet, he was making greater profit from fewer customers by targeting the larger spenders. Sales Letters Some websites are exceptionally transparent in that you can tell they are all about making as much money as possible. By reading through the sales letters of various written-to-sell websites, you can see some of the tricks they use to sell. A hard sell does not make sense for all people (and may offend some of your customers), but I could probably increase my income by about 50% if my sales letter was harder selling. Sometimes it is a bit hard to balance profitability and being easy to link to. Clarity is Key Many organizations aim to manipulate language to make it lose its meaning. If you are small, one of the biggest advantages you have over competitors is that you can put yourself into your brand and ensure that your writing is clear and easy to understand. Since you have fewer stakeholders, it is easier for your writing to more clearly represent your thoughts. Usability Real Life Example Memorial Day weekend of 2003. I decided to take a risk. I drove my car until the gas was just about gone. The engine was sputtering when I pulled off at a gas station near no others and went to fill up. I pulled up to the first pump and it had a "credit cards do not work" sign on it. I went in to pay cash and the cashier explained it was full service. There was no service man out there. I got rather angry seeing the long line of cars waiting to use the few pumps that worked.

Tue_Feb_12_11:00:07_PST_2019

70 Quality content is conceptually unique content that people would want to read and link at. If you want people to pay attention to you it is important that your create content that is conceptually unique. The following article by Sugarrae explores this topic more in depth: http://www.sugarrae.com/permalink/when-unique-content-is-not-unique/ Writing Ideas to Spread Rather than being so focused on search that you try to match keywords, you can also market certain ideas with the intent to spread. By writing a headline that is juicy, intriguing, or controversial, you stand a much better idea of seeing that idea spread. Search engines follow people. If you spread good ideas then search engines will trust you. Brian Clark's CopyBlogger offers great headline tips in his post titled "Magnetic Headlines" at http://www.copyblogger.com/magnetic-headlines/. Multiple Customer Types I need some people to want to buy my e-book. "Buy my stuff" is not an easy message to spread though. I also need other people to link to my site. Just like I need to sell my e-book to have a business model, I also need to give others a reason why they would want to link to my site because that will market my book. Working From Your Strengths I am typically a bit goofy in the things I say or do. It is why I have created many funny or fun-type websites. It is far easier to be myself than to pull off some sort of act. I am not the best copywriter, and I do not write the best sales letter pages. If you read the 33 Days to Online Profits e-book that comes as a bonus, it will include lots of content about copywriting. Many of the links are not worth buying from for most people. Much of his information in his report about search engines is inadequate or incorrect. However, I still note this document because it shows some copywriting techniques that may be helpful. You only need to be great at one thing to be extremely successful on the web. Yanik Silver is good at selling people stuff with compelling copywriting. I do not suggest that you buy most of the stuff he links to in 33 Days to Online Profits, but I do recommend you glance at how he writes copy. Write Content to Target the Ideal Prospect When you write content, you do not want to create something that makes everyone happy. You want to write to the ideal target customer because your writing will have the greatest effect on the people you are trying to target.

Tue_Feb_12_09:00:10_PST_2019

69 GapingVoid.com is a weblog (some might find offensive for cursing and being blunt), but it talks about creating smarter conversations, and I find his cartoons and copy refreshing for their bluntness. You can get away without being the best copywriter if you are honest. Rapid Feedback Loops Blogs and websites such as Epinions and Planet Feedback make it easy for customers to see what others have to say about you. Google Groups, Yahoo! Groups, and MSN Groups are additional havens for complaints. A large portion of the value of the Amazon experience is user reviews and the "X people recommended blah instead of this" area. People have told me they have bought my book due to it being mentioned on book lists on Amazon. Just be honest. If you are not the best, work to improve! Work from your strengths and focus on something you are the best at. You should also occasionally look and see what others have to say about your service by checking search results. If you solve problems and turn complainers into happy customers, you lower your marketing costs. Customer interaction should be personal, not corporate-speak driven. Sometimes you will fall short (as I have many times), but honesty goes a long way. If you find your way into the conversation and are human about it, you curb the rants and may even spur on a few people who believe in you. An amazing book on how markets are conversations is called The ClueTrain Manifesto by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, David Weinberger (ClueTrain is available free online). Quality Content Lots of people will tell you to create lots of quality content without ever giving a legitimate definition of what quality content is. The web is a big social network, and the trick is to get your messages to spread further and faster than your competitors. Usually, creating more pages does not do this as well as creating a better idea. The Web was designed to save people time or give away useful information. The closer you can align a portion of your business model or website with those concepts, the better chance you have at achieving extreme success. While many SEOs hold back their secrets so they can profit from them, I give this e-book free to charities and post most of what I learn to my blog. I not only help people, but my syndicated network grows. I have been found by prospective customers from word-of-mouth in forums I have never heard of. One day I got a thank you e-mail from a person from a religious forum and about ten minutes later got a thank you from a person from a pornography forum. What is Quality Content?

Tue_Feb_12_08:00:07_PST_2019

68 Sell Upward McDonald's asks, "would you like fries with that?" Most major corporations know it is easier to sell again to a person than it is to find a new prospect. After a person contacts you or orders something, send them to a thank you page. Give them small free gifts, strengthen their bond with you, make them feel good about their decision, or try to sell them something else. It does not need to bring in money to be a gain. If they subscribe to your mailing list, you have increased your exposure FREE. Consider giving them options to read other journals that cross promote you. Or, you could reference affiliated companies. These links can hold discounts that appear as gifts, when in actuality, they make you money. I recently purchased ink cartridges and got 5% off for adding their site to my favorites list. It is much cheaper to give me 5% off than to try to find me again later. The possibilities are endless. Focus on the User The user focus must be on benefits offered to them. Writing the word you instead of we is a must. The simpler and easier it is for users to see benefits from an action, the better off they are and the more conversions you make. Some techies might like features, but to general audiences it is usually best to rank your priorities in the following manner: 1. Audience 2. Benefits 3. Features (if you are selling to a techie audience they may want the features before the benefits). Make it a Conversation All the above tips pale in comparison to the following tip: • Write in a conversational tone, as a person, not a company. Fake fluffery does not go well on the web. People can smell it a mile away. Since the Web started as a non-commercial entity, there are certain etiquettes (or netiquettes) that dictate how we should act. When we go outside these basic ideas, we not only avoid conversion, but also are likely to offend our readers. Many of the people who have bought this e-book told me they bought it because I sounded honest and real. Some of my blog posts are somewhat random, personal, or humorous, and some people like that.

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67 Include a Call to Action Many beautiful websites have no call to action. It is a great idea to guide the user. Some people use flashing text, excessive red coloring or highlighting, or other over-the-top techniques that distract the user away from what you want them to do. Sales pages may want to play off of the emotions certain colors bring out, but with informational or general product pages, the focus should be on ease of use. I recommend avoiding using random misplaced bright colors on most web pages; instead, make it obvious what action you want the user to take. The one exceptionally large blue button on the page… The one that is centered inline in the content area…that's it, that's what I want you to do. Users should be able to do the action you want them to without even thinking! Both The Big Red Fez by Seth Godin and Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug are books largely devoted to this simple concept. Page Layout Error Even if you keep the sales copy exactly the same, trying a slightly different page layout can result in a tremendous increase in profitability. For example, when I first started the SEO Book site, I only promoted this e-book off to the side. I switched to promoting this e-book on every page right below the page content posts and overnight the sales more than tripled. Another good example of how page layout can really make a difference in a web campaign is Howard Dean's presidential campaign. During Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign, they used their blog to cast a vote on whether or not their campaign should accept matching funds. After people voted, they were sent to a ramthoughtsing page. The first day saw 100,000 voters and raised $248,000. They looked at the vote return ramthoughtsing page and noticed that the donate button was at the bottom of the page. They moved it to the top of the page. On the second day, another 100,000 people voted, but they raised $4,500,000. Make it Flow Small sentences and paragraphs with common words make writing flow easily. In addition, you can make the text easy on the eyes by setting a line height (the area of a line of text and the space above or below it) to at least 120% of the text height, and by using the maximum contrast between your text and background. Since you have no sales person on your site, the text is the sales person. It needs to answer questions and arouse appeal toward your products.

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