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One of your first steps as an online marketer is to identify who your target market is. If you remain aware of the elements we’ll be sharing in this article, you’ll find that it’s not hard to identify your target market.
target market
 

Analyze Your Offerings: It is very important to look at the products and services that you have to offer before you get too involved in figuring out your target market. If you’ve got a team then take some time out to do some of your own brainstorming with your colleagues so that you get a better idea of where your product stands and where it should be standing. You can start off by creating a strong list of all the potential benefits that people will get from your offering, and how far will these benefits go when it comes to satisfying their needs. Not only will this help you find your target market it helps you figure out what sets you apart from your competition. Many businesses forget to take this step, and end up leaving a lot of money on the table when it comes to identifying the right market.  

Consider the Size of the Market: If you hope to profit from a target market, it’s going to have to be large enough to provide you with a certain number of customers over a period of time. If there are only a small number of people that are actually interested in what you’re offering, then chances are that it would be difficult to sustain a business, let alone grow it. What you’re seeking is not only a loyal target market with money to spend, but one that’s large enough to bring you consistent sales. You can find out how large the market is based on how much competition there is in this area, how many Adwords ads (if any), how many books have been written about it, etc. 

If you feel that the market is easily exhaustible or there isn’t much room to grow, then it’s better you move on to something else. 

The Importance of Keywords: Perhaps the best single way to identify your target market is through proper keyword research. Doing effective keyword research will give you a clear idea as to what your target market is looking for and whether it is a viable option to go for. This is a way to really understand your prospects and find out what they want. Knowing what your prospects are thinking and searching for helps you plan your campaigns and design your products more effectively. Google’s own keyword tool is the best place to start with keyword research, and aside from giving you lots of valuable information, it’s also free to use. Keyword research, aside from giving you insight into your target market, also tells you which words to include when you create content for your blog or website.  

Having a clear idea about who your target market is going to be allows you to build your business in the most effective possible way. Work on incorporating the ideas that we have discussed in this article to ensure that the target market you’re choosing is actually worth it.

How to Rank Effectively on Search Engines

Today, let’s examine the effectiveness of keyword search engine rankings.  In order for you to maximise the effectiveness of keyword ranking on search engines, it’s first necessary to know just how ranking on search engines work…

Search engines use what’s termed as “bots” or “spiders” to reach out to different websites on the internet & discover how that website is structured so that they can better build their database.  These spiders/bots will go a website and collect data on it.  This data is then added to the search engine index.

When a user types in a specific search term on the search engine, it will use the data gathered within the database to provide the searcher with results which it believe best fits the term they are searching for.  As well as providing this data, it will also rank the information in accordance to how best the site fits their needs depending on what they have typed in.

One way that website builders try to help these bots to classify their sites, is through the use of Meta tags (i.e.  Meta titles & Meta descriptions).  This helps the bots identify quickly & effectively what that site is about rather than the bot having to ‘guess’ what your website is about through the general content..

This is why on-page search engine optimisation is as important now as it was many years ago (although Meta keywords are less relevant now than they were previously).  If Meta tags are structured correctly, it will allow these bots to store accurate & relevant information on your site – thus enabling easy identification & displaying when that information is requested by a web surfer.

The lifeblood of any website is traffic.  Traffic can make or break a website.  Although there are various techniques for generating traffic to a website, search engine optimization (when used effectively) will generate more traffic than Pay per click advertising.  This is why you must ensure that you use more than just a few keywords; so that multiple search queries will allow your website to rank quite well in the search results rather than relying on a single search term.

 

There are 2 ways you can find the search terms/keywords which will help you rank your website well:

  • One of the best ways to find these keywords is through having Brainstorming sessions.  Approaching your website through the eyes of a potential visitor (and thinking about what search terms those users may use to try & find your site) is a great way to find your main keyword & any related keyword search terms (just try to be unbiased & think about what potential visitors might want to look for– not what YOU think they should be looking for!).
  • Search Engine Ranking Tools are also a great way to find relevant keywords and phrases because most of them will use real search engine data to display what users have searched for in the past.  You can use this to predict what users will search for now.

 

As well as finding terms which are popular & that can get you lots of traffic, you also need to pay special to the level of competition for your desired keywords/phrases.  It’s all very well, when you find a keyword for your desired niche which has a monthly search volume of over 10,000 – however, if there is also a high level of competition for that particular keyword, then you’re unlikely to rank very well for that term (especially as many of those competitors will have been there a while and are the established authority site for that niche).  A good keyword search tool will also give you information on the level of competition. Make sure you pay attention to this!

Now a few tips for when you’re applying your chosen golden keywords:

–        Do not keyword stuff!  Google has become very good at spotting unnatural occurrences of a particular keyword within a website.  If it thinks you’ve over used on a particular keyword(s), it may penalise you for this!

–        Make your website content look natural & engage your visitors.  Make the content interesting to them.  Focus on user experience first and good keyword placement will follow naturally.

–        Never use your main keyword in the title AND URL.  Just write a really catchy & irresistible title & description. Have multiple keywords & use some of your non-main keywords for the title & URL.  You can use your main keyword once in the Meta Description.  Sprinkle multiple chosen keywords over your site – don’t just focus on a single phrase.

–        You don’t need to be concerned with the Meta keyword section.  This has become obsolete & bots no longer gather the information from this section

–        Never go over 3% keyword density on the page (1% is better) (there are keyword density checkers online which will give you this information for your website!)

 

That’s it really for getting started!  It just takes some careful research & planning on your part to ensure you’ve chosen your keywords well.  Certain tools can help reduce the time taken to get your optimization efforts off to a good start.  Just follow the tips above also, and you won’t go far wrong.

 

As usual, any questions or elaboration required?  Drop me an email.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Tips for Ranking on Google

Before we examine the tips for ranking on the first page of Google, it’s important to mention a few points about how Google perceives link building:

 

Natural & Unnatural links:

Google places emphasis on rewarding good user experiences.  To that end, Google wants to see organic naturally occurring links to a site.  Any links which are inorganic or look unnatural in any form will be picked up as spam by Google’s algothirm – or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

So what’s natural & unnatural?

Well simply put, unnatural or inorganic is any link building campaign which is designed or perceived to manipulate or fool Google into awarding a higher rank for a website than it should get.  Google doesn’t like link-building software… Software’s are designed to build mass links to a money site effortlessly and with minimum human involvement and in the shortest time possible.  Whereas natural organic links are high quality links which takes place over a much longer period of time.

 

5 Tips for Ranking on Google

Those of us who’ve been around for a while remember when Google results page were clean, white pages with 10 results of less and a couple of ads. Safe to say we’ve come a long way, and while some users find the cluttered search pages a nightmare, from a business perspective everyone needs to rank highly on Google in order to reach a wider audience. As a marketer, the opportunity to control multiple first page rankings means you’re able to rank better, appear in more searches and present a recognizable brand to the market.

Use these strategies to build traction with SEO and establish a name in your industry:

off-page seo

 

1. Local:

Local results work their way into a search result in a number of ways. If for instance a user searches for a restaurant in a specific neighbourhood, or a local store, the search engine may display maps showing the location and other relevant information. Businesses that comprise of a retail store front could use local listings as a way to pull in new visitors. Three factors determine local listings:

· Google Places Listing

· Your website

· Other factors such as structured citations or back links

2. Sitelinks:

As a marketer you need SERP space, links and as much exposure as possible, and Google allows you to do this with site links. Both standard and expanded site links are supported by Google but we can’t really tell how that algorithm works. What we do know for sure is that Google encourages people to use informative and descriptive anchor text and avoid repetition. Failure to produce quality and useful anchor text can lead to demotion by Google Webmaster Tools.

3. News:

If you operate a news website or a high quality blog, Google News might prove to be a valuable tool for when you want to gain more traffic and organic listings. Just make sure to set the bar high, because Google has set in place a few guidelines for the technical and quality aspects. Provided the website meets these requirements, you are free to submit your articles for inclusion in Google News.

4. Video:

Videos play an important part in SEO and if the video trends, it can give your brand the boost it needs. As you may have noticed, Google displays YouTube videos in the search results, which makes it all the more important to include video in your content. Luckily, embedded videos can be listed too, so work on getting more videos embedded on your website.

5. Images

Images are also included in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and a single click on the picture leads the user to the source webpage. Image search doesn’t generate as much engagement as regular web search traffic but that doesn’t make it useless. Certain niches require significant use of images for SEO purposes; for instance travel websites and beauty magazines tie certain keywords to the images on their pages, therefore improving their rankings.

6.  On-Page SEO:

on-page SEO

Don’t underestimate the power of on-page SEO or on page optimization.  Ensure that your main keyword appears in the following areas of your site:

–  Main keyword in your Title

–  Main keyword in H1 tag

–  Main Keyword used in the alternate text field for your image.

–  Main keywords in your description field

–  (no need to place your keyword in your meta keyword section – these simply do hold as much value as it used to!)

–  A YouTube video which is connected to your content.

–  1 link pointing to an authority site which is relevant to the content.

–  Keyword to be used twice at the most – avoid excessive use of the same keyword as Google will view this as ‘keyword stuffing’.

In our post today, we’re going to talk about how to create awareness of your business using free website templates.

Creating a website from scratch can no doubt seems like a scary prospect. However, you’ll be glad to know that there are tools out there that make this as easy as pie. The tool is free website templates. Now I know what you’re thinking…”if its free, it must be poor quality”. However, you may be interested to know that many free templates are really attractive & have great appeal – as much as many high-priced templates do. Installing the templates is easy as pie as well. Everything is pretty much done for you to make it as simple as possible for you to set up your very own site.

So why do many designers offer these high quality templates for free?

Well, in most cases, these designers will offer other paid services that they would like you to try. These services will relate directly to the free product they’re offering. So in this case, where they offer free website templates, they may also provide a hosting service which is a paid service & this is where they make their money. Its an age old strategy when it comes to making money – you offer a free service/product to entice your customers – then you hit them with a related paid service/product. Now its essential for their business that this free service is of a high quality. If its a poor quality product, they wont get any interest in their paid product. No interest equals no money. Furthermore, this will damage their reputation to other potential customers.

Before signing up to try the free templates, always read the terms & conditions so that you know what to expect. Don’t forget to find out if there are any limitations on the product (i.e. you may only be able to use the template in certain situations. Deviating from this could cause legal problems with the designer because you have breached the terms & conditions.). This is perfectly understandable from a business perspective. For example, if you’re promoting a site which may be deemed unethical or illegal (i.e. illegal music downloads) then the last thing the designer wants to see, is his design being used on this illegal site. This has the potential to severely damage their reputation & integrity.

When using a designers free template, its always a good idea to let other people know about the designers site. Doing so, creates potential traffic & customers for the designer and you may even get paid a commission if these visitors take up the paid service as well. As a thank you, some designers will also offer to do some custom re-designing for you so that the template better suits your needs. Remember, in the world of internet marketing, if you do a favor for someone, very often you’ll get a favor in return. That’s how online business survive…you build relationships!

As we touched on earlier, always always read the terms & conditions. Some designers may want something in return for you using their template. Read the conditions & ensure you don’t get caught out with anything (i.e. free for the first 30 days, then a charge of $9.99 a month).

If this is your first time setting up your very own website & you’ve just downloaded your free template, make sure you get offered a great customer service as well. More than often, this can make a difference between setting up your site with the template within a day or taking a week! Great customer service should be flexible (i.e. more than one means of contact). Make sure there are other methods of contact as well such as; supplementary email address, telephone number, Skype etc.

On a related point, once you’ve got your template, make sure you choose a hosting account which will allow you to host an unlimited number of websites. Thing big. You want to turn your online business into a money-making machine after all!

Effective Methods of Selling Online

There are various ways of generating a viable income through online sales. However, certain methods of selling may not be appropriate for you. To increase your chances of success, you should choose a suitable niche. The following are two of the most effective methods of selling online:

Online auctions

Most people are familiar with eBay and other online auction sites. However, one of the biggest obstacles to effective selling on the internet is generating traffic to your website. If you market your products through an online site like eBay, you won’t have worry about generating visitors. You will only need a quality product with the right price tag and the auction site will do the rest for you. This will significantly reduce your workload, allowing you to do other things.

Online selling through auction sites involves various factors. For instance, you will need to develop a detailed inventory of the products you intend to sell. In most cases, the people who become experts at selling their goods through online auction sites are the ones who started out by selling a few items from their cluttered garage. They simply wanted to make some quick cash but ended up exploring better opportunities. They also realized that they could make wholesale purchases and resell the products on a larger scale. In addition, they saw a potential market in garage and lawn sales, where they could find goods that were suitable for their own auctions.

Your own web store 

Setting up your own Web-based store is always a good idea. It is considered to be one of the most viable methods of selling online. If you intend to introduce a huge number of the same products, you should definitely consider setting up your own store. This is because you will have more control over how your products are presented, which is not the case with auction sites. However, you will still have to generate visitors to your site. This can prove to be quite a difficult task for some.

Your web-based store will most likely require a shopping cart and some method of payment. You will also have to organize the site based on the goods you want to sell. One major advantage of a Web-based store is that it allows you to avoid the listing fees and costs that come with using another company’s site to market your products.

One of the most important things to remember about a Web-based store is that you will be responsible for generating traffic to your site. This is usually a strenuous and costly undertaking.

Online selling involves a learning process. You can’t perfect your skills overnight. Online auctions and Web-based stores are just some of the many ways to generate revenue on the internet. However, the most important thing is to get started, regardless of which option you choose. You can start making money right now by simply learning how to sell online. After some time, you will be able to grow your business into a full time job.

How to Use CraigsList to Make Money Online

In order to attract more traffic to your website, and generate more leads, it is important to check and increase your Google Page Rank. In this post, we will look at how to  check and increase your Google Page Rank.

Google Page Rank is a popular patented algorithm. While determining your page rank on search engine results, Google considers over half a billion variables. A webmaster can never know all the variables. Thus, any person claiming to be an authority on Google Page Rank should be ignored. However, there are still some factors that rule how Google Page Rank works.

According to Google, pages that are considered important get a higher rank. Pages with higher ranks appear at the top of search results pages. For a specific search, pages with rank 5 will be higher than rank 7.

While determining page rank, Google also considers the links on a web page. Thus, when a highly ranked page has been linked to your website, you are likely to get better results. According to experts, backlinks from .edu and .gov websites have higher rankings than other domains. The primary reason is that such pages aren’t meant to make profits from websites.

A good way to get .edu links is to send online advertisements on some popular college newspaper websites. Most links from Page Rank 2 or higher websites can give better results. In order to get such results, you can post comments on pages with good ranks. However, you need to make sure that Google follows these specific links on the webpage.

It is worth mentioning that some webmasters set up their websites to make sure you don’t profit from your posts or comments. This can be easily accomplished by downloading some free software from the Internet.

 

Some Other Effective Ideas for Increasing Your Page Rank 

An excellent way to improve your page rank is to post a backlink to your website in the signature. Whenever you post, you will benefit from the link. You can even submit the website to directories. Every directory that lists you will give a better chance of being listed in search engine results. You should also add an ezine to your website. This will allow you to keep up with site visitors, and post valuable information about your ezine to popular ezine directories.

It is also important to publish your articles on various articles websites. This will allow you to drive more traffic. Moreover, higher ranked article websites will give you more ‘juice’. It is also better to create a sitemap on the website. This way, Google will know how to index your webpage. You can even link to other web pages within your site.

Will it help to promote your product if you pay an affiliate? That’s a question we’ll discuss right here.

It’s common for those who own products to ask themselves whether paying an affiliate is a good idea. In general, it is – but that doesn’t always apply, so it’s important to be aware of what the exceptions are.

There’s a limit to how much you can do alone to bring people to your site. You can create backlinks and write articles, but you don’t have unlimited time to do that. You can’t use an infinite amount of pay per click resources, either. There’s no doubt that you’ll be able to make a lot more sales if your product is being promoted by a group of affiliates. It sounds like a no-brainer, and indeed it is – although you should only pay affiliates if they’re not simply replacing sales you could make on your own.

It’s important to understand the difference between digital and physical products. Every extra chocolate chip cookie you sell is also an extra cookie you’ve had to buy. In the digital world, you can make a million products for the same cost as one. That means that there are tasty, low hanging fruit to be had. You’d surely want to pay affiliates to get the benefits of that extra promotion.

There’s another plus: customer retention. Provided that you’ve set up your product line in the correct manner, you can hang on to customers for life. For example, you can give your affiliate three-quarters of the original purchase price, but that’s the end of your expenditure. You don’t have to pay the affiliate any more after that – but you can carry on marketing to your customer.

Most affiliate marketers, the ones who don’t wash out, are pretty impressive in their specialty areas. Some of these can write you articles that start pre-selling before your new customers even look at your page. Others are experts in how to convert site traffic into hard sales by using pay per click methods. Other specialties include classified ads, forum marketing, and video marketing.

So, it often makes sense to pay affiliate marketers. But always? No, not always. Here’s why.

Let’s say you have an email list set up with 1,000 responsive people, and you’re planning on selling 100 units of an item. There’s not much point in paying affiliates here, since you can sell all your stock yourself and hang on to all your income.

It can also be a bad idea to use affiliates if you need the product to be marketed and advertised in a very particular way. Once you let affiliate marketers in on the act, you’ll inevitably start to lose a little of your control. For example, your reputation could be damaged if a marketer starts spamming a classified site or safe list.

Even so, these down sides are usually outweighed by the benefits. That’s why most product owners like to use affiliates.

PayDotCom is one option, though it’s been less successful than its promoters envisaged. That’s mostly because it’s been beaten in the marketplace by Clickbank, which is the most popular digital marketing affiliate program.

Another option is to run your affiliate program by using a script. Two scripts which have affiliate-paying abilities are Rapid Action Profits and the $7 Script.