Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blog Vacation


WRL is taking the rest of the year off for holiday shenanigans. We'll return to our regularly scheduled posting on Monday, January 3, 2011.

We hope all of you have a very safe and very happy holiday season.

See you next year!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Use Video SEO for Personal and Small Business Branding

by Julie Ann Ross
Video SEO is the newest tool in your branding toolbox. Whether the brand is for a small business or your own personal brand, search engine optimization can help you to create the best brand in today's market. Search engine optimization is crucial to your online reputation. That is why it must be managed. Video SEO can help to maximize positive personal or business feedback through search engines.

The goal of regular search engine optimization is to win all searches on the three main search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Using video SEO is one of the most effective techniques you can use, because video is growing more and more popular, thanks to faster broadband, and smart phones that can play mobile video.

Using Video SEO for your personal brand

Before looking at your ranking on search engines, you must first check out your personal brand. Some people who are focused on their personal brand are using video resumes as a way to boost their personal brand and help with their job search.

But you want your personal brand to signify quality and excellence. The same is true for your resume. Although you can create a homemade video resume on your cell phone, why would you want to? Remember, your brand is one of quality and excellence, so be sure to use the right equipment, quality cameras, and proper video editing software. Better yet, hire a professional video resume firm such as

Post your video resume to video sharing networks like Video Resume Services, YouTube and Vimeo. Post these to your blog, LinkedIn, and your personal blog/website. Not only will this give employers something to refer to, but the video SEO will boost your page's search engine rankings, making sure this is the information potential employers find.

Using Video SEO for your small business

Small businesses can sometimes overlook the value and benefits of video. Not only can a video boost your company's search engine rankings, but some solid video SEO can push any negative press (and even your competitors. . .) off the front page.

You can also create a video blog to help with your video SEO. Rather than just write a blog post or web page explaining a feature on your product, or giving a tour of your facility, post some demonstration or tour videos to show to people. For example, Blendtec's "Will It Blend" videos have boosted their sales by showing how tough and durable their heavy-duty blenders really are. Not only have the videos gone viral in many cases, but the video SEO has been immense, pushing Blendtec up near the top of the Google search rankings.

One friend of ours even went so far as to create a weekly video show talking about the different developments in his industry. Not only did this add to his video SEO, but it established his company as one of the industry leaders, since he was reporting on a lot of news that the non-insiders were never hearing about.

Search engine optimization experts have found that video is one of the most effective methods to reach front page listings for their clients. With companies like Flickr beginning to offer video sharing, and Google's purchase of YouTube in 2006, you can see that video is only going to grow in popularity, which means this is one ship you do not want to sail without you.

As video SEO becomes easier for marketers to distribute for consumer view, it is becoming a necessary tool in online marketing campaigns. If you can create an exceptional brand and boost it through video SEO, your efforts will pay off time and time again. 

About the Author

Julie Ross, of Rostin Ventures references Video Resume for professional video production of video resumes, including executive resume services and expert online reputation management. also offers video resume services to help college graduates get the edge in the business world.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Finding Keywords with Google

by Liz Canham 

Keywords are king these days; without them nobody will ever find your website or your article at one of the article directories. There are a couple of ways of finding keywords with Google. 

First of all you can use Google's suggestion feature. All you do is type in the title of your post or article or just the beginning of it into Google's search box and you will see suggestions appearing below the box which you may want to use as keywords for you post.

Another way of finding keywords with Google is by using their Adwords Keyword Tool. To use this you will need to have an AdSense account; once you've registered for AdSense you can use the login details for any of Google's other tools.

When you've logged into the Keyword Tool, you may be asked to enter some letters and/or numbers that you will see on your screen. This is a security check to prove that you're a human, not a robot.

There are two different ways of finding keywords with Google Adwords. Firstly you can enter your keyword or phrase in the left hand box on the screen or you can enter the URL of a website in the right hand box for the keywords relating to that site to be shown.

I'll deal with the first method first. After you've typed in your keyword or phrase, click on "Advanced options" under the box. Here you'll see a number of choices you can make to refine your keyword search. For example, if you live in Japan, you'll probably see Japan highlighted in but you may be targeting the American market, so you need to change the country to United States.

You can also choose your language, whether you want adult content or mobile search stats. The default is that all ideas relating to the keyword you entered will be shown but you can refine this further if you only want key phrases which include your exact term. For example if I type in "cat litter" I get "tidy cat litter", "cat litter boxes", "cat litter pans", "cat litter trays" and "flushable cat litter", to name but a few of the 82 results.

Down the left side you can select categories too so that you don't get search terms which aren't relevant to what you want.

You can sort the listing by any of the column headings and you can download the whole list or whichever items you check and you can see competition volume and trends.

When finding keywords with Google, you do need to know that this isn't an exact science. Google themselves admit that their results can be out by up to 35%. This is probably because of all the internet marketers out there who are entering search terms to find out how many competing sites there are as well as other influences. However, this is a good, free keyword tool and you will get a general idea of search volume for your keywords as well as some good ideas to use.

About the Author

If you're interested in learning more about finding keywords with Google and other methods click here and sign up for the Mad Marketing Method free course.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Introduction to 5 Productivity Boosters for PHP Development

by James John

New technology is hitting the block like almost every day. These technologies are also outdated in a matter of time, only a few survive the stiff race. In the last decade or so PHP has been one of the most popular niche languages or platforms. PHP has developed from a niche language for adding dynamic functionality to small websites to a powerful tool making strong inroads into large-scale Web systems. Sometimes as developers we can get frustrated when we deal with certain repetitive tasks such as manual code testing and deployment. So there rises a need to streamlining and automating such tasks, that is where these productivity boosters come to play. Let me introduce to these 5 tools that will help you to streamline your development process. 

1. PHPUnit:- Testing is a very important and critical part of an application development process. But sometimes developers do not give it its due importance because it is time consuming and error prone. Important business logic needs to work correctly. So how we make sure that it does?

To make code testing viable, good tool support is needed. This is where PHPUnit comes into play. It is the member of the xUnit family of testing frameworks and provides both a framework that makes the writing of tests easy as well as the functionality to easily run the tests and analyze their results. These tools also often provide a reporting feature, which details the outcome of each test run.

2. Phing:- When you are a web developer you will always see the complexity of the projects growing. So when the complexity grows developers face a number of deployment tasks that go beyond merely transferring files from the development to production server. If you find yourself writing custom scripts to handle the packaging, deploying, or testing of your applications, then it better that you start using Phing. Phing comes packaged with numerous out-of-the-box operation modules and an easy-to-use OO model for adding your own custom tasks. Phing tasks can be easily configured using a simple XML syntax, and can manipulate the server file system, integrate with CVS and Subversion, and even create PEAR packages from your custom libraries.

3. Git:- Version Control is very useful in managing the source codes. It can bring a lot of advantages to a project. Version control brings a number of advantages to any project, including the ability to experiment with code branches, roll back unwanted changes etc. Though there are many open source version control tools that are being used, still Git is one of the most popular and a personal tool of choice for many developers. Git is an extremely fast, efficient, distributed version control system ideal for the collaborative development of software. It has a 3rd party service called the GitHub. GitHub relieves development teams of the need to manage a server repository locally and even offers free hosting services for open source projects, with a negligible fee structure in place for commercial hosting.

4. FirePHP:- You might have used a Firefox add-on called the Firebug which allows you to easily inspect and experiment with a website's HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Using FirePHP, you can also use the familiar Firebug interface to review the PHP errors and other analytical data of your choosing.

5. XDebug:- The Xdebug extension helps you debugging your script by providing a lot of valuable debug information. Many automated testing tools will help you in catching the errors but sometimes you will need a little something extra to determine the cause of the error. XDebug is the right tool that will assist you in examining the status of your code by providing utilities for tracing execution, profiling code performance, reviewing object contents, and much more.

So these above mentioned PHP based tools will help you to enhance your productivity and will help boost your PHP projects.

About the Author

James is a professional web developer having 5 years of experience in custom php development. Various papers have been published under his name and he is leading open source development technology writer at various blogs. He has also written various articles related to Web Designer India.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Secrets of Online Video for Business - Effective, Affordable and You Can Do It Yourself

by Mark Shapiro

Online video is a highly effective and fun tool for building business brand awareness, reaching out to new customers and increasing overall sales.

You could spend a lot of money doing a sophisticated video marketing campaign or you can pick up your camcorder and do it yourself. An unpretentious and "honest" looking video may be more effective than a slickly produced commercial product.

Increasingly, web visitors expect to see Internet video at your site. If you want to be competitive, you have to deliver video to them.

So how to do you do it? You can't afford to hire Martin Scorsese, can you?

First - what should your online video be about? This is often the hardest question to answer. Online Business videos can be broken down into three main areas - testimonials, "how to" videos and "what we do" videos.

The "what we do" video is basically your company's elevator pitch - your "about us" page on your website. Introduce yourself, how long you have been in business and the services or types of products you offer. Why should they do business with you? Which of their problems are you going to solve?

Keep it short - two minutes max.

Finally tell them how to work with you - online, street address or both. Should they call, should they email you? Do your business have a query box form on your site for them to fill out? Tell them what to do next after they see the video. This is your sales video - a commercial.

The secret for good online video testimonials is to keep them short and concise.
Find out what the three most important reasons the customer love you and shoot three separate videos with each video just spotlighting one specific idea.
Then get another customer and do the same - shoot three separate short videos.

Then pick the best of those and use those online to promote your business and service.

It is much more interesting to have separate customers telling different reasons they recommend you than a series of customers all saying the same thing. Visit the Quality Claims Management channel at YouTube.

How To Videos - good for your customers, great for Google search and SEO
"How to" videos are very effective for improving your search results on Google and other search engines. . What are the top questions your customers ask? 

Those should be the subjects of your "how to" videos. For example, if you sell shoes, discuss how to select the right size. If you fix refrigerators, explain how to keep a fridge clean. Don't get into a lot of detail. Keep it high level so that they have to come to your business to get further information. Don't give away your secrets.

Producing your videos is not complicated if you follow these rules.

Keep it short - under two minutes.

Keep the camcorder steady and get good clean sound. You can keep a camcorder steady by using a tripod. You don't need complicated effects and camera moves. The simpler the better.

Frame your subject from the waist up and shoot them in front of a boring background. Make sure you have lots of light so we can see your subject. The color does not have to be perfect - we just have to see the expression in their face and the delight in their eyes.

According to Stephen McCluskey, CEO of, a leading business video hosting service, "When shooting "what we do" and "how to" videos, have the subject talk straight to the camera. For testimonials, have the subject talk to the camera operator or someone standing next to the camera."

Make sure you get great audio. Make sure that you keep the camcorder close to the subject so that the camcorder microphone captures their voice, not the room noise. If possible, use a separate external microphone plugged into the camcorder's external mike jack to get the best possible sound. The biggest problem with most "do it yourself" web videos is poor audio. Your subject's voice is the most important component of the video.

Share and Distribute Your Video

Your video does not do your business any good if no one sees it. You can host your videos on your own web site by using one of the free or affordable services that provide a professional looking online video player for your business. By using a pro video player you can customize the look and feel of the player, as well as make sure that your competitors Google ads don't appear around it. "Online Video Platforms remove the technical hurdles that once prohibited small businesses from adding video to their web stores. Video improves online conversions, and there is no shortage of data supporting this. With vzaar monthly subscriptions starting at $49, small business are sure to see fast returns."


 You can put it up on YouTube for free. YouTube is the most common destination site for videos - especially how to videos. Plus, YouTube offers exceptional search capabilities. However, as mentioned earlier, there is a good possibility that your competitor's ads and links could appear when your company's videos are being viewed.

YouTube is Easy To Use

Many newer camcorder models offer easy one step uploading to YouTube or the web site of your choice. You can edit in the camcorder and then upload the video or you can use one of the many simple and use and very affordable video editing programs to create a simple video - with voiceovers, text, close ups, etc., and then upload that to YouTube.

outro was longer than the video itself!

However, because of the hundreds of millions of videos at YouTube, you got to make your video pop up in a search. This means adding appropriate key words to the video description as well as uploading a transcription of the video's audio to be used as a searchable closed caption. If you add a text transcription to your YouTube video, the watcher can then play it back, reading what is being said on the screen.

The beauty of this captioning feature is two fold - a - it is searchable. B - it can automatically translate the audio in your video into one of dozens of different languages.

The three online video secrets - Keep it short, keep it simple with a single idea per video, and make sure the video is clean and easy to understand.

About the Author

Mark has been writing about technology and video for business and consumer use for over 30 years. He runs SRS Tech PR and provides PR, media relations and marketing services to companies worldwide to help them launch and market their technology products and services. Contact him directly at

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Choosing Best Ecommerce Software for Online Store

by Manish Rawat

Choosing well designed E-commerce software for your shopping cart is one of the most crucial decisions which an owner of an online store has to take. The fact is that almost 60% of the visitors abandon their shopping cart in the middle of the process, which is quite embarrassing as well as alarming news for the online industry. 

There is a need of great care for your shopping cart development. The two most important aspects which should be considered are whether your shopping cart software allows trouble-free access to your visitors and the second is allowing the owner to easily update his inventory on his website. There are several hosted services available in the online world including both free ones and those who charge on a monthly basis, now it is important for you to decide what kind of service do you need and opt for them accordingly. This article will help you to narrow down your perplexity.

DECIDE YOUR DELIVERY MECHANISM: It depends a lot upon what type of product you are offering to your customer. Suppose you are offering hard goods then you need to deliver through shipping and if you are offering some software, then you may like to make delivery available online immediately.

EASY PAYMENT OPTIONS: Make sure that the software which you opt provides your customers with an easy and systematic payment options. Usually it happens that; software asking for too much information from the customers tends to irritate them and they drop their shopping cart then and there only. Therefore, try to avoid complex and mind boggling software which can cost your customers.

DIFFERENT PAYMENT MODES: Along with easy payment options your shopping cart software should provide your customers with various payment modes rather than providing with limited ones . Suppose your shopping cart accepts payments through credit card only, then it may lose some customers which are looking for some other options like Paypal and Master Card etc.

UPDATING YOUR STOCK: A good and effective ecommerce web development software should allow you to update your stock easily and without any complications. This will enable you to keep your customers aware with the latest stock which are ready to offer them.

AUTORESPONDER AND NEWSLETTER FUNCTIONS: creating a set communication with your customers is always a good idea, so if you are following them via e-mail offers, you may need a software that has integrated autoresponder and newsletter capabilities which will streamline your operations and can be used for maintaining other contact lists as well.

BUDGET: Last but not the least factor is budget. Whenever you go to market, before purchasing anything thing you often check your wallet first. The same rule applies while opting for a shopping cart software also. You have to reconsider all the features including the type of product and the service and then make a decision whether your store needs such type of service or not?

Hope you are clear with the basic requirements of an effective shopping cart software and considering these points will definitely work wonders for your online store. Now shopping cart web development is not a dream. Choose your best software and implement.

About the Author

PixelCrayons, a web design & development company offers Ecommerce website development and provides shopping cart solutions with integrated shopping cart software.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacation Break


Just so you know, this blog will be on vacation all next week for Thanksgiving week. Regular posting should return on Monday, November 29.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 15, 2010

How To Use a Website Builder

by Jason Kay

Designing a website used to be something was only left to the professionals. 

Today there are all sorts of website builders that even the least technically inclined person can use. Website builders are an automated way to design simple and functional websites without any prior knowledge of html or advanced web design concepts. If you can type on a keyboard, you can design a website using a website builder. It's that easy.

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a website builder and often when you purchase or host your own domain name (, your hosting provider may offer a built-in website builder.

Most website builders will take you through a series of questions about the design, colors, and layout of your new website. There is often an array of templates from which to choose. These templates are complete with professional stock photography and graphics to suite your website.

A website builder will take you through a few essential design elements: 

Layout/Design, Pages, Colors, Links, and Content.


When you are surfing the Internet, you may or may not realize how many different types of layouts are available for a website. You can choose a simple page or a two or three column layout. Some designs contain fancy headers while others use a sidebar for navigation. Website builders give you screenshots of the different design templates available and it's as simple as clicking the one you want to use.


You will need to decide how many pages your website will contain. This doesn't just include the front page, but also the subsequent pages the visitor will see when they click on the various sections of your new website. If you just want a basic webpage with no other pages then you can skip this part of the website builder. It's very likely though, that you'll want at least two or three sub pages to keep your visitors engaged and offer more information without cluttering up the homepage.


Website builders allow you to change your website's color scheme in just a matter of clicks. If your background color is white with black text and you want to switch to a black background with yellow text, you simply indicate your choices in the website builder and it generates the html code in seconds.


After all the fun you'll have designing the look and feel of your new website, it's then time to add the content. This is actually one of the most important aspects of any website because it's the information visitors are looking for. Website builders contain text editors that closely resemble Microsoft Word. You can format your text in bold, italics, and even include links to other websites, all from the comfort of a familiar text editor interface. While you are typing your text, the website builder works behind the scenes to generate the html code that translates your work to the web.

After you've completed all the necessary website builder steps, you are ready to preview your site. Previewing your site allows you to spot errors and make any changes before the site goes on the World Wide Web. Remember, even after your website is published, you can always make changes. That's what's so great about the Internet.

Once you feel confident about the look of your website, it's time to publish your site for the world to see. Some website builders have one-click publishing that allows you to publish your website directly to the web. If your website is hosted elsewhere, however the website builder will give you a few simple instructions on how to publish your website.

Website builders can save the average person valuable time and money. From basic informational one-page websites to advanced multi-page e-commerce sites, website builders can do the job at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional web designer.

About the Author

Jason Kay has made dozens of websites in the last few years by utilizing website builder software. Find and compare the best website builder services.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Things to Think About Before Buying Targeted Traffic for Your Website

by Michelle Jayes

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get quality targeted traffic to your online business website is to buy it. Although there is a lot to be said for learning the skills on how to get traffic yourself, if you have the budget available then finding targeted traffic providers will save you an enormous amount of time which you can then devote to other aspects of marketing your online business.

Remember that simply getting targeted traffic to your website is not going to be sufficient to sustain your business; you will also need to ensure that your website is appealing to these visitors and has enough content on it to hold their interest once they are there.

The first thing to do though is to find out how to go about buying targeted traffic effectively. Here are some ideas on what you should do:

When buying traffic you must take into account the type of industry that your online business is promoting as it is essential that you find people who are interested in the same things as you are. You need also to consider the amount of traffic that you want to visit your website so that you can keep track of what you are getting and how much you can handle at any one time.

The companies that sell targeted traffic generally offer packages dependent on the number of visitors. If you know how much traffic you need then you are less likely to be mislead by special promotions that offer more traffic than you can possibly handle.

Another important point is to understand what kind of traffic you require. Traffic that is targeted at certain types of industry will sometimes have higher rates than others, so be careful when setting the specifications as you could miss out on potential quality traffic if you become too specific. Take a good look at the options offered to you by the traffic provider and be sure that they can send the right type of visitors to your online business website.

Take extra care when it comes to price and shop around to see where you can get the best deals. Even though the traffic generated is targeted there is no guarantee that these visitors will buy the products that you have on offer. Some may purchase but there will be those who look around and leave without spending any money at all.

To complete the value of buying targeted traffic you must make sure that you don't waste these visits by having a website that is not well maintained or is unattractive and does not hold anyones interest.

Even if your online business website is relevant to what you visitor is interested in, if you site is difficult to negotiate or not user friendly then that person will probably just surf away and look for something more interesting. One final bit of advice is that you make sure that your website is properly set up before you invest any money into buying targeted traffic.

About the Author

For more help with your legitimate online businesses Michelle Jayes invites you to visit her online income opportunities website and get some great FREE internet marketing e-books

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Web Design Tips: 3 Ways to Use Images for Better Results

by Kelsey Hawke

When it comes to web design, a picture is worth a thousand words. Many web surfers have notoriously short attention spans and a well-chosen image or graphic can capture interest and communicate meaning in the blink of an eye. In other words, one picture can instantly say what entire paragraphs of text alone cannot. Without question, images are a great way to transform a so-so web design project into one that produces stellar results.

Here are 3 Ways to Use Images to Improve Web Design

Grab Attention - and Keep It

It almost goes without saying that the images selected for a web design project need to be visually interesting and compelling. However, there is an art to finding the right images for each page. Pictures and graphics should be of superior quality and they should relate well to the other design elements. Further, the selected images should also support the story or point of view each page is trying to convey. An image may be great at capturing attention, but if it doesn't relate directly to the content and overall intent of that specific page, it can end up distracting or confusing your audience. 

Therefore, when selecting an image for a web design project, be sure to consider how well that one piece fits into the rest of the design puzzle.    

Enhance Search Engine Optimization Efforts

Carefully chosen images are also a great way to garner better search engine rankings for your web design efforts. Although search engine spiders don't index any text contained within an image, there are still a few things you can do to make your images more search engine friendly. For starters, make sure you include descriptive file names when uploading your images to your web site. This is because search engines are better able to assign meaning to a file named "YourKeywordHere.jpg," than they can to one simply named "0002979.jpg." By the same token, take the time to complete the alt text description for each image. This will not only help the search engines figure out what each image is about, but will also help your web visitors in the event your images ever fail to load properly. 

However, avoid over-stuffing either of these areas with keywords as this can actually harm your site's rankings.  

Adopt a "Less is More" Strategy

One or two well-placed images can go a long way in terms of improving your web design projects. In other words, a limited number of great images on a page can greatly enhance its intended message and visual appeal. However, you will want to avoid going overboard with this design element because adding too many images can make an otherwise strong page look disorganized and cluttered. When this happens, your intended message can get lost as your audience jumps around the page trying to figure out how it all ties together.
    By applying these strategies, you can use images to transform any web design project into something truly extraordinary.

    About the Author

    Kelsey Hawke is a Marketing Coordinator at Western Reserve Internet Services, a South Florida and Cleveland web design company. WRIS also offers web development and industrial internet marketing services.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    The Importance Of Long Tail Keywords Since The Last Google Algorithm Update

    by Jackie De Burca

    Google introduced another algorithm update in May 2010 and many webmasters have seen a huge drop in traffic from Google for keyword phrases that are three or more keywords long, known as long tail keywords.

    Google is now able to index longer keyword phrases more accurately. It seems that Google guessed the best pages for long keyword phrases until recently based on other signals and keywords on the indexed pages. The new Google patent indicates that Google now has the computing power to index longer keyword phrases on web pages instead of guessing them.

    What does this mean to business owners, webmasters and SEO companies? It means that those who have taken the time to anticipate the need of their customers and Google's customers will be rewarded.

    Whether in SEO terms or in pay per click advertising terms, longtail keywords are highly valuable. Think about what your search process is yourself and you will more than likely realise this.

    The average person searching at the research phase will use a competitive generic keyword such as "party dress". Not long after searching and seeing some high prices they will modify their search to something like "cheap party dress." Now we are already into long tail keyword territory but it can go further. As the search deepens the searcher realizes that pink is the trendy colour at the moment, or pink is what she fancies wearing on her next night out, so then she is using the long tail keyword "cheap pink party dress."

    The more experienced the searcher the more likely she will start off with this right at the beginning so as not to waste any time. And in general people are becoming far better at searching as the search engines continue to improve the results they show to us.

    A long tail keyword means one of two things; either the person is close to making a buying decision or is an experienced searcher. Now with the Google algorithm update of May, combined with the buying profile of a long tail keyword searcher being stronger, and add in here the fact that a well optimised page for a long tail keyword has a far higher chance of getting to the first page of the SERPs then it is what they call a no-brainer.

    Think about it logically, when you want to find information online on products, services or for research reasons, you want to find it quickly, you want it to be as precise as possible and give you something extra that other information has not up until that moment.

    Long tail keywords can be optimised in this way. The trick here is getting into the mindset of your customer and preempting all the possible things they would like to know about whatever the subject of the long tail keyword is and then going at least one step further. You will create a page which is resource, which means customers will like it and sites which see it as an authority may link to it.

    On some of the search engine forums SEOs have stated that this algorithm which was named Mayday by some and Black Tuesday by others has had a disastrous effect on some well established sites which did not have enough content in deep pages.

    Whether you are a small business owner, or a medium to large business owner, all the signs show that drilling down into your site with niche information across all aspects of your site based on long tail keywords is a good way to go. Long tail keywords are important both to your customers and the search engines; ignore them at your peril!

    About the Author

    Jackie is co-owner of CWA Europe which is an International Search Marketing Agency. If you are not already doing it she highly recommends building long tail keywords into your online marketing strategy.

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Should You Employ A Designer Or Create Your Web Site With A Website Builder?

    by Jen Silva

    New start up businesses must determine how to best invest their money and their time. Most novice business owners realize the importance of establishing a presence on the Internet. However, most are unsure whether the return on investment will be enough to justify building a custom web site given the expense. Website builders are available to assist those business owners who select not to invest. Each business owner should determine which option will yield the best results for the business.

    How Much Will Each Option Cost?

    A website builder is the more economically priced option of the two. However, significant research must be conducted to select the best website builder. A website template may be obtained for free or for a small fee. Hosting costs may be free or up to $100 per month depending upon the bandwidth needed for the site. There are several hosting sites online that offer packages and bandwidth for customers who select to build their own website.

    On the other hand, hiring a website designer may become a costly endeavor. Some freelance designers cost between $500 and $1500. Other major design firms may charge anywhere from $2000 to $5000. The costs vary depending upon the amount of customization and graphics required for the site.

    Which Type of Website Will Attract More Customers?

    Most business owners are aware that part of website sales conversion involves luring customers to the site and enticing them to remain on the site to review the information once they arrive. Search engine optimization techniques will attract customers to the website. Customization of the website will keep the customer interested once they arrive to your business's website. A website builder may provide a reasonably custom website. However, a designer will allow businesses to uniquely customize their website. Website designers will provide the most flexible solution of the two options.

    Businesses should select the best website builder available. Shopify is a popular website builder. Most website builders come equipped with templates that allow the user to insert a company logo, insert pictures, insert Google advertisements or customize individual web pages. These website builders may also be customized to accept credit cards and send shipping requests to a third party vendor. Business owners will still have to design the company logo before inserting the graphic. This may require some creativity, experience, and ingenuity on the part of the business owner. Businesses that use templates also run the risk of having their website appear similar to another company's website. This is the undesirable aspect of website builders and templates.

    Freelance designers and design firms will solicit their creative teams to create a unique logo for the business. Custom graphics allow the company to distinguish itself from the competition. These companies also know JavaScript code. 

    Designers may also add databases for queries, site search functionality and embedded email for customer support issues. The website may truly be customized for the needs of the company.

    What Is the Best Option for Your Company?

    Some companies may use the strategy of maintaining low overhead and invest more as the company earns. These companies may feel comfortable with using a template or the best website builder to complete their website. Small consulting companies that only have several thousand to invest may select this option over building a custom website.

    On the other hand, some companies that receive small business loans or capital may elect to invest as much as possible to appear professional to their clients. Companies that received a small business loan or venture capital may select a custom design. These individuals have invested a significant amount in their business initially that must be recovered to become profitable. Therefore, this type of company desires to receive the maximum return on their investment as quickly as possible. In this instance, a $5,000 investment in a custom website is minimal if the company already has $200,000 or more invested.

    About the Author

    The author is a writer and specialist of small business resources and products on subjects such as the best website builders. Please visit for step-by-step instructions on creating a website with the 1

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Create URL Backlinks With The Assistance Of Article Marketing

    by Chris Adams

    If you have an online business and want to make more money, URL backlinks may be the key to your success. Before proceeding, what are URL backlinks? Basically, these are hyperlinks from many other webpages that steer readers to your webpage or blog. By means of one-way links, others' webpages are going to be connected to yours. This short article covers the value of back-links for your online business and the way article promotion would help you make inbound links.

    It's advisable that you get hold of incoming links from first-rate sites because they can boost your site's ratings. The best example of a first-rate webpage is authority sites. Authority websites offer loads of content and consumers normally visit these websites whenever they look for certain details. Needless to say, it's tough, if not impossible, to compete with authority sites, so it's advisable to utilize them to lure in more traffic as well as have more earnings.

    You might be wondering precisely how you could carry this out without spending a small fortune. Have you heard of article marketing? If you haven't, then you're missing the boat. Article promotion is a zero-cost and also powerful tactic to let everyone know about your webpage, products and services. It entails the composition and also submission of content pieces to all sorts of article submission websites in order to publicize your web-based business. 

    Unlike other approaches, you won't squander your money and time with article promotion. Of course, there are some conditions that you must adhere to in order for this to become conceivable.

    For starters, this certain approach is cost-free so long as you craft your content pieces on your own. If you choose to create all your articles on your own, be ready to commit a considerable length of time to writing. What you could do is to establish a schedule for content creation; this is crucial because you also require time to manage the other components of your online business. You may set aside a specific number of hours to compose your content pieces, and you must follow that schedule without fail. You need hundreds of articles about a single area of interest in order to be effective, and there is no avoiding this requirement.

    This may seem like an impossible job for most internet business owners, including yourself. If you've got absolutely no time to undertake this consistently or don't have the confidence to compose great articles, you can assign this specific task to freelance copywriters or content creation services. Their fees are tremendously lower than those of regular ghostwriters, and they can churn out a lot of articles in a short timeframe. It is critical for you to employ outstanding, seasoned and also reliable writers to make your content pieces; the popularity and level of traffic that your site would acquire would rely on them, so ensure that you contract people who really know what they're doing.

    Each time your content pieces get published online, your site or weblog brings in more publicity. The link that you include toward the end of your content pieces will function as a mini-ad for your web-based business. Article submission websites do not ask for a fee when you put in one-way links for your website, so it is a win-win situation: you get hold of more publicity, traffic and profits while article submission websites will have more users for their service.

    You could submit as much articles as you would like. In fact, submitting plenty of content pieces is highly encouraged. Just make certain that you stick to each article directory website's author and also sending rules, check out their FAQs and stay out of trouble. Otherwise, your account would be suspended and your articles won't be posted. As with most things, you need to get accustomed to all the rules and regulations, but the whole routine becomes simple after a few article submissions and a short adjustment period.

    If you are not employing article marketing to create URL backlinks, then you're definitely missing out. Why do you think there are thousands of content pieces in all of those article publication sites? The answer's clear: the majority of the content pieces published there are created by internet marketers. When you undertake article promotion, you will discover why a lot of people depend on this tactic to generate URL backlinks.

    About the Author

    The search engines thrive on content and url backlinks. Without both your site is dead! Learn how you can promote your website and build guaranteed backlinks by getting your FREE Marketing Report at

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Best Alternatives To AdSense

    by Steve Watson

    The only reason people are searching for an alternative to AdSense is if Google has blocked their account and not listened to any of the pleas to get it reactivated. If your situation is anything like so many others who had their AdSense account closed, Google has probably not given you any clue why the account was shut, but the advice is to move on and search for an alternative. 

    Believe it or not, having your AdSense account blocked could be the best thing that ever happened to you, just like what happened with Jeff Johnson back in 2004. In this case, Jeff's account was shut down because he was using two accounts.However, as it turned out, once he was free from AdSense his online income exploded - so take it as a sign of things to come! 


    This advertising network has been going since 2002 and is one of the biggest independent ad networks. AdBrite allow you to choose which category of ads you want to to display on your site and they have enough advertisers to serve up many ads in most categories. You should be careful about picking the right category because even though a financial category might pay better it's not going to get many clicks if your site is about dog training! One problem some people might have is that they only pay out by cheque which is issued in USD. 


    One very lucrative alternative to Google AdSense is simply selling links on your site to advertisers. Their advertisers want to place links on relevant websites to get traffic and boost their search engine rankings. Unlike traditional AdSense alternatives, LinkWorth have a large number of SEO agencies buying links so it's strongly recommended. 

    Amazon Associates

    Obviously it depends entirely on what sort of website you are running but many people have found that the Amazon Associates programme is even more profitable than AdSense under the right circumstances. The major difference though is that you only earn a commission when you sell a product so you need to send quite a few clicks to make a sale. Even if your niche has some fairly low cost products which only earn you a couple of dollars per sale don't forget that Amazon is probably the webs largest retail store so people get to the site via your handmade soap niche site but end up buying books, video games and DVD's and spending $100 or more. 

    One of the options in Amazon is Omakase (Japanese for 'It's Up To You') where you put a bit of code on your website and it tries to pick relevant products based on the content of your page. In our experience though the Omakase solution doesn't always serve up the most relevant products and concentrates mostly on best sellers and books.

    Don't just rely on ads that pay you a few pennies per click or a few dollars per month, get active with your online income and start promoting relevant affiliate products and build your list to follow up with people when you want.

    About the Author

    For more great information on making money online try visiting

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Discover the Relationship between Targeted Traffic and Affiliate Profits

    by Michelle Jayes

    We are all aware of the fact that unless we generate traffic to our legitimate online businesses we are not going to be making too many sales of the affiliate income opportunities we have on offer. There are those people who will tell you that all traffic is good and while this is true to a point just driving untargeted traffic to your website is not really the whole truth.

    There is a huge difference between targeted and untargeted traffic and the key to success and making lots of affiliate product sales is to understand the relationship of both kinds and how it affects your affiliate profits. This is important if you want to get the best results for your efforts.

    Here are some of the differences between targeted and untargeted traffic:

    1. Targeted Traffic is usually defined as such; if they have pre-qualified themselves in some way. For example if it has come either through a search engine or an email newsletter or even through a sales page or banner ad.

    This type of traffic is generally made up of people who are interested in the niche products and information that you are promoting, and have taken some sort of action to prove it.

    2. Untargeted traffic on the other hand is usually a viewer that may have seen your website or your ad under other circumstances that would not be considered as pre-qualified. These are usually people who have come to your online businesses websites via a pay to click type of site where a member will just click on your ad in order to earn extra money, it does not mean that they have any interest in what you are selling or in the information that may be available on your website.

    So now that you can see the difference between targeted and untargeted traffic you should be able to understand why generating targeted traffic is so important. Can you imagine if you had a website that was aimed at selling golf equipment and the visitors to your site had absolutely no interest in the game at all, what are the chances that any of them would stay there for more than a minute or that they might become customers? It would surely be far better to have 100 visitors who were searching on Google for a website selling golf equipment than to have 1000 that's only interest was the fact that they were getting paid to visit your website.

    This is why Google traffic is rated so highly, the reason being that anyone who visits your website is doing some research on Google and looking for the information and type of products that you are promoting. Higher quality traffic will mean better sales for your affiliate products.
    What is great about targeted traffic is that it will not only improve your conversions but will also finish up generation even more traffic to you online legitimate businesses. 

    Provided your website contains good content and useful information the possibility of your visitors sharing this with others on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook is pretty strong and this can lead to more direct traffic and backlinks to your website and will not involve any extra work on your part.

    Untargeted traffic will not give you this added benefit for the simple reason that they have nothing invested in your content and information and as they really are not interested in your niche or anything that you have to say they will not be bothered to share your website with anyone else.

    As you can see there is a vast difference between targeted and untargeted traffic and hopefully now that you understand what it is you will realize why targeted traffic is preferable. The advantages you will gain from driving targeted traffic to your legitimate online businesses can give you great gains in profitability which you will not get from untargeted traffic.

    About the Author

    For more help with your legitimate online businesses Michelle Jayes invites you to visit her online income opportunities website and get some great FREE internet marketing e-books

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    5 Costly Small Business Web Hosting Mistakes

    by Jeffrey Styles

    As every small business startup or owner you are seriously thinking about cutting the costs. And one of the first things to look at when doing business online is web hosting. 

    You want to get top quality, but don't want to pay much. It makes sense given the fierce competition in web hosting space. However, there are numerous cases where people just lose money when they choose a bad host. So how do you make sure your small business hosting needs are satisfied? Well pay close attention to these 5 mistakes many startups makes when choosing a host. This may save you money in the long run:

    1. Not Emailing Technical Support - Tech support is #1 priority when choosing a web host. You would assume that companies who do business make sure their support is top notch. Boy would you be surprised. Many times they don't respond or are lacking basic understanding. What will you do when you have a technical issue and need a quick fix? 

    Always email the host and look at the response time. Good hosts reply within hours, sometimes minutes. Test their phone, live chat support, see what they know. Ask many questions, you need to test their expertise.

    2. Not Checking How Long They've Been in Business - When you invest money in web hosting even for small business, you expect a good quality. But choosing a new company to work with is risky. They may be too small, run from a warehouse or garage. Or they may be heading for bankruptcy. If a web host can last longer than 3 or 5 years in the environment, they're pretty save to do business with. Check their domain age to make sure they are long enough in this business.

    3. No Analyzing the Features - You have to plan this step ahead. What will be your requirements. What's your business plan and strategy. If you are thinking of making one presentation website for your clients, but doing business mostly offline, then you don't need much really. 

    On the other hand what if you plan to make 10 websites a week with Wordpress blogs. You later notice that your small business web host only allows 1 MySQL database per account. Ouch, you're busted. So plan ahead and carefully examine the features of a web host.

    4. Falling for Review Sites - There are so many review sites around that it's hard to count. If you type in web hosting review into search engine, you'll get millions of results. No it's a good idea to look at some review sites, but you have to be careful. Most of these sites (99% to be correct) are there just to make money. So they'll promote anyone who pays them most. Do not blindly believe reviews you read from these sites. Check their whois data, if they're hosting with a different host than their #1 recommended, then why should you even listen to them?

    5. Jumping on "Unlimited" Bandwagon - Now more and more companies offer unlimited bandwidth and space. It means you can store unlimited number of files and also receive unlimited monthly traffic. However not always unlimited is really unlimited. Read their policies carefully. Some small business web hosting companies say unlimited, but actually put a limit on number of files you can store. In this case, it may be better going with the one that offers specific server space, than unlimited. If you're pumping 100,000's of small files to the server, then unlimited is usually not for you. Check with your host.

    In Conclusion

    I have shared just a few small business web hosting tips. But you may want to pay close attention to these. You don't want to invest hundreds of dollars into a web host to later find out that they're lacking small feature, which you desperately need.

    And when you do get small business hosting, make sure you take full advantage of them. Use coupons and grab the chosen host for a year or two. If you've done proper research, you'll choose the right host. Most of them offer money back, so you're safe in the beginning anyway. But buying long-term hosting will always cost you less, sometimes 30%-50% less.

    About the Author

    More tips and guides when choosing cheap hosting company you can find at:

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Why You Need To Track Website Visitors

    by Joseph Schembri

    If you have a website, collecting data on visitors to your site is extremely important. Whether you have a business or just develop websites, data from your visitors can be extremely helpful in making your site as effective as it can be. The more data you can collect from visitors, the more productive and effective your content, campaigns and services can be.

    Analyzing your traffic has assumed a new importance. In fact, stats are the essential tool to measure and manage a business or a website successfully. You may put up a website but then you're not sure if you have the right content on your homepage. You do get some visitors, but what can you do to make things better. Without actual data and solid information it's all guesswork. Knowing what you want to achieve, who your visitors are likely to be, and what their objectives are will lead you in the right direction.

    The first obvious data you need to know is how many people are coming to your site. Just knowing the number of people coming to your site is not really a good indication. What you really need to get is a number for unique visitors and not page views or hits. Why? Because if you are visited by the same visitor 100 times, he/she will count as 100 visitors. If your visitor downloads several information products from you, he/she will count as several visitors. A unique visitor is counted once, even though he/she may visit your site more than once. This is a more effective use of traffic numbers.

    Of course, you might also want to know if you are getting repeat visitors, or how many days have passed before the visitor came back to your site. A visitor or buyer who repeats their behavior is more likely to continue repeating it, meaning their future value to your business is high.

    Next, you need to know where your visitors are coming from. You want to know which search engines are sending you traffic and which other websites have a link that sends people to your site. Tracking and monitoring your incoming links can provide you with great and valuable insight into which sites, social media and other web traffic sources are sending you the best and most qualified visitors for your web site. You need an understanding of which one of these traffic sources brings in more traffic and consequently which should be the traffic sources on which to spend the greatest amount of energies. This can help those with less experience in tracking visitor data in understanding how you can actually go about collecting visitor data and how to make that information help you understand better how and where to focus to increase your web traffic.

    You also want to know from which part of the world your visitors are coming from. If you know that many come from a particular part of the world or country, you may want to target some of your marketing effort to them.

    Once visitors reach your site, you need to know what they actually do once they are on your website. You can use this data to find out how to improve your website to better meet your customer's needs.

    Learning about your visitors and using this information properly, is the best way to make sound marketing decisions. It directs you on how to generate the right content and dramatically increases results from your website.

    There are many programs out there that can give you what they call website metrics. The problem I have found with many of these programs is that they tend to be a bit over-whelming. They have so much data scattered all over the program, that sometimes it is an ordeal to find out some simple information. You might often have to click several times in the program just to find some small bit of information you would like to know right away. As a result, you may not monitor your traffic as often as you should due to the amount of time that may be required for your search.

    When looking for a visitor tracking program, make sure that it is simple to use and that you can find the information you need simply and quickly. This will give you the incentive to review your traffic data on a regular basis and actually, to make a habit of it.

    About the Author

    For an effective website visitor tracker method that is easy to install, easy to use, and will allow you to get your visitor information instantly, please visit Website Live Visitor Tracker.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Internet Video Marketing: Stay Ahead of Your Competition

    by Craig Clemmings

    Youtube marketing is a new way to showcase your business online. With this type of internet video marketing, you can literally have your video in front of they eyes of your future customers within minutes uploading your video. You now no longer have to wait days, months, or years for your website to get picked up on search engines to drive traffic to your sites. These types of web commercials can be very effective in driving targeted traffic to your website.

    If you can have your business in front of the eyes of millions of potential clients in minutes, do you think it would help your business? Of course it would. This is why savvy internet marketers are turning to Youtube marketing and internet video marketing to grow businesses worldwide. If you can effectively create, optimize and upload your video to many video sharing sites around the world, you will be successful in this form of marketing.

    Internet video marketing and Youtube marketing is the newest way to grow businesses online. It is a new trend that your competition probably hasn't capitalized on yet. This is why learning the benefits of Youtube marketing and internet video marketing and beginning this to use this strategy can keep you ahead of your competition.

    Have you ever gone on the internet to look for a review or for more information about a product? I'm sure you have because millions of people throughout the United States and the world do this on a daily basis. What if your business was the first thing they saw when they go online to search for what they are looking for? This is what internet marketers are doing these days because quite simply, it works great.

    If you learn how to correctly produce a captivating and effective web commercial, optimize it correctly, and mass distribute it to many different sites, then you will be ahead of your competition. It wasn't long ago that people didn't even know how to use this type of marketing to grow businesses. Now it has caught on like crazy because of the sheer power of internet video marketing.

    Other great benefits of Youtube marketing and internet video marketing is that once you have your videos online, they are there to stay, driving you traffic for life. However, if not done correctly, this can hurt your business too. You want to create a video that you can be proud of that will showcase your business and portray the correct image for your company. This is why most marketers are choosing to outsource their marketing to services that will implement these strategies for them. It can be very cost effective and usually can pay for itself many times over. Learn more about internet video marketing and Youtube marketing so you can stay ahead of your competition. This type of marketing strategy is here to stay so the sooner you can implement it, the better off you will be. Internet video marketing is a marketing strategy that simply works.

    About the Author

    For a top internet video marketing service visit this Youtube marketing site to outsource all your Internet video marketing needs. They help you dominate the search engines for your keywords.