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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SEO Tips For Newbies


SEO or search engine optimization knowledge is critical for the person starting out in e-commerce. Whether you want to blog, run an online store or do anything else successfully online, you need to figure out how to get noticed by search engines so that people can find you. Understanding SEO is critical for anyone who wants to be successful in online enterprise.

An important aspect of search engine optimization is the fact that you need to invest time and effort into your website on a regular basis in order get traffic and keep traffic continuously increasing. If you allow your website to sit and collect cobwebs it won't do much for you.

SEO Tip #1:

There isn't a magical formula; at least not one that's evergreen so it's important to stay current on SEO news. Dig deep to find information and read everything you can. You'll find conflicting information at times but knowledge is power so absorb as much SEO news as you can.

SEO Tip # 2:

Create an easy to follow design with a standard homepage, easily viewable links and a site index. This way, people and search engines can find their way around easily and so can people.

SEO Tip # 3:

Determine what your target keywords are. There are some great tools out there that can help you both for free or for a small fee. Often it's fairly easy to figure this out on your own.

Ask yourself:

What are the top three to five words or phrases you would use if you were use to search for the product or topic you are selling? Be sure that those words are on each page of your website, especially in titles, headings and at the beginning, middle and end of each page. It's a good idea to use variations as well to give your site further credibility and increase the Long Tail.

SEO Tip # 4:

SEO Fact : Content is king. Always will be. Don't assume that more is better in terms of keywords. Do not fall victim to the temptation to simply keyword stuff your site otherwise two things will happen. First, you'll get banned by the search engines and even worse, you'll be ignored by the humans who land on your page. Both types of visitors can see through vain SEO attempts to trick you to get onto their site.

Instead, you want to target the fine line between having enough keyword relevancy to make it impossible for the search engines to ignore you but not so much that your human visitors find your content to be poor quality. Hire a professional SEO article writer if you have to in order to come across as professional. Keep fresh content on your pages and change your content regularly. You don't have to waste what you've put effort and money into, instead move your old content into archives so it continues to work for you as well.

SEO Tip # 5:

Web 2.0 is all about social networking. Social networking, social book marking, forum posting and link exchanges can be invaluable If you can get high ranking websites in your niche to exchange links with you, this can help. If you are blogging, comment on other blogs in your niche to get a link back to your site and generate interest from bloggers that frequent other sites in your niche. If you use tools like Technorati, Digg, StumbleUpon and other social book marking tools on your pages with appropriate tagging, you can bring relevant traffic fairly quickly and it's viral so others will do the same. Social networking activities are also indexed by the search engines.

In summary, there are basic to advanced seo techniques and seo tips that you can use to get noticed by the big three search engines. Your results will depend a lot on how narrow your niche is but there are some basic things you can do to be search engine friendly from the start. It's never too late to optimize your site though so don't lose heart if you didn't follow this advice on your website from the beginning. Here are some basic ideas. This is not an exhaustive list but is a great place to start.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Affiliates Make You Money

One of the biggest comments I hear from people is that they are worried about running an affiliate program because they perceive the money they are paying out to the affiliates as being "lost money".

In fact, quite the opposite is true - the money you get from the affiliates is free money!

"Huh?" you say, "How can me paying out money to someone be free money for me?"

Let me explain this to you.

An affiliate is someone who promotes your products on your behalf with no payment unless a sale is made - the ultimate in pay for performance. However, the sales that affiliates bring you are sales that you would never have had before. They are bringing you in money that, without them, you would never have had. Yeah sure you would have made some sales yourself, but would you have made as many?

I want to make an analogy here to the offline world in order to help you really understand this.

Imagine that you're running a pizza parlour in your home town. You are bringing in a good income from it and would like to expand your business and your income. Sadly though, your town is small and there's not enough customers for you to open a second pizza parlour.

So, your only real option is to expand into another town. However, you can't be in both places at once running both stores, so you hire a store manager to run the second pizza parlour and you pay them a part of the profits for you.

As well as your profits from your first store, you are making profit from the second store, but paying a part of that profit to the person running the store. If you want to expand further, you would open more stores and hire more store managers.

In the offline world these store managers relate to your affiliates and the stores are their own websites, promoting the pizzas, which are your products.

By recruiting affiliates you are gaining access to a wider potential customer base. Realistically, with the tens of millions of people online, you cannot reach out and market to them all. The affiliates market your product to customers who may not see you, or who may not buy from you for some reason, yet will buy from the affiliate.

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