Monthly Archives: December 2015

5 fatal online marketing and SEO mistakes that you should steer clear of

For those of you who do business online, perhaps the word SEO is not foreign to you. And maybe some of the perpetrators of online businesses are already implementing SEO. Was it successful? there must be Successful and Failed. Indeed, in my opinion there is no definite formula how to ensure that a successful SEO. However, based on information from several websites, there are some things that maybe you would want to avoid that the concept of SEO is still running.

Here are five fatal online marketing and SEO mistakes that you should steer clear of:

1. Not having an onsite content strategy. Prior to Google’s Panda algorithm update last year, it was common to see small, one-page microsites dominating the search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the strength of their inbound link profiles — the links pointing to these microsites from external websites — rather than the quality of their onsite content.

One of the important changes that occurred as a result of the Panda update was the promotion of websites in Google’s search results with lots of strong, quality content. It’s nearly impossible to get ranked for any sort of competitive keyword if your website doesn’t have great content. Google differentiates high-quality from low-quality content by:

– Quantity and quality of inbound links to the page
– Quantity and quality of social signals linking to the page
– Grammar and spelling on the page
– Text formatting queues on the page (bold, italics, bullet points)
– Use of subheads
– Length of content
– Outbound links from the page

When planning your onsite content strategy, create quality content that adds lasting value. Examples of ways to do this include:

  • Infographics that dissect data in a new way, offering a fresh perspective
  • Offering advice based on personal experience
  • Publishing internal data that isn’t available elsewhere and is difficult to gather

2. Not having an offsite content strategy. A strategic SEO link building campaign is critical for the success of your online marketing initiative. A few reasons why:

Inbound links are the heaviest-weighted factor in Google’s ranking algorithm
When highly-authoritative websites link to yours, you gain exposure, positive branding and referral traffic
Links are like roads to your website. Having more links can result in more paths for potential clients and customers to find your product or service

But when building links to your website, be cautious if you hire someone else to do it. Post-Penguin link building requires an intimate knowledge of the search engine algorithms and how they’ve changed. Building links that appear to be unnatural or manipulated can do more harm than good.

3. Not giving it enough time. Online marketing can be a lot like the stock market. Over time, the return on your investment should trend upward, but if you stop too soon you might end up worse off than when you started.

Before starting any SEO initiative, it can be worthwhile reading a post by Sam McRoberts, CEO of Seattle-based SEO services firm Vudu Marketing. It outlines the volatile nature of organic search rankings and why companies shouldn’t consider online marketing to be a short-term tactic.

4. Not devoting enough budget to the campaign. I’ve often seen business owners get lured in by low-priced SEO service providers promising them the world and delivering useless service. One time, for instance, after reviewing the previous work of a low-budget SEO firm, I discovered it had populated the client’s site with various posts that were written in broken English, keyword-stuffed and delivered no real value or service. They were all about 250 words in length, which is generally not enough to be considered thorough. My first thought was, “No one would want these posted on their website.”

Unfortunately, many low-budget SEO providers are stuck in a pre-Penguin era of SEO, convincing business owners that low-quality spam tactics still work, and taking their money while yielding negative results or none at all.

So, what types of tactics should you focus on?

• Build your personal brand by guest blogging
• Engage in social media marketing to organically build your brand’s social presence
• Design and execute a quality content strategy for your website to attract inbound links

5. Not distributing the workload. Online marketing is too vast and complex to be managed by a single person. To be done right, it requires a team of professionals knowledgeable across one or more of each distinct discipline. Of course, hiring an in-house team can be costly, which is why many business owners choose to source their online marketing to agencies.

For example, you could hire freelance writers and an editor from sites like Elance to write content for your company blog. You could also hire a social media marketer to manage your stable of social media channels.

Point is, there are cost-effective ways to perform many aspects of online marketing. Think outside the box and you can distribute the workload effectively and efficiently.

Source : http://www.entrepreneur.com

affiliate programs most effective traffic-driving technique than banner advertising

The History of Affiliate Programs
E-commerce pioneers like Amazon.com and CDNow began partnering with topic-centric websites to drive revenues, paying a commission for each sale referred. The practice spread quickly and became known as “affiliate marketing.” By early 1999, Forrester Research proclaimed “affiliate programs” as the Web”s most effective traffic-driving technique “” almost twice as effective as banner advertising.

Consider that by September 1999, more than three years after Amazon launched, there were over 1,000 merchants offering affiliate programs. And by 2000, Amazon”s Associates Program had grown to over 500,000 affiliates. What Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos started as a polite conversation had grown into an entirely new industry, bringing with it affiliate networks, directories, newsletters and a variety of consultants. Other innovations followed and affiliate marketing is now an integral part of the Web”s composition. It”s also now widely heralded as the Web”s most cost-effective marketing vehicle.

Still, as affiliate marketing evolved, issues with the model have been exposed. The affiliate community needs to remember that affiliate marketing is not about generating cheap advertising, but developing profitable strategic relationships.

But now there is a way for merchants to now offer a win-win where both merchants and affiliates have a vested interest. Improving technologies now make it possible for the formerly CPS, CPA, CPL performance programs and the CPM, CPC, and flat advertising models to unify creating a new hybrid that I call the CPP (Cost-Plus-Performance) model.

The CPP combines a paid campaign with a performance campaign and offers the best of both worlds. I see this as the future of affiliate marketing, a wide-open world of performance and payment where the CPP takes inventory lost to Google”s AdSense and advertisers back. The result is a whole New World of opportunities for merchants, affiliate managers and affiliates.

The hybrid CPP is converting former CPM, CPC advocates into affiliate marketing believers. For many top websites, affiliate marketing now represents a chance to loosen the grip of pay-per-click search engines and costly advertising. The most difficult obstacle in affiliate marketing is finding good affiliates with traffic. If a site sells traffic then they must have it, and if you negotiate a Cost-Plus-Performance payout valuable opportunities begin to open up.

Merchants are also realizing that affiliates need better tools as well. Technologies such as data-feeds, site and shopping cart abandonment (exit traffic) promise to allow merchants, who are also affiliates, to increase EPC and EPM numbers without compromising the visitors experience, thereby improving monetization. By simply offering additional products and/or service offers at or after the point of sale, merchants can add revenue without diluting the sales process.

It”s becoming clear to merchants, affiliate managers and affiliates that the line between performance and traditional advertising has been breached.

It started with Google”s entry into the market. Google”s AdSense captured valuable affiliate program inventory, which caused the flexible affiliate marketers to evolve again. The industry”s response was to tangle with the paid advertising side of the market. Google”s method is to pay out for ad space “” the same ad space that was used by affiliate marketers. That limits available inventory and changes the Web publisher”s expectations.

Some affiliate marketers using AdSense end up to cannibalizing their own market. Why? To get guaranteed income from traffic. If you pay for traffic, you”re guaranteed to get it. The merchants get guaranteed traffic and the affiliates get guaranteed revenue from traffic. However, this presents a problem. Traditional advertising places the risk on the merchants, while performance places the risk on the affiliate. In either case only one has a vested interest in the campaign.

It”s clear from a handful of recent studies and reports that marketers are frustrated with the current process.

In a survey of 135 senior-level marketers a recent study found that while 60 percent of respondents said that defining, measuring and taking action on ROI is important, only 20 percent are satisfied with their ability to do so. In addition, 73 percent reported a lack of confidence in their ability to understand the sales impact of a campaign.

The study, conducted by Marketing Management Analytics (MMA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Forrester Research in April 2005, was presented in July at ANA”s 2005 Marketing Accountability Forum.

Also this summer, a MediaLife”s media buyer survey quantified what most already suspected: media buyers think that about only half of media reps know what the heck they”re doing (via MediaBuyerPlanner.com). A significant minority of the buyers “” about one in six “” have such a low opinion of representatives that they said only 10 or 20 percent are useful.

Complaints centered, unsurprisingly, on time wasting, both in the form of over-contacting and proving ill prepared when conversations do take place. Another big complaint proved to be overly hard selling, with some reps seeming to believe that repetition or browbeating may succeed in getting a property on the buy where the numbers won”t.

Half of the buyers said they agree with the statement that the rep problem was “no big deal. Sure, they”re annoying sometimes, but I”m sure they find me equally so. It”s how the industry is set up.” About 45 percent agreed instead that they are “a necessary evil. Most are okay, but there are a few really obnoxious ones I hate doing business with.”

Even with all the issues, the good news is that the affiliate community is still evolving. Organic search is becoming more competitive. CPM rates are going up. Paid search is becoming cost prohibitive and the need for cost effective online inventory is becoming stronger, causing the affiliate space to grow at ever increasing rates. As merchants, affiliate managers and affiliates become even more interwoven, the friction decreases and new forms of integration and aggregation are made possible.

I see it this way “” the race is on! In the last year the number of merchants offering affiliate programs has more than quadrupled. Literally, millions of websites now participate as affiliates “” from personal homepages at Geocities and Homestead to Fortune 500 companies. And now, more often then not, merchants with affiliate programs are also affiliates.

Whether termed affiliate marketing, collaborative commerce, revenue sharing or syndicated selling, the affiliate space leads the way in the ever changing landscape of online marketing and has become the Web”s fastest, simplest and most cost effective marketing vehicle.

As both merchants and affiliates continue to recognize the power of change, affiliate marketing”s best days are yet to come. In a few short years, affiliate-marketing looks to become the tail that wags the dog “” controlling the majority of the adverting and marketing dollars. Despite the less then impressive advancements in the advertising world and hype, affiliate marketing stays true to its origins as a better way of connecting buyers and sellers and rewarding those that facilitate those relationships.